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 lifestyleengineering 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.
This documentary looks at the fact that perhaps one in every hundred people experiences a blending of the senses. Imagine if every time you saw someone called Derek you got a strong taste of earwax in your mouth. It happens to James Wannertonwho runs a pub. Derek is one of his regulars. Another regular’s name gives him the taste of wet nappies. For some puzzling reason, James’s sense of sound and taste are intermingled. He has a mysterious condition called synaesthesia, in which this senses have become linked. For decades synaesthesia baffled the scientific community and noone could quite believe it was real. Some put it down to an overactive imagination others thought it was caused by associations from childhood that had survived into later life. In the end noone could find out what was causing it, so synaesthesia was placed in the same scientific category as seances and spoon bending. But Professor Ramachandran thought it should be taken more seriously.
A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great men People’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. Episode 5 On the Line 1924 – Henry Ford uses Taylorism, division of labour and the assembly line to manufacture automobiles, and other industries in the United States, as well as Britain, France, Italy, Soviet Union and elsewhere follow his example. The productivity dividends that are gained allow American workers to enjoy high pay and affordable consumer goods as compensation. However workers become increasingly frustrated from the physically demanding and alienating aspects of the assembly line (depicted in Modern Times, Brave New World and A nous la liberte). The Great Depression weakens worker bargaining power, but after a series of strikes in the 1930s and 1940s trade unions emerge victorious, and instruments like the Matignon Agreements in France are established to buttress workers’ rights.
Series following the high adrenaline adventures of a team of divers as they explore and film the depths of the world’s greatest river system with cameraman Michael deGruy. You’d think TV crews would be hard pressed to find any corner of the planet that hasn’t been filmedbut it turns out that in the Amazon rainforest there’s a habitat where no cameras have ventured: the river itself. Episode 1 – The bottom of the Amazon River is home to many of the strangest and fiercest creatures in the world. It was the first time an expedition had ever attempted anything so ambitious and they discovered an alien world, full of beautiful and bizarre creatures. The darkness also hides many dangers, anaconda, piranha, giant catfish, stingray and caiman.
The ultimate success or failure of many of the battles of World War II boiled down to men and machines locked in a fight to the death. Special regimentssquadrons and naval services, together with clandestine forces and formations, gave the vast, overall fighting forces of World War II an extra edge in the most pivotal battles. Gladiators of World War II examines the establishment and background of the greatest fighting forces of the Second World War. Each program examines a different unit, dissecting its command structure, military objectives, battle formations and its success or failure in applying its tactics and strategy to each of the major theatres in which it fought. Episode Norwegian Resistance Fighters – Norway was strategically important to Hitler and endured five years of Nazi occupation, but it developed one of the most effective resistance movements in the whole of Occupied Europe. Its activities helped the British to contain and then destroy Germany’s mightiest warships, as well as to ensure that the Allies won the race to develop the atomic bomb.
One of the world’s greatest authorities on the Middle AgesProfessor Robert Bartlett of St Andrew’s University, investigates the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Knowledge – explores the way medieval man understood the world as a place of mystery, even enchantment. The world was a book written by God. But as the Middle Ages grew to a close, it became a place to be mastered, even exploited.
A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great menPeople’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. The opening credits depict various images from the century and a very short introduction. Episode 9 Lost Peace 1919 – The trauma of the First World War gives Europe no appetite for any further conflicts, but within subsequent two decades the world would return to rearmament and militarism. The Paris Peace Conference introduced the concept of self determination, leading to the establishment of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia from the former Central Powers. The League of Nations is established to assist in resolving international disputes in an open environment, but fails to receive strong support and is eventually proven impotent in preventing Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia. Despite a public push for disarmament, prompted by All Quiet on the Western Front and other reminders of the First World War, few countries make any serious moves. French and British demands for heavy war reparations, lead to Germany’s economic ruin, but this and other unforeseen consequences of the Treaty of Versailles would result in the emergence of Adolf Hitler. As Germany begins to absorb its neighbours, the rest of Europe mobilises, and the moral utility of pacifism is questioned. The introductory scene shows Armistice Day. Interviewees include Lord Soper.
Space is presented by Sam Neill and takes the viewer on journeys across the universe. Unlike Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmosthis series is astronomy for the Age of Anxiety, revealing with terrifying clarity and in graphic detail how fortunate humanity is to exist at all, and how it could all end at any moment as a result of space-bound monsters like rogue comets and asteroids or wandering black holes. Finally, the series finds cause for faint optimism with Star Trek-style speculations on the development of Ion-drive, terraforming new worlds and wormhole technology that might, just might, allow humanity to escape from a doomed Earth and seek refuge somewhere else in the galaxy. The series sheds light on both the secrets of the universe and, implicitly, the anxious state of western new millennial society. Episode 1 Star Stuff – covers the origins of life and how everything is produced by the process in which stars burn their fuel.
A three part drama documentary series about Ludwig van Beethoven presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood. It takes eyewitness accounts of the composer’s tragic life and weaves them into analysis of his groundbreaking music. The Rebel – This first programme looks at Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and 2nd Symphonyand charts his turbulent early years as a pianist and composer in Vienna, after having rejected his abusive alcoholic father.
The world’s largest democracy and a rising economic giantIndia is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world’s most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory. In this landmark six part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood will embark on a dazzling and exciting journey through today’s India, seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for clues to her future. Episode 3 Spice Routes and Silk Roads – after the West’s discovery and subsequent exploitation of the Monsoon windstrading of spices and gold with the ancient Romans and Greeks put the subcontinent at the heart of global commerce. The trading of pepper, rice and silk put the West coast of India, and particularly modern day Kerala, on the map of global business. This episode also looks at how the invading Kushan empire from central Asia, particularly the emperor Kanishka, established major trading cities in Peshawar and Mathura, as well as helping to take Buddhism to China.
Wildest Africa is a celebration of the continent’s most spectacular locationspeople and wildlife. It showcases the land’s epic natural spectacles and staggering beauty that are truly wild at heart. Go on safari to see the continent’s Big Five lion, elephant, leopard, black rhino, white rhino and Cape buffalo. Wildest Africa discovers their secret locations, their cultural and wildlife issues, as well as how the natural wonders they live in are being threatened. Episode 1 Okavango Water in the Desert – The Okavango Delta, a huge emerald oasis in the burning heart of the Kalahari desert, is fed by the Okavango River and this perpetual cycle of wet and dry is the lifeblood of this extraordinary natural Eden.
Insight into the Battle of Alesiathe climax of Julius Caesar’s eight-year campaign to conquer Gaul and subdue its hostile natives. In one of the greatest sieges of ancient times he managed to rout the army of Vercingetorix, who had succeeded in uniting the Celtic tribes against the Roman invaders, and secured a victory which would shape the future of the Western world. Julius Caesar’s Greatest Battle is told through the eyes of Mark Corby a Roman historian with a professional admiration for Caesar and Neil Faulkner an archaeologist for whom Rome’s great achievement was no more than robbery with violence. Mark takes on the role of Caesar and Neil that of Vercingetorix in this gripping documentary.
Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts. With its university founded around the same time as OxfordTimbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as to Europeans. Viewers meet local scholars, as well as experts from across Africa and the Western world, who elucidate just how valuable these fragile treasures are to our knowledge of Africa, Islam, and the growth of literacy outside the Western tradition.