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.
In the crucible of World War II, Germany’s most brilliant scientists must race to create an arsenal of terrifying new weapons of mass destruction, even an atomic bomb. Before the war is over, Germany will produce a series of technological firsts that remain the basis for many modern day air and spacecraft, from a stealth-like trans-Atlantic bomber, to the world’s first cruise missile. Now, seventy years later, secret Nazi files reveal the classified blueprints for these, and many other, devastating “Wonder Weapons”. This documentary reveals the circumstances scientists faced under Hitler’s National Socialist party, and tracks amazing technological innovations from the beginning of the Third Reich through the modern postwar period. It highlights major scientific disciplines and designs, and the inventions of Wernher von Braun, Alexander Lippisch, Irene Bredt, Viktor Schauberger and Werner Heisenberg, among others.
Cambridge historian Dr Richard Miles traces one of history’s darkest and most compelling stories, the superpower rivalry between Carthage and Rome that radically transformed the ancient world. For the victor, the prize was unchallenged imperial domination, for the loser, it was obliteration. Richard Miles, reveals the truth about the Carthaginians, the remarkable and forgotten people. In 146 BC Roman General Scipio Destroyed the city of Carthage so painstakingly and utterly that not a single building was left standing. A new archaeological dig by Dr. Richard Miles of Cambridge University, penetrates the burned layer of the Roman holocaust and uncovers fresh evidence.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th century violence. Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed, in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East. Episode 2 The Plan – How the US became the envy of the world in the aftermath of World War One, a state of affairs that was shattered by the Wall Street crash. He also considers the effect of the Great Depression on people’s attitudes to capitalism and democracy, and how it led to the rise of totalitarian states.
The magnificent ancient city of pyramids at Caral in Peru hit the headlines in 2001. The site is a thousand years older than the earliest known civilization in the Americas and, at 2,627 B.C., is as old as the pyramids of Egypt. Many now believe it is the fabled missing link of archaeology – a “mother city”. If so, then these extraordinary findings could finally answer one of the great questions of archaeology why did humans become civilised?
On April 2nd 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic, 8,000 miles from the UK. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decided to send a naval taskforce to liberate the islands. In this programme, senior officers who served in the campaign, among them Major-General Julian Thompson, reveal how appalling weather, overstretched British air defences, poor communications and even incompetence sometimes stacked the odds heavily against the British. Veterans of some of the bloodiest battles talk us through the fighting. Their personal accounts reveal how professionalism and sheer courage overcame these problems. By explaining the hair raising realities of individual battles, this programme sheds new light on a decisive and historic British victory.
Horizon puts Graham Hancock’s controversial theories about the past to the test, dissecting his evidence for a lost civilization. Although scientists believe they have categorically disproved the myth of Atlantis, the idea is more popular now than ever before. Graham Hancock offers various pieces of evidence to support his theory. He claims that the mysterious lost civilization left its mark in ancient monuments, which he calculates were built to mirror certain constellations of stars. Horizon journeys across the world to examine Hancock’s evidence for a lost civilization and puts his theory to the test. In a film full of contentious debate and powerful arguments, Graham Hancock’s claims are pitted against cutting edge scientific analysis to discover whether his popular theory could be true.
Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Peasant – The stereotype of the medieval peasant is a toothless, filthy, ignorant wretch, a slave to his feudal lord and master. Terry Jones discovers a very different reality. They had more holidays than us, very often their houses were bigger, they frequently ate better and arguably had more influence in the corridors of power. The average peasant was, in fact, pretty intelligent.
Documentary which examines the history of the Third Reich through the jokes told by and about the Nazis and the fate that befell some of the joke tellers. At first this was tolerated and even encouraged – but as the war drew on jokes became a channel for subversive information and dissent, and by the end laughter out of turn was cracked down upon severely. Satire and jokes at Hitler’s expense were encouraged to some degree as he came into power but gradually anything deemed “subversive” was squeezed out and telling such jokes gradually became more and more dangerous. As the war started to turn back against German cities and civilians, where understandably there was a certain amount of gallows humour. Cabaret artiste, Werner Finck, was imprisoned in a concentration camp, but then released, while actor Fritz Muliar’s anti-Hitler jokes landed him in a penal battalion in Russia. Throughout the film the jokes are recreated by two German comedians. A bizarre but compelling examination of humour in the Third Reich. Director/Narrator: Rudolph Herzog (Son of Werner Herzog, documentary film maker). Also known as: Satirizontas to Hitler.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. The Fall of the Aztecs – Hernan Cortes left Cuba in 1519 seeking riches in the island to the west. Instead he discovered, and ultimately destroyed, a hitherto unknown civilization. Spanish eyewitness accounts that describe the conquistadors’ awe at the Aztec achievements and the lust for native treasure. Learn the Aztec side through pictographs that tell of the agonizing fall of the empire.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th century violence. Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed, in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East. Episode 3 Killing Space – How the rise of the Axis powers led to a fundamental redrawing of the world map. He pinpoints 1942 as a pivotal year, and considers how the 20th century might have unfolded had World War Two ended differently, with totalitarian regimes dividing the globe between them.
Simon Armitage presents the extraordinary story of the most disturbing witch trial in British history and the key role played in it by one nine year old girl. Jennet Device, a beggar girl from Pendle in Lancashire, was the star witness in the trial in 1612 of her own mother, her brother, her sister and many of her neighbours and, thanks to her chilling testimony, they were all hanged. Armitage explores the lethal power and influence of one child’s words – a story of fear, magic and demonic pacts retold partly with vivid and innovative hand drawn animation.
When Adolf Hitler bought Eva Braun a movie camera, to film the people and parties which occurred at their expansive and heavily guarded Bavarian retreat, the technology to include synchronized sound had not yet been developed. So when soldiers discovered Hitler’s private home movies, in the Berlin bunker where the Nazi leader took his own life, the tantalizing clips they unearthed, featuring leading members of the SS in a more relaxed mode, remained silent for over 60 years. Now, leading edge lip reading software has enabled German experts to re-voice these films and provide us with a chilling insight into Hitlers private world.
When an Allied photo reconnaissance plane flew over southern Poland in the summer of 1944, it took horrifying images of the Nazi’s most evil extermination camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers and the crematoria in which 12,000 people were being murdered daily are clearly visible. But the photos were not analyzed at the time, simply filed away. Using these photos as a unique starting point, we take a new look at the Holocaust and ask what the Allies knew about the extermination camp and when they found out.
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 1 Wounded Knee Legacy & The Ancestors – Explore three early North American cultures. Tour the 800 room Pueblo Bonito in the arid southwest, view the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, and visit Cahokia, the largest city in the U.S. before 1800.
Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Monk – A life of prayer in peaceful service to God? Not for many medieval monks, who devoted their lives to making lots and lots of money. Religion was big business in those days and the merchandising opportunities endless when you had a constant stream of devoted, unquestioning worshippers.
This revealing film uses newly discovered letters written by Prince Eddy himself to explore whether his early death saved Britain from a monster, or cheated the nation of a good king. For the first time, Eddy’s own words serve in his defence in a fresh investigation of the remarkable kind Britain never had.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. All World is Human – Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked off the coast of Texas in 1528 and lived with Indians for eight years. Upon his return to Spain, he wrote a book based on his experiences. His tale is one of empathy and respect for the Indians.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th century violence. Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed, in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East Episode 4 A Tainted Triumph – The last years of World War Two, considering the terrible ethical compromises the Allied nations were forced to make to defeat their German and Japanese enemies, and the long term consequences for the victors.
Over three thousand years ago, legend has it that Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt’s first female pharaoh, sent a fleet of ships to the wonderful, distant land of Punt. A bas-relief in the temple where she is entombed in Luxor shows them bringing back extraordinary treasures. But did this expedition really happen? And if it did, where exactly is the land of Punt?
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.
This documentary argued that all British monarchs since Henry VII of England did not have a valid claim to the English throne. The programme based its thesis on the centuries old claim that Edward IV was illegitimate, born to Cecily Neville by an English archer while her husband, Richard, Duke of York was elsewhere in France fighting. The legitimacy of Edward IV was the subject of speculation at the time, and a document in Rouen Cathedral is presented by Dr. Michael Jones as indicating that Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville were a hundred miles apart during the five week period when Edward’s conception must have occurred. This theorised illegitimacy of Edward would bar a rightful claim for himself and his descendants.
Throughout the ages, civilizations have risen up and then disappeared. Traditionally, the disappearance of certain ancient civilizations has been left to the theologians and historians to explain. Now scientists have entered the fray. In this series geologists, archaeologists and climatologists explain their findings. Ancient Apocalypse seeks to explain how human achievements were destroyed by the forces of nature. Episode Death on the Nile – Professor Fekri Hassan attempts to determine why the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the civilization of the great pyramids, collapsed around 2200 B.C.. Can science show that terrible forces of nature were to blame?
Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Damsel – Passive, shy, helpless, in distress and in need of rescue? It may have been centuries before the Women’s Liberation, but medieval damsels had control over their lives. Some ran businesses, others led armies. Not only were many women strong, powerful and sexually confident, it wasn’t unknown for a damsel to abduct a knight. One famous example produced the Scottish hero, Robert the Bruce.
Born in 1905, John was the youngest of George V’s children. Diagnosed with epilepsy, he died in 1919 after a particularly severe seizure. Had he lived he would have been the present Queen’s uncle. The popular image of Prince John has since been one of a neglected child who was regarded as an embarrassment and shut away from public view, deprived of contact with his family. Using testimonies of individuals with direct personal connections to the prince, together with new research and photographs of the real “Johnny”, this documentary unravels some of the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding him, presenting a more complete story than has ever been told before.