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.
Exclusive rough cut of first in depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it! Reporters Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist, of Swedish televitions, SVT, have traveled to key countries where WikiLeaks operates, interviewing top members, such as Assange, new Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, as well as people like Daniel Domscheit-Berg who now is starting his own version, Openleaks.org, and other top members of the whistleblowing organization, some of who have since left the embattled internet site. The documentary chronicles the history of WikiLeaks, starting with its early leaks of Scientology documents and ending with its release of American diplomatic cables in 2010. Where is the secretive organization heading? Stronger than ever, or broken by the US? Who is Assange, champion of freedom, spy or rapist? What are his objectives? What are the consequences for the Internet?
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 10 Britannia Incorporated – Look at the 18th century. Renowned for being a period of economic growth which laid the foundations for the modern parliamentary state, it was also a time of uncertainty as the Jacobite claim to the throne threatened to undermine the progress of new forces in British society.
This series explores famous battles. Each program takes an important battle telling its story and posing a puzzling central question about the battle that recent scientific research is helping to illuminate a contemporary journey of discovery and a compelling story from the past. Battlefield Detectives redefines the military documentary by utilizing every possible technique demonstrations, reenactments, advanced forensic and historical analysis, and more to clarify battles from the legendary to the obscure. Episode 7 Agincourt’s Dark Secrets – Medieval warfare specialists investigate how terrain affected the way the 15th century Battle of Agincourt was waged, what the rare battlefield artifacts tell us, and just what happens when an English bodkin point meets French armor.
Hitler The Rise of Evil is a Canadian TV miniseries. It explores Adolf Hitler’s rise and his early consolidation of power during the years after World War I and focuses on how the embittered, politically fragmented and economically buffeted state of German society following the war made that ascent possible. The film also focuses on Ernst Hanfstaengl’s influence on Hitler’s rise to power. The film’s subplot follows the struggles of Fritz Gerlich, a German journalist who opposes the rising National Socialist German Workers Party. He is portrayed as to fulfill the essence of the quotation displayed at the beginning and at the end of the film The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
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 monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. He pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped British lives. Episode 5 Richard the Third, 1483 – 1485 – Nigel Spivey assesses the reputation of Richard III the 15th century prince of the House of York depicted in Shakespeare’s highly colored propaganda play as the crook backed villain who murdered the Princes in the Tower and seized the throne. His death at Bosworth Field brought public rejoicing, but he may not deserve the bad press he has always received, in view of the fact that he helped erase the excesses of his indolent brother Edward IV’s reign and acted decisively when his bickering family brought the country to the brink of a constitutional crisis.
This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial duties, we get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 1 – This episode sees Francis hear the Pope’s new year address to the diplomatic corps, and he also deals with news of a hastily arranged visit by the prime minister to the Vatican.
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.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Sherman’s March To The Sea – See how Sherman’s destruction of the South laid the foundation for a new generation of warfare. On November 15, 1864, Union General Sherman left Atlanta with 62,000 men and headed toward the Georgia coast. Traveling the rail lines to Savannah, his army laid waste to the countryside, burning crops, confiscating supplies, destroying buildings, and ripping up rail tracks.
From a small Italian community in 15th century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. Episode 3 The Medici Popes – Florence, 1501 26 year old Michelangelo carves a giant masterpiece which will come to symbolize his struggle against a family he once adored. Raised from a young age alongside the Medici heirs he watched as they were cast into exile with a price on their heads. Now they are searching for a path back to power.
A three part series from the Discovery civilization channel, all about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.
For the better part of a millennium, Windsor Castle has been at the heart of British history the awesome fortress, family home, treasure trove and burial ground for the Royal dynasty who went on to take its name. But there is another side to the Castle that tourists never see. It is the real Windsor, a beloved home not only to the Royal family but to more than 400 people who live and work there year round. Windsor Castle A Royal Year provides a fascinating, insider’s look at this grand landmark, where crown and community live and work side by side. Episode 1 The Banquet – After six months of planning and preparation, France’s President and Madame Chirac arrive to mark the centenary of Entente Cordiale. In addition to an official state dinner, guests will be treated to an abridged version of Les Miserables, to be performed in the Waterloo Chamber. But, as protesters gather outside the Castle and producer Sir Cameron Macintosh copes with last minute delays, unexpected glitches could upset all of the hard work and planning.
Documentary looking at the relationship between Hitler and Himmler, and how the latter made secret approaches to the Allies as the Second World War in Europe drew to a close, a betrayal of the Nazi principle of absolute loyalty and obedience to the Fuehrer. Also looks at his failed attempts to use Jewish hostages to barter for money or equipment with the Allies, and at instances where other SS generals contradicted or refused to follow unnecessary suicidal military orders from Hitler. By the spring of 1945, Himmler had lost faith in German victory. He came to the realization that if the Nazi regime was to have any chance of survival, it would need to seek peace with Britain and the United States.
Science has advanced more in the last few decades than all of previous human history but that pales in comparison to what lies ahead. Light is leading the next revolution. This documentary is an entertaining taste of light and its many disguises. In the first part, Beings of Light, discover that darkness is one half of the equation to good health. The eye has two senses, one for navigating the world but another for regulating biology. And that’s changing everything from architecture to law. In the second part, Energies of Light, from ancient times to the present, nothing has so captivated or so perplexed as elusive light. Energies of Light offers a glint of light’s potential and interviews the extraordinary visionaries who are taming light’s power.
Dr Saul David investigates the violent world of the medieval melee tournament. Forget the images of chivalric knights, well-dressed damsels and dropped handkerchiefs associated with the joust. The melee tournament was a brutal free-for-all with sharpened weapons, few rules and one undisputed champion, William Marshal. His story reveals a very different kind of tournament, one in which brute force ruled, handkerchiefs stayed in pockets and where money was more important than manners.
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, first hand accounts and theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? Episode 11 Aliens and the Founding Fathers – What is the meaning behind secret messages found throughout Washington, D.C.? Did America’s Founding Fathers know something about ancient aliens that the general public did not? And if so, could this knowledge have been incorporated into the symbols, architecture, and even the founding documents of the United States of America?
Presented by Marc Morris an exciting, eye opening tour around Britain exploring the age of the medieval castle. Covering a period of six hundred years of British history, Marc charts the evolution of the medieval castle, from the primitive earth and timber “motte and bailey” castles to the formidable stone structures which still dominate the land today. Episode 2 – Medieval historian Marc Morris travels to Kent to tell the story of King John’s besieging of Rochester Castle in 1215, revealing how the stronghold’s fate was eventually decided with the help of 40 pigs.
In 1564, the year that gave England Shakespeare, Galileo was born in Piza, in Italy the cradle of the Renaissance. But Galileo was pre-destined for trouble. His father was as argumentative as Galileo was to become. The open minded and broad education that the young Galileo was given in music, literature, art, and science guaranteed that he could never hold his tongue and suffer in silence. Most of his childhood went unrecorded but as a young boy his fascination with mechanics showed that his was an enquiring unfettered mind. It was this attitude that was to lead later to triumph and catastrophe.
Hitler’s Henchmen and Hitler’s Warriors paints portraits of the men who consolidated Hitler’s reign and turned his plans into action. They wove the complicities and plots without which Hitler could have never perpetrated the crime of the century. They helped to sway the judges and the bureaucrats, the armed forces and the police, the scientists and the industrialists, the students and their teachers to the regime’s ways of thinking. What kind of people were they? What inspired them to serve a corrupt administration with such enthusiasm and devotion? How did their careers unfold and their fates end? These documentaries by Guiddo Knopp and ZDF looks at the high ranking officers who aided the dictator in his war of aggression and managers who turned his plans into reality.
Martin Luther is the epic tale of the great Protestant revolutionary whose belief in his faith would overthrow the all powerful Catholic Church and reshape Medieval Europe. Join Luther as he recalls his life, from his initial crisis of faith in a storm wracked forest that led him to become a monk, to his heady confrontation with the great powers of Europe It is the story of the birth of the modern age, of the collapse of medieval feudalism, and the first shaping of ideals of freedom and liberty that lie at the heart of the 21st century. But this is also an intensely human tale, a story that hurtles from the depths of despair to the heights of triumph and back again. This is the story of a man who ultimately found himself a lightning conductor of history, crackling with forces he could not quite comprehend or control. Driven to Defiance – Few if any men have changed the course of history like Martin Luther. In less than ten years, this fevered German monk plunged a knife into the heart of an empire that had ruled for a thousand years, and set in motion a train of revolution, war and conflict that would reshape Western civilization, and lift it out of the Dark Ages.
For 27 years Mao Tse Tung held absolute power. This is the first full account of his life ever shown on television. This documentary shows the torment, beatings and killings of Mao’s cultural revolution and the terror and famine that preceded it and killed tens of millions. For the first time Mao’s intimates speak out including, his granddaughter, his doctor, his valet, his english teacher, his bodyguard and commrades of his early days in the communist party. Together they provide the keys, not only to China’s past, but to an understanding of China today. Hosted by Philip Short, BBC correspondent and author of Mao: A Life. The first half of the documentary covers the course of the Chinese revolution up to the Cultural Revolution. The second half covers the Cultural Revolution to Mao’s death.
Jones narration is not without an occasional sardonic air, almost of the roll your eyes type, which not only lends a skeptical perspective to a frequently misunderstood era in Western Europe, but also quite frequently editorializes the events that occurred between Pope Urban II’s call for liberation of Jerusalem from the infidels of Islam and the embarrassing moment when officers of the fourth Crusade are conned out of its divine calling by the Venetians. Episode 3 Jihad – Terry Jones describes how the crusaders lost Jerusalem in 1144 to Zengi, the Arab leader. A second crusade fell foul of Zengi’s son, Nur el-Din, who planned to surround the crusaders by gaining control of Egypt. For this he employed a Kurdish general Shirkuh and his nephew Saladin. After Nur el-Din’s mysterious death, Saladin succeeded him in Damascus, a daunting figure who was wholly committed to the jihad, or holy war.
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 Symphony, and charts his turbulent early years as a pianist and composer in Vienna, after having rejected his abusive alcoholic father.
This series of programs consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torture, kill, maim and eradicate millions of people. Attila The Hun – Attila was Khan of the Huns. He is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity. He passed unhindered through Austria and Germany, across the Rhine into Gaul, plundering and devastating all in his path with a ferocity unparalleled in the records of barbarian invasions and compelling those he overcame to augment his mighty army.