Series on Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra – Cleopatra has been depicted throughout history as a temptress who ruined two generals of Rome. Yet scholars now believe that the last pharaoh of Egypt in fact possessed great political ability and knowledge. Despite a lack of physical evidence of her reign, they are able to piece together the story of her rule during the dying days of Ancient Egypt.
On April 25, 1953, the science journal Nature announced that James Watson and Francis Crick had discovered the double helix structure of DNA, the molecule that is fundamental to life. But absent from most accounts of their Nobel Prize winning work is the contribution made by a scientist, molecular biologist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, who would never know that Watson and Crick had seen a key piece of her data without her permission and that it would lead them to the double helix. Fifty years later, this documentary unravels the mystery behind the discovery of the double helix and investigates the seminal role that Rosalind Franklin and her remarkable X-ray photograph played in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science.
Bible Mysteries is a series of programs exploring great figures and events from biblical times. Historical, archaeological and anthropological evidence combined with stylish drama re-enactments, CGI graphics and expert opinion offers a comprehensive exploration into some of the Bible’s most compelling people and stories and gives fresh insights into the historical realities of the times. Episode The Real Mary Magdalene – Mary Magdalene’s story is intimately linked with Jesus. She plays a starring role in one of the most powerful and important scenes in the Gospels. When Jesus is crucified by the Romans, Mary Magdalene was there supporting him in his final terrifying moments and mourning his death. She also discovers the empty tomb, and she’s a witness to the resurrection. She was there at the beginning of a movement that was going to transform the West. But the Mary Magdalene that lives in our memories is quite different. In art, she’s often semi naked, or an isolated hermit repenting for her sins in the wilderness an outcast.
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 3 Midnight in Moscow, Twilight in London – Even as Margaret Thatcher strode onto the world stage with Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and the election campaign gathered pace, her colleagues began to feel disenchanted. As the economy worsened and problems with the poll tax began to loom, the prime minister found herself even more isolated behind the newly erected Downing Street security gates.
Starts with an old fashioned British Pathe title card and plays just like an old extended newsreel. No controversy, no real questioning of the Queen Mother’s motives or choices, but an interesting first in depth look. Labelled by Hitler as the most dangerous woman in Europe but known more affectionately as the Little Duchess then the Queen Mother she reinvigorated the Royal Family. This is the story of how the nation’s favourite grandmother carved a place in her nation’s hearts forever. A Woman of her Century is a biographical celebration of her long and distinguished life.
One of the world’s greatest authorities on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett of St Andrew’s University, investigates the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Sex – Unearths remarkable evidence of the complex passions of medieval men and women. The Church preached hatred of the flesh, promoted the cult of virginity and condemned woman as the sinful heir to Eve. Yet this was the era that gave birth to the idea of romantic, or “courtly” love.
Lucy Lawless hosts this series of five films bringing to life history’s most charismatic women warriors. Shot on location in France, Ireland, Britain, China, and New Mexico, the stories are a heady mix of historical sleuthing and provocative reconstruction brought to the screen by television’s most famous women warrior: Lucy Lawless, star of the television series Xena, Warrior Princess. Joan of Arc – Convinced by the voices of saints to step forth and serve her deposed king, Joan of Arc became an unlikely war hero. With 10,000 beaten men and very long odds against the advancing English army, she scored a miraculous string of victories. But it all went horribly wrong when she was finally captured, tried for witchcraft and heresy, and burned at the stake.
The trouble in Salem began during the cold, dark Massachusetts winter, in January of 1692. Eight young girls began to take ill, begining with 9 year old Elizabeth Parris. The girls suffered from delirium, violent convulsions, incomprehensible speech, trance like states, and odd skin sensations. The worried villagers searched desperately for an explanation. Their conclusion, the girls were under a spell, bewitched, and, worse yet, by members of their own pious community. And then the finger pointing began. In the centuries since, scholars and historians have struggled as well to explain the madness that overtook Salem. Was it sexual repression, dietary deficiency, mass hysteria? Or, could a simple fungus have been to blame? This episode is titled Bewitched or Witches Curse.
Elizabeth R shows royal family gatherings, her state visit to the US, a pony ride with her grandchildren at Balmoral Castle and the preparations for a banquet at Windsor Castle among the others. It also displays meetings of the Queen with a number of significant political figures, including Francesco Cossiga, Edward Heath, Ronald Reagan and Lech Walesa. The Queen is also depicted with her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on Derby Day at Epsom in the film. The film was produced by BBC to mark the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession. The program was narrated by Ian Holm, with some narration provided by recordings from director, Edward Mirzoeff’s conversation with the Queen. It’s the closest thing to an interview the Queen as ever given.
Catherine the Great is a colorful, true story about a young girl, who transforms herself from an obscure German Princess into Russia’s most powerful regent. As Tsarina, she is influenced by Western Democratic ideas and does much to strengthen Russia’s standing in Europe. She has an astute intellect and is able to survive court intrigue to retain her crown. Filmed in UK, Russia & Romania this glossy drama-doc tells how a young German princess used her intelligence and daring to become one of the most influential rulers of the 18th century.
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 4 Wielding the Knife – As the Conservative Party began to turn against her leadership, the Prime Minister showed no willingness to stand down. Although there was no clear successor, colleagues were beginning to view Thatcher as an electoral liability. She speaks of what she regarded as their disloyalty. “What hurts most of all is that this was treachery,” she says of her enforced resignation, “treachery with a smile on its face.” Naturally this charge is denied by her former colleagues.
Tensions and conflict arose between the Queen Mother and Prince Philip behind the scenes leading up to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. The Queen’s Coronation Behind Palace Doors includes dramatic re-enactments and interviews with leading royal biographers Hugo Vickers, Sarah Bradford, Tim Heald, Piers Brendon and Gyles Brandreth, Maids of Honour Lady Anne Glenconnerand and photographers’ assistants Michael Dunne and John Drysdale, and former House of Hartnell employee Michael Talboys. King George VI died prematurely on 6 February 1952, aged 56, thrusting his twenty five year old daughter Elizabeth onto the throne. The Queen Mother was forced to stand aside Elizabeth was caught in the middle. Prince Philip wanted to showcase a thoroughly modern monarchy whilst the traditionalists, including the Queen Mother, saw no reason for change.
Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the ages, describing the political intrigue, lust, battles and bloodshed that make up the histories of a millennium of monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. At the scenes of the decisive moments in British history, accompanied by dramatic reconstructions, he pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped our lives. Episode 11 Victoria, 1837 – 1901 – Victoria, one of Britain’s best known monarchs, whose long reign encompassed a period of huge industrial and social change which ultimately saw the country transformed into a dominant world power. The queen, however, is most often remembered for her four decades of mourning following the death of her consort Prince Albert in 1861.
Wayward women tells the tale of some of history’s most fascinating females and combines strong story telling from celebrities and academics with the unique atmosphere and ambience of a burlesque venue. This series focuses on women from Yorkshire and the North East of England. It is a great short introduction to women you may not have heard of before. It is not an in depth program, but it is intended to spark your interest so that you will explore more on your own. Historians and psychologists add fact to the rumours. Each story is accompanied by artistic re-enactments, archive stills and burlesque artists.Commentors include Germaine Greer, Carol McGiffin, Scott Henshall, Michelle Heaton, Jayne Middlemiss and Simon Donald. Episode 1 Wicked and Wild features Lady Seymour Worsley (Peephole Princess), Sophie Dawes (First Lady of Lust), Lady Sybilla Metham (York’s Robber Barroness), Jane Jameson (Red Hot Killer) and Wallis Simpson (Queen of the Goldiggers).
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 2 The Brooklyn Bridge – John Roebling from Germany, won the contract to build the largest bridge in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It was to stretch 1,600 feet, in one giant leap, across the wide and turbulent East River that separates New York from Brooklyn. At the time such a bold design seemed almost miraculous, and all to be built out of a new material, steel.
The Queen of Sheba is one of the most alluring names in history, synonymous with the exotic and erotic, but until now her real story has remained elusive. Who was she? Did she have a child by King Solomon of Israel? And how did her nation grow so powerful, only to vanish beneath the sands of time? Produced to accompany a major British Museum exhibition, the film gained exclusive access to the excavation of the Queen of Sheba’s temple in the arid heartland of Yemen, to unveil the enigmatic riddle of this mysterious queen.
Decisive Battles of the Ancient World presents the 13 defining points of ancient warfare moments that altered the course of history and shaped the modern world. It is a comprehensive account of the famed leaders that commanded victory and the brilliant military tactics that swayed destiny. The show used the game engine from Rome: Total War to present 3-D versions of the battles. Boudicca Warrior Queen 60 A.D. Boudicca’s Revolt – In the farthest flung province of the Roman Empire Britain a warrior queen named Boudicca rose in revolt.
The Cleopatras was a 1983 BBC Television eight part historical drama serial. Written by Philip Mackie. Set in in ancient Egypt during the latter part of the Ptolemaic Dynasty of with an emphasis on the Cleopatras. Intended to be the I, Claudius of the 1980s, The Cleopatras met with a decidedly mixed critical reaction. It was regarded and portrayed as a gaudy farce. The series was generally poorly received despite the impressive cast. The series also managed to produce a number of complaints due to the instances of nudity in the series.
A great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Prince Philip’s mother married into the Greek royal family, only to see the Greek monarchy overthrown by revolution. Fleeing into exile, she suffered a severe nervous breakdown. She was locked away in mental hospitals and subjected to experimental treatments by psychiatrists, including Sigmund Freud himself but eventually fought her way back from mental illness, and became an unlikely hero of World War Two.
Historian Michael Wood delves through medieval court records to follow the fortunes of a village in Hertfordshire and, more particularly, the family of peasant Christina Cok. The 14th century was a perilous time in British history, shot through with famine, plague and war. It was a time of climate change, virulent cattle diseases and, above all, the Black Death. But it was also the time when modern mentalities were shaped, not just by the rulers but increasingly by the common people.
Wayward women tells the tale of some of history’s most fascinating females and combines strong story telling from celebrities and academics with the unique atmosphere and ambience of a burlesque venue. This series focuses on women from Yorkshire and the North East of England. It is a great short introduction to women you may not have heard of before. It is not an in depth program, but it is intended to spark your interest so that you will explore more on your own. Historians and psychologists add fact to the rumours. Each story is accompanied by artistic re-enactments, archive stills and burlesque artists. Episode 1 Wicked and Wild features Lady Seymour Worsley (Peephole Princess), Sophie Dawes (First Lady of Lust), Lady Sybilla Metham (York’s Robber Barroness), Jane Jameson (Red Hot Killer) and Wallis Simpson (Queen of the Goldiggers).
This five part series reveals how the Second World War provided a backdrop to a time of intense social change in Britain. As the country fought a long and bloody war, a sexual revolution was in its throes. Through heart rending revelations and intimate personal testimonies, Sex, Love And War reveals the full story of the sexual adventures of the nation during World War II. The danger of death inspired a “live for today” attitude. As a result taboos came crashing down.
Princess Margaret has had a low royal profile for nearly 20 years. At 66 her life provides few headlines. But recently she stepped back into the spotlight with a stining rebuke to the Duchess of York. In a letter she told her Not once have you hung your head in embarassment. Clearly you have never considered the damage you have caused us all. How dare you discredit us like this? But Margaret had herself already tarnished the royal image. When she returned from Mustique in 1976 she was in disgrace because she had been exposed by the press with a lover 17 years her junior. It was she who was the first member of the house of windsor to divorce. She who was the first to be publicly criticized. Margaret has at times wanted to be the most royal of the royals at others a rebel. Her life has been spent trying to resolve these contradictions.
Channel 4 Written and presented by Dr David Starkey, this is the compelling story of two of England’s most striking monarchs a brother and sister, tied by blood and affection, and torn apart by religion, power, and some of the bloodiest episodes in English history. Mary found herself cast into the shadows, ignored by her father and declared illegitimate by Act of Parliament after the birth of Edward. Nonetheless she became very attached to the motherless boy, and he to her, declaring her his dearest sister. When Edward was just nine, their father died and the young boy became King, surrounded by advisors and further distanced from his beloved elder sister. But by now they were divided not just by power and status, but also by faith Edward was dead at the tragically early age of 16 and Mary became Queen. She set about making England a Catholic country once more and hundreds of Protestants, including Edward’s most trusted advisors, were burnt at the stake because they refused to renounce their faith.
It was a time of great bitterness and hatred in Britain, a war that set father against son and brother against brother. The breakdown in relations between a Parliament with a strong purpose and a King who believed in his divine right to rule, set the scene for a series of brutal battles that were truly a struggle for the soul of a nation. The outcome of the English Civil War shaped the course of the nation’s history, and laid the foundations of the country as it is today. Episode Blood on Our Hands – England suffered, proportionately, greater losses than in the First World War. A newly free media stoked the fires of suspicion and religious hatred to push the nation, step by step, towards carnage. Blood on Our Hands explores the real reasons behind the English Civil War and brings to life through the personal testimony of everyday people the story of how the nation turned on itself. Brilliana, Lady Harley, under siege in her Herefordshire home, smuggles coded appeals for help to her teenage son in the army. Former journeyman tanner Sgt Wharton gets a taste for leadership only to die during his first battle. And humble wood turner, Nehemiah Wallington, one of a new breed of news junkies, watches the terrible human tragedy unfold.