Clarissa and the King’s Cookbook

Clarissa Dickson-Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbook, King Richard II’s 700 year old scroll The Forme of Cury, and compares its contents with the way we eat today, as well as re-creating some of the dishes for a group of food and medieval history experts. Documentary in which self-confessed medieval foodie Clarissa Dickson Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbook The Forme of Cury, a 700 year old scroll written during the reign of King Richard II from recipes created by the king’s master chefs and wonders if this ancient manuscript may have influenced the way people eat today. On her culinary journey through medieval history she reawakens recipes that have lain dormant for centuries and discovers dishes that are still prepared now.

Oz And Them

This documentary takes a light hearted look at the relationship between Australia and Britain. Australia everyone agrees it’s reather stunning, but Australias have always held a rather negative view of the British, people they refer to as Poms. “The stereotype of the Pom is uptight, pin striped underpants, pretentious, condescending, smug and hypocritical” Ouch! In their earthly paradise the Austrlians thrived in opposition to the British but the British were always on their minds, they are raised on British stories and characters like Biggles. The British have alwasy been drawn to the promise of vast Australia to escape the confines of class. So it’s all a bit complicated and a bit love and hate this relationship between Australia and Britain. Contributors include Clive James, Germaine Greer, Shane Warne, Kathy Lette, Thomas Keneally and former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

The NHS: A Difficult Beginning

Britain’s National Health Service celebrates its sixtieth birthday on 5 July this year. It is universally regarded as a national treasure, the most remarkable achievement of post war Britain. Yet, surprisingly, the National Health Service very nearly did not happen at all. In the months leading to its launch it was bitterly opposed, by the Tory Party, the national press and Britain’s 20,000 doctors. To get the NHS at all required the persistence and determination of one man, Nye Bevan, Labour’s minister of health. This film tells the extraordinary story of the six months leading up to its traumatic birth.

A History of Britain Episode 4 Nations

From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 4 Nations – A profile of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots. He established English rule over Wales but his attempts to conquer Scotland were thwarted by the fierce resistance led by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. As a consequence, Scotland and Wales gained a stronger sense of national identity.

Ancient Inventions City Life

Join Monty Python’s Terry Jones on a tour of the ingenuity of our ancestors. Take a humorous yet factual look at inventions we think of as unique to modern times when really they have been around for centuries and many even longer. Some of the amazing discoveries include: automatic doors, first designed over 2000 years ago, accurate pregnancy tests, a regular feature of ancient Babylon, and tanks, actually devised by the Assyrians in 8 B.C. Clearly the ancient world was every bit as inventive as our own. Episode City Life – It took Christopher Columbus over eight weeks to cross the Atlantic. Nowadays, we can do it in less than eight hours in a jumbo jet. What would Columbus or Archimedes have made of it? Well, it doesn’t mean they were less intelligent than you or me. They were probably more intelligent. And maybe all this progress that modern man seems to be making is partly an illusion. Perhaps there are even things we can learn from the science and technology of ancient times. Take the city, for example. Cities seem so much the product of modern technology and yet, in fact, they are one of the most ancient of all inventions.

Britain's Great War Episode 1 War Comes To Britain

What was it like to live in Britain during the First World War? How did it change the country, dramatically, and permanently? Those are the questions that lie behind Britain’s Great War, the four part series presented by Jeremy Paxman. There were huge changes in Britain too at the end of it, standards of health, nutrition, political representation and sexual equality had risen as the state took a far greater responsibility for its citizens than had ever before been imagined. Britain’s Great War does not play down the grief and suffering of a terrible conflict. Rather it chooses to tell a different, unfamiliar story, the story of how the First World War affected the people of Britain, and dragged the country into the modern age. Episode 1 War Comes To Britain – Traces the story of the dramatic early stages of the war, from stunned disbelief to the mass recruitment of volunteer soldiers. Britain expanded its small army of 80,000 men in France and mobilised 1,500,000 volunteers. Fear of invasion grips the country, Boy scouts guard bridges, and spies are suspected everywhere. For the first time, British civilians are fired on by enemy ships and bombed from the air. Jeremy Paxman, host of the documentary, meets a 105 year old eyewitness to the shelling of Hartlepool, who describes how she thought the Germans had landed. Total war has come to Britain.

Filthy Cities Episode 3 Industrial New York

Dan Snow gets down and dirty in the murky histories of London, Paris and New York, exploring their filthy histories from the bottom up. Imagine having to dodge the contents of emptied bedpans or step over rotting corpses on the way to work. That was a reality of city life before technology, public policy, and public values began to focus on the effects of poor sanitation. In this immersive three part series, sophisticated computer animation and in depth scholarship bring history’s struggles with urban filth vividly to life. Episode 3 Industrial New York – Dan Snow travels back to a seething Manhattan in the throes of the industrial revolution. Dan succumbs to some of the deadly disease carrying parasites that thrived in the filthy, overcrowded tenement buildings. He has a go at cooking with some cutting edge 19th century ingredients, clothes dye and floor cleaner, added to disguise reeking fetid meat. And he marvels at some of the incredible feats of engineering that transformed not just the city, but the world.

In Search of the Trojan War Episode 3 The Singer of Tales

Homer wrote his epic, The Iliad, in 700 BC 500 years after the Trojan Wars were supposed to have taken place. Did the Trojan war ever happen,or was the city destroyed by natural causes? It’s fascinated poets, painters and Hollywood directors for over 2,500 years. Join Michael Wood as he combs the cradle of civilization from Greece to Turkey and points beyond Germany, Ireland and England in search of archaeological evidence that may validate the fantastic battles immortalized in The Iliad From Schliemann’s initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer’s epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. The Singer of Tales – The role and long time fidelity of oral traditions. Homer’s reliability challenged.

Our War Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy

This series, first aired in 2011, marks a decade of fighting in Afghanistan with a unique insight into the war told through films shot by the soldiers themselves. The BBC was given unprecedented access by the Ministry of Defence to thousands of hours of footage shot on helmet cameras and personal video cameras by soldiers. With the raw honesty of first person stories of life on the front line, the series offers a gripping and poignant insight into every side of the young soldiers’ experience, the average age is 21, from fear to boredom, grief to bravery, the camaraderie of the platoon and the return home. Episode 2 The Invisible Enemy – Follows the plight of the first troops sent to Helmand Province in 2006 and shows how, three years later, Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs had changed the war. A small platoon entered the town of Sangin in 2006 equipped to stay for a few days but ended up staying months, under heavy bombardment. As they struggle to survive, a supply drop off lands behind enemy lines by mistake. Later, in 2009, Captain Alex Rawlins films his men from 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards under threat from the increasing number of IEDs in Helmand Province. They lost of one their mates, 23 year old Guardsman Jamie Janes, who stood on a landmine during a patrol. The film shows how Jamie Janes’s death became a turning point in the British public’s awareness of the human cost of IEDs and how a misspelled letter turned into a political storm for the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Terry Jones' Barbarians The Primitive Celts

Monty Python’s Terry Jones invites you on an entertaining expedition through Roman history from an entirely different perspective – that of the Barbarians. Far from the uncivilized savages they have been believed to be, many of these non-Romans were not barbaric at all. They were, in fact, highly organized and intelligent societies that had no intentions of overthrowing Rome or its Empire. The Primitive Celts – The popular view of Celtic society is that it was primitive and uncivilized. Terry Jones sets out to challenge this view. Far from being primitive compared to Rome, it was an advanced society that was in some ways even more advanced than Rome. For example, many of the roads in Gaul that were assumed to have been built by the Romans, turn out to have been built by the Celts themselves.

The Great War Episode 2 For Such A Stupid Reason Too

First broadcast in 1964, The Great War was the definitive film account of the world shattering events of World War I (1914 – 1918) a landmark history series widely regarded as a documentary masterpiece. 26 Episodes. The main narrator was Michael Redgrave. It was a co-production involving the resources of the Imperial War Museum, the BBC, CBC and ABC. The series, unparalleled at the time for its depth of research, range of source material and historical accuracy – all presented in a sequence of clear narratives – is now considered one of the finest achievements of BBC documentary. With few exceptions, successive blocks of episodes are devoted to each year of the war episodes 1 – 6 to 1914, 7 – 10 to 1915, 11 – 14 to 1916, 15 – 19 to 1917, 20 – 23 and 26 to 1918.

The Normans Episode 3 Normans Of The South

Professor Robert Bartlett embarks on an ambitious journey deep into the hearts and minds of a band of warriors who transformed medieval Europe. He draws on Anglo-Saxon chronicles, medieval manuscripts and some of the most powerful examples of Norman architecture in an epic sweep of the period of Norman supremacy. And he reveals how the Norman legacy lives on in our culture and politics to this day. Episode 3 Normans of the South – Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam coexisted in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character.

What the Stuarts Did For Us Episode 4 Newe Worldes

The series explores scientific inventions and discoveries made during the Stuart period from 1603 to 1714 and their implications even today. Episodes are grouped based on themes architecture and lifestyle, engineering and sciences, economics and politics, and discoveries with influence in science fiction. Episode 4 Newe Worldes – Inventions which allowed the Stuarts to explore new worlds. Dutch Zacharias Jantzen had made the first microscope, giving the Stuarts a window into an entirely new miniature world. The microscope revealed the existence of miniscule organisms and the diving bell equipped people to find out what lay beneath the sea, while the telescope brought the prospect of space travel and science fiction.

Extreme Dinosaurs The Science Of Giants

Amazing new discoveries in South America are revolutionising what we thought we knew about the dinosaur world. It now seems that South America was home to both the largest meat eater, so new it’s still without a name, and the largest herbivore, the enormous long necked Argentinasaurus. And what’s more, these dinosaurs lived at the same time in the same place. So it’s possible that like in a science fiction movie, in this prehistoric world these two giants of their kind fought each other in a spectacular clash of the Titans.

Seeds Of War WWI

Documentary on the causes of the First World War. Uses archive film from eight countries to try and piece together the attitudes of the leaders of the Great Powers. Also looks at whether it could happen again.

Truth of Troy

The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.

A History of Britain Episode 15 The Two Winstons

From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 15 The Two Winstons – The lives of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who created the hero Winston Smith in his novel 1984. These men had a huge personal impact on the historian and touched many of the key events of the 20th century, including the World Wars and the Depression.

Art of Spain Episode 1 The Moorish South

This series celebrates the astonishing influence of Spain on European art. Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon immerses himself in true Spanish culture and meets the people who live and work with this artistic legacy. Episode 1 The Moorish South – In an exploration of Moorish Spain, he looks at Muslim political and cultural influence as he travels from Cordoba to Granada, seeing classic buildings such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. He also shows how the Moors introduced new foods including citrus fruits, coffee and spices to Spain.

Chinese School Episode 5 Loved Ones

Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural China, it takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 5 Loved Ones – It’s a month of preparations for spring festival. It is also a popular time for weddings and several teachers from Xiuning Middle School get hitched. School radio broadcaster Zha Yujie goes to Beijing to study broadcasting. More often than not, it is the only time in the year when the family can be together. But this year the people of Anhui and southern china are faced with the worst weather in 50 years and the treasured promise of seeing their parents again begins to look less than certain.

Guilty Pleasures Luxury in the Middle Ages

Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it’s always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question “Do we love luxury or hate it or both?” He presents the view that the best way to understand today’s anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in the Middle Ages – follows the clash between luxury and Christianity which convulsed medieval Europe. Luxury was a roadblock on the road to heaven, so the church was quick to condemn the jewellery and gorgeous weapons of the early medieval world. Yet the church also had its own form of luxury, in the form of manuscripts designed to do the work of God through astonishment and display. And to some extent it worked, as by 1200 medieval boys’ toys like warhorses and tournaments were suffused with Christian ideas of chivalry and gentility. But trade growth brought new luxuries to Europe, condemned in turn by the church, like exotic spices from the East, spicy food led to spicy conduct and to the sin of lechery, said the preachers. But soon the Black Death paradoxically liberated luxury from the church by initiating a new world of relative luxury and consumerism, the luxury world we inhabit today.

Landscape Mysteries Episode 2 Figures in the Chalk

Professor Aubrey Manning embarks on a series of journeys in which he tries to solve mysteries hidden in the landscape of the British Isles. Unpicking clues in the geology, natural history, and archaeology, Aubrey reveals how the land has come to look the way it does. Episode 2 Figures In The Chalk – Aubrey travels to the Chalk Hills of England to unravel the origins of the enigmatic chalk figures such as the Long Man of Wilmington and the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. The age of these chalk figures has never been fully established and Aubrey, alongside a team of archaeologists from Reading University, come up with a remarkable new discovery.

Rocket Science Episode 2

Across the U.K., fewer and fewer youngsters want to study chemistry and physics, so with the help of physics teacher Andy Smith, Rocket Science sets out to convert a small sample by teaching them everything safe there is to know about fireworks. Kids? Fireworks? It’s a health and safety nightmare. But once Andy has grabbed their attention with a few flashes and bangs, he shows the class how much serious science is involved in the creation of the average rocket. Episode 2 – The kids finally mount their own triumphant firework display for the retiring head, and we see how practical work makes all the difference. They are involved and excited as they do kitchen chemistry, measure the speed of sound, and even take on the atomic basics of how coloured light is created. To show how firework science connects to the real world, Mr Smith organises field trips to where the chemicals that colour fireworks actually come from Nevada, Scotland and China.

Thatcher: The Downing Street Years Episode 1 Woman at War

This series examines the eleven years which Thatcher spent as Prime Minister of the UK. Using interviews with former Cabinet Ministers and Thatcher herself, this series covers important events in Margaret Thatcher’s Premiership, from 1979 to 1990. Episode 1 Woman at War – Looks at how she rejected the postwar consensus that had governed the country for more than 30 years, and came into conflict with trade unions, the old establishment and even members of her own cabinet. Yet even as the country moved into a crippling recession, the Prime Minister refused to make a U-turn in policy.

The Great War Episode 13 The Devil is Coming

First broadcast in 1964, The Great War was the definitive film account of the world shattering events of World War I (1914 – 1918) a landmark history series widely regarded as a documentary masterpiece. 26 Episodes. The main narrator was Michael Redgrave. It was a co-production involving the resources of the Imperial War Museum, the BBC, CBC and ABC. The series, unparalleled at the time for its depth of research, range of source material and historical accuracy – all presented in a sequence of clear narratives – is now considered one of the finest achievements of BBC documentary. With few exceptions, successive blocks of episodes are devoted to each year of the war episodes 1 – 6 to 1914, 7 – 10 to 1915, 11 – 14 to 1916, 15 – 19 to 1917, 20 – 23 and 26 to 1918.

Tory! Tory! Tory! Episode 3 The Exercise of Power

Tory! Tory! Tory! is a 2006 BBC television documentary series on the history of the people and ideas that formed Thatcherism told through the eyes of those on the New Right. It was nominated for the best Historical Documentary at the Grierson Awards in 2006. The series was commissioned by the newly appointed Controller of BBC Four Janice Hadlow as a companion piece to the successful series Lefties. Episode 3 The Exercise of Power – This edition describes how Margaret Thatcher and her supporters rode on her popularity after the Falklands War to roll out a series of radical policies that would transform Britain and how this ideological crusade would divide Britain and her own party, culminating with a leadership challenge and her departure from office. The Conservatives held onto power for another seven years under Sir John Major 1990-97, but made the electorate force them out on 1 May 1997, heralding the introduction of Tony Blair and New Labour that would continue the Thatcherite revolution, despite being of the center left.