One of the defining documentaries of the 20th century, The Atomic Cafe offers a darkly humorous glimpse into mid-century America, an era rife with paranoia, anxiety, and misapprehension. Whimsical and yet razor-sharp, this timeless classic illuminates the often comic paradoxes of life in the Atomic Age, while also exhibiting a genuine nostalgia for an earlier and more innocent nation.Immensely entertaining and devilishly witty, The Atomic Cafe serves up a revealing slice of American history the legendary decade when we learned to live in a nuclear world.
Three thousand years ago, a boy became king. Tutankhamun, the most famous of all the Egyptian pharaohs, died before his 20th birthday. The cause of death a mystery. Even though the crime occurred over 3,000 years ago, evidence still remains. Examine the clues and see if you can name the prime suspect.You be the detective and evaluate the clues. Find out about the victim and the prime suspects.
In the cloud forests of Peru the stone walls of a mysterious mountain top fortress rise out of the jungle. These 60 foot walls are filled with the bones of the Chachapoya, the Cloud Warriors, who lived high in the Andes from A.D. 800 to the mid 1500s. Only after an intense struggle did the powerful Incan empire gain control of the fiercely independent Chachapoya tribes. But did the Inca ever conquer the Chachapoya stronghold of Kuelap? Archaeologists at Kuelap have uncovered hundreds of elaborate burial sites throughout the settlement that reveal tantalising clues about the identity of the Chachapoya people and how and why they built such a massive fortress.
The Amish A People Of Preservation. No one can speak for the old order Amish but themselves, and they have seldom chosen to do so. They have no interest in self-promotion. There life is their testimony. This documentary describes the daily life of Amish and interviews people who have been raised Amish but are now living a more “worldly” life. Interesting and well done documentary including some surprises such as the description of Amish communities living in Florida.
BBC One comes live from the abyss. Over a unique day of broadcasts, live pictures are beamed up from the very depths of the ocean as tiny submersibles search for the weird creatures first encountered in the documentary series The Blue Planet hosted by David Attenborough. Off the Californian coast, Peter Snow and underwater cameraman Mike deGruy comment on the action as a remote operated vehicle dives live to 2,000 meters beneath them. Keen divers Kate Humble and Alastair Fothergill (Blue Planet) share their extraordinary experiences of diving in tiny submersibles.
The extraordinary life of Columbian Edward Hernandez who at the age of 24 was just 27 inches tall. Because of his tiny size, Edward was used to unwanted attention from strangers but in 2010 his life changed dramatically when he was officially declared the shortest man in the world. The media frenzy was immediate, he became a hit on the Latin American chat show circuit. How would Edward cope with overnight fame and how long could he keep hold of his title?
Allan Little looks back at the tumultuous Thatcher years and assesses the effect they had on Scotland. The programme also examines the personal, human relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Scotland. Why did she become the subject of so much bile? And what does that say about the Scots and their attitudes? With archive film and in-depth interviews with politicians, historians and those who lived through and reported on the Thatcher years.
The story of the number one is the story of Western civilization. Terry Jones goes on a humor filled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world’s simplest number. Using computer graphics, “One” is brought to life, in all his various guises, in Story of 1. One’s story reveals how celebrated civilizations in history were achieved, where our modern numbers came from and how the invention of zero changed the world forever, and saved us from having to use Roman numerals today.
The watchwords of the French Revolution were liberty, equality and fraternity. Maximilien Robespierre believed in them passionately. He was an idealist and a lover of humanity. But during the 365 days that Robespierre sat on the Committee of Public Safety, the French Republic descended into a bloodbath. “The Terror” only came to end when Robespierre himself was devoured by the repressive machinery he had created. This docudrama tells the story of the Terror and looks at how Robespierre’s revolutionary idealism quickly became an excuse for tyranny, and why a lover of liberty was so keen to use the guillotine. Simon Schama and Slavoj Zizek are among the contributors.
This film analyses 10 defining moments when the Queen’s judgement, beliefs and perhaps even her identity were tested to the limit. Not days of pageantry or stuffy celebration, but events reflecting the complex, demanding politics of monarchy. Featuring archive footage and eyewitness accounts, Ten Days That Made the Queen also includes interviews with Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Pamela Hicks, Sir Roy Strong, Douglas Hurd, Lord Stockton, Jilly Cooper and Andrew Roberts.
Legend has it that the triumphal march of television began in the United States in the 1950s but in reality its origins hark back much further. Nazi leaders, determined to beat Great Britain and the U.S. to be the world’s first television broadcaster, began Greater German Television in March 1935. German viewers enjoyed their TV broadcasts until September 1944, as Allied troops closed in. Making use of 285 reels of film discovered in the catacombs of the Berlin Federal Film Archive, Television Under the Swastika is a fascinating look at the world’s first television broadcast network. It explores both the technology behind this new medium, and the programming the Nazis chose to put on it. Interviews with high ranking Nazis as well as “ordinary” people on the street, cooking shows, sporting events, cabaret acts and teleplays are some of the stunning finds seen here-all of it propaganda, but some of it quite entertaining.
Drought, water rationing, forest fires, riots and Punk made the tropical summer of 1976 one of the most dramatic in British history. The great British summertime is when the nation shrugs off its winter blues people spill out into the sunshine and let passions run free, but in 1976 something strange happened something more than the usual British enthusiasm for fun in the sun. It was the hottest summer on record and under the glaring heat tension filled the air. While the country baked and sweltered, shriveled and dried out the crusty British establishment suddenly found itself under attack. In the space of a few long hot months British society suffered an upheavel which would transform a generation. The summer started with a bang on May 1, cup final day. Second division underdog South Hampton had fought it’s way to the final only to face one of the countries greatest teams, Manchester United. Under the hot sunshine South Hampton was in danger of trying to hard. The game remained goal less as South Hampton held on for 83 minutes, then scored and took the cup. Giant killing South Hampton had set the tones for the following months. The underdogs were on the march and Britain’s old order was about to be challenged. England was in need of change, despite the weather in the summer of 1976, the social climate was far from sunny. Unemployment and inflation was the highest since World War II, the unions were repeatedly striking and the economy was facing bankruptcy. It seemed as if everyone was skint. For young people especially the prospects was bleak in June a new army of high school graduates joined record numbers at the welfare office lines. Not even the sunniest weather in years could mask the pervading sense of despair. As those worst off looked to the scapegoats immigrants were soon being blamed for all the countries problems. Inflamatory programs on TV fueled an overtly racist climate. The heat wave showed no sign of subsiding. On June 26 the temperature in London hit an all time record of 35 degrees celsius, 95 degrees fahrenheit. But even in the heat young people still dressed to impress as ever fashion was the clearest way to make a statement about who you were and how you felt. The perfect weather suited the quintessential English sport of cricket. But in the summer of 1976 the game would experience a different kind of heat. The West Indies team was visiting england for the season the two sides would battle it out over 5 matches, each lasting up to 5 days. With a proud but alienated caribbean community living in England the rivalry was always going to be intense, but England’s team captain made things worse with his comments. The wonderful heat wave soon caused problems as drought set in. For the first time in british history water had to be rationed. The country rallied round the attempt to save water. As ever blue peter’s audience played its part. with slogans “think before you drink” and “don’t rush to flush”. The situation was critical in South Wales. causing fears the shortage of water would lead to a shortage in beer. James Hunt made his mark in Formula 1 racing, and his winning boosted England’s self esteem. 1976 was a great year for home grown black band The Real Thing, they came from one of Britain’s poorest areas their song “You to me are everything” raced up the charts to number 1. Early efforts to get the public to save water hadn’t worked. The goverment deicded to appoint Dennis Howl minister for drought. Throughout the summer punk rock was rapidly gaining momentum, they were blazing the trail for a change in music tastes, a brand new underground movement as The Damned, Buzzcocks, and The Clash punk bands debuted. After months of drought the parched landscape began to burn as forest fires raged up and down the country. At the end of August the rains finally came, extinguishing the fires and providing respite from the heat. But even 30 years later the impact of those long hot unforgettable days is still with Britains today. The summer of 76 was an awakening, it was the pivotal moment when the old gray monoculture of Britain was about to change into something different.
In March 1984, the government announced plans to close 20 coalmines, with the loss of 20,000 jobs. National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill led his workers out on strike. This documentary uses extensive archive footage and the recollections of an eclectic mix of the key players from both camps, including politicians, policemen, comedians, pop stars and, of course, miners and their wives, to recount the events of this unique and formative period in modern domestic history: the year Britain went to war.
Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious prehistoric sites known to us and for centuries its purpose has been the source of intense speculation. Now in our ground breaking special, British archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson unearths surprising evidence supporting a radical new vision of Stonehenge. His theory suggests that the stone circle was at the centre of one of the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world. Parker Pearson and his team uncover the first evidence of a 4,500 year old lost settlement with at least 300 houses, it is the largest Stone Age settlement ever found in northern Europe. At its centre lie the remains of a near replica of Stonehenge built of wood. He believes that Stonehenge was built to house the spirits of the dead while the wood circle represented the living. Further evidence suggests thousands of people gathered here at the summer and winter solstices. Through CGI, dramatic recreations and narration by Donald Sutherland, we transport you to the prehistoric world of Stonehenge and provide startling revelations about this archaeological mystery.
Lightsabers and Death Stars, pirate spaceships and bio-mechanical bad guys, the stuff of fictional galaxies far, far away, right? Well, not so fast. Many of the concepts introduced in the Star Wars saga can actually be examined scientifically, allowing us to separate the fact from fiction. Could a lightsaber actually store light to be wielded as a deadly weapon? How powerful would a creation like the Death Star have to be to destroy an entire planet? Can holographic messages really be stored and projected in a droid like R2-D2? Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, laser technology, engineering and astronomy and examines the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.
On the night of October 1, 1950, five high ranking Soviet Communist Party officials who led the city of Leningrad through its tragic wartime siege, were marched out into the cold night and executed. The death of the leaders under Stalin’s direct orders, was part of a witchhunt that started three years after the war ended and became known as the Leningrad Affair. Based on a series of bizarre allegations, Stalin executed not only the city’s senior party leaders but purged the whole city from the top down.
A successful portrait photographer pretty much has to be a serial seducer, charming each successive client into the belief that he (or she) only has eyes for them. But not all portrait photographers, one hopes, follow through quite so energetically as Antony Armstrong-Jones, cynosure of Swinging Sixties London and a byword among his friends for sexual appetite “If it moves, he’ll have it” was one of the comments recalled in Snowdon and Margaret Inside a Royal Marriage, an intriguingly candid account of the ill starred marriage between the Queen’s younger sister and the socialite photographer. Snowdon, the film made it clear, had top class credentials as a lover, charisma, looks, glamour and a sense of sexual adventure, but was hopelessly ill qualified to last the course as a husband. And, rather oddly, although it was almost entirely constructed from the memories of his friends and relatives, this film tilted the historical record back in Princess Margaret’s favour, suggesting (in contrast to most of the coverage at the time) that she was more the injured party than him.
A documentary about the real life inspirations for Sherlock Holmes. A leading professor of medicine, Dr. Joseph Bell is a pioneer in a new field, forensic science. Joseph Bell is the real life model for the greatest fictional detective in history. He inspired his student, Arthur Conan Doyle to create a legend. Includes interviews with literary historians and Holmes experts and asks the question what is it about this imaginary victorian detective seem so real.
Explores how and why the seven wonders of this incredible civilisation still retain the power to amaze the world today. From prehistoric palaces to bold symbols of victory, explore the seven ancient wonders that stir spectators to this day: the Theatre of Epidaurus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, Apollo’s Temple at Delphi, the Colossus of Rhodes, the settlement at Santorini, the Palace of Knossos and surely the greatest masterpiece of them all, the Parthenon. Learn how such impressive displays of engineering were managed in a time when technology was still in its infancy. Engineers and architectural experts detail the unique structural aspects that make each monument so “wonder-ful,” while historians describe each wonder’s powerful role in ancient Greek life.
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump. What could be next? How about a scientific search for the secrets of its incomparable beauty and astonishingly rapid construction? With unprecedented access, NOVA unravels the architectural and engineering mysteries of this celebrated ancient temple.
Can the misfortune of brain injury shed light on the workings of the normal brain, perhaps even help solve some of the eternal riddles of human nature? Understanding the human brain is one of the ultimate challenges in science. Dr. Vilanyur Ramachandran is revolutionizing our understanding of how the brain works. His efforts to solve some of the most baffling neurological mysteries take him from the hospital bed to the outer limits of brain science.
As scientists and leaders around the world brace for the next global health disaster, some experts are looking for help in the most unlikely of places the past. From London’s Great Plague of 1665 to the AIDS crisis of today, Secrets of the Great Plague follows medical detective Stephen O’Brien as he unravels the mysteries surrounding the most deadly epidemics. The horrors of the Great Plague or “Black Death” could provide lessons that help save lives in the event of an infectious disease disaster. Scientists probe the mystery of why some people survived the infection that killed millions over the centuries when it struck again and again. They have discovered a trick of nature that outsmarted the vicious killer.