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 3 Clash of Cultures – Explore the conflict between indigenous peoples and Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S. As native nations defy a plundering advance by outsiders, they are subject to two unconquerable weapons, muskets and disease.
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.
The generation of Nazis who fought during World War 2 is almost gone, their lives, their actions, and their crimes soon to be consigned to history forever. This sense of urgency, and of time running out, underpins this documentary series about surviving war criminals living in the 21st century. It’s the last chance to tell these stories, to speak to these men, to enter their worlds, and uncover the impact their existence has had on others. Episode 1 The Hunt for Doctor Death – In the autumn of 1941, a young Austrian doctor called Aribert Heim was assigned to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In just six weeks, he murdered hundreds of inmates by carrying out horrific and needless experiments. He evaded capture and has never answered for his crimes, but now 60 years on and with Heim well into his 90s, fresh evidence has emerged suggesting that he might still be alive. This film follows Dr Efraim Zuroff in his international manhunt for one of the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminals.
The Money Programme’s Fiona Bruce gains exclusive access to Bill Gates as he prepares to step down from full time involvement with Microsoft, the company he helped found. Gates’s company has changed the world, but he’s a controversial figure, with his ruthless business leadership contributing to Microsoft being sued by the US government. In a special one hour edition of the Money Programme, Fiona Bruce presents the definitive profile of Bill Gates as he embarks on his latest challenge giving away the billions he’s amassed.
Has the tomb of Jesus Christ been found? Since the 1970s, hundreds of tombs and thousands of ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) have been discovered in the Jerusalem area. These ossuaries served as coffins in first century Jerusalem. One of these tombs was found to contain ten ossuaries. Six of the ossuaries in this tomb have inscriptions on them. As it turns out, every inscription in this particular tomb relates to the Gospels. This documentary makes a case is made that the 2,000 year old “Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries” belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth.
In his first BBC TV appearance for almost a decade, legendary Glaswegian entertainer Stanley Baxter chats to Scotland’s Broadway superstar Alan Cumming. There was something quite charming in this old-fashioned chat between showbiz chums, When Alan Cumming Met Stanley Baxter, even though it was an unashamed mutual admiration society. A more ruthless editor might have taken all this out, but it was kind of the point, a gentle encounter between an old ham and a younger one framed as his heir.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientists, archaeologists, and historians alike search for evidence of cities that may have forever been lost to time. Some are ancient while some are surprisingly recent. Extensive archaeological research and cutting edge visual technology come together in this series that aims to bring ancient cultures and civilizations to new life on screen. Episode 3 The First Christians – In the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion, only a hundred or so of his followers survived. But within a few decades, Christianity had spread around the Mediterranean and across the Roman Empire. This episode draws on the expertise of a team of field investigators using the latest research, expert analysis, and cutting edge graphic technology to return to the earliest years of Christianity. From the port of Tarsus, where St. Paul was born, the program follows the systems of trade and transport that helped him travel 20,000 miles.
Walking With Beasts is an introduction to the animals (predominantly mammals) that roamed the earth from the extinction of the dinosaurs until the rise of early humans, the Cenozoic period. It uses a combination of clever special effects and computer-generated imagery to create a realistic world as it may have appeared millions of years ago. Some of the concepts it illustrates are the evolution of whales, horses, and humans. Episode 3 Land of Giants – Goe back 25 million years to meet the biggest land mammals of all time – the Indricotheres. Up to 7 metres tall and weighing 15 tonnes. This programme follows the fate of a calf from birth to droughts, six foot tall killer hogs and Hyaenodon – a predator the size of a rhino, with jaws that could crush a rock.
Sixteen hundred years ago, a mysterious left-handed warrior seized control of the Mayan city of Copan, founding a dynasty that would last for 400 years. Eventually the Maya abandoned Copan and all other Mayan cities, which lay undisturbed for over 1,000 years. Then, in the 19th century, explorers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood stumbled on the vine strangled remains of huge complexes of temples and monuments covered with strange portraits and hieroglyphs. This documentary takes viewers deep into the Central American rain forest to the resurrected ruins of Copan, a once majestic jewel of Mayan civilization which was inexplicably abandoned over a thousand years ago.
1979 British television documentary written and presented by the Australian journalist John Pilger. The film recounts the bombing of Cambodia by the United States in 1970 during the Vietnam War, the subsequent brutality and genocide that occurred when Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge militia took over, the poverty and suffering of the people, and the limited aid since given by the West. Viewers were so moved by the plight of the people that they donated 45 million to the station in aid. President Nixon and Mr. Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas. John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia .
Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the ancient world rises from the Cambodian jungle. The magnificent temples and gigantic reservoirs built by the Khmer empire have long mystified scientists. What was the purpose behind the vast water system? 25 years of war and killing fields isolated Angkor from the outside world. Archaeologists are turning to a technological breakthrough to solve the mysteries of the ancients. Astonishing views from the space shuttle high tech radar are giving scientists a revolutionary new look at Angkor and changing old ideas about the mysterious temples. Who where the Khmer? How did they eek a living out of this harsh realm. How did they manage to create a city of such splendor and scale.
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 3 – Charlie and friends are off to China, to the the birthplace of the banger. Every evening in Liuyang, there is a huge display as firework manufacturers show off their latest designs, and the kids learn how the precision and power of physics is used to create the fantastic sky writing fireworks. Back home, Mr Smith takes the class to witness the extraordinary power of expanding gases with the Royal Artillery. Finally, the whole class are invited behind the scenes at one of the biggest firework displays the U.K. has ever seen. Has the Rocket Science project made any difference to the kids’ interest and appreciation of the science that fills the world around them?
World War II In HD Colour is a 13 episode television documentary series recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell. The series combines both original and colourised footage. With the very latest satellite delivered terrain mapping and state of the art graphics this story can now be told with access to information which was not previously available to other older series. Conventional wisdom has recently changed as more and more secrets have been revealed particularly in the last five to ten years as documents, files and photographs have been released. Code breaking revelations, and newly released government papers on both sides of the Atlantic have added a very insightful new dimension to the understanding of this the worlds’ greatest ever conflict. Episode 6 The Mediterranean and North Africa – After success in North Africa and Greece, Allies push Benito Mussolini’s forces all the way back to Italy and the Allies start to put real pressure on Nazi Germany. Hitler, now faced a difficult choice. Did he divert troops needed at other fronts to support his ally, or did he let Mussolini fall? Hitler chose to support him, a decision that would spell disaster for both of them.
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 4 Invasion Of The Coast – As more foreigners arrive in North America, tensions rise as native peoples lives are impacted. At Jamestown, the story of the Powhatan princess, Pocahontas, unfolds. Thanksgiving at Plymouth leads to the bloodiest of colonial Indian wars in 1675.
MUFON, an independent organization dedicated to investigating UFOs, has worked diligently to compile, research and store these files. The series Hangar 1 The UFO Files will delve deep into these archives to look for connections, clues and evidence, because only by investigating the files of Hangar 1 can we find the truth about UFOs. Episode 1 Presidential Encounters – From Truman to Obama, our modern day Presidents have all had rich and controversial histories with UFOs and extraterrestrials. In fact, Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan are each rumored to have had personal encounters. Inside Hangar 1, MUFON files ask, “What do our presidents really know about the existence of UFOs?” Are some Presidents kept in the dark because they aren’t trusted with that knowledge and how they might use it? Or, are they all aware, but the secrets are too dark and deep that full disclosure becomes a risk they just can’t take?
The Living Edens uses state of the art cinematography creates an intimate sense of place and captures a world of wonder, transporting viewers to isolated, undisturbed corners of the globe so pure they remind us of how the ancient world once was. Narrators included Peter Coyote and Linda Hunt and it was partially funded by Reader’s Digest in exchange for various marketing rights. Episode 13 Kamchatka Siberia Forbidden Wilderness – Jutting south from the far east of Siberia lies an isolated and mountainous peninsula where volcanoes, geysers and bubbling hot springs create the smoke, steam and fire that prevail in this icy and remote place. This harsh and beautiful land is home to the densest population of grizzly bears in the world and the biggest brown bears in Eurasia. Siberian bighorn sheep, silver foxes, sables, mink and black capped marmots have all adapted to the severe climate. Walruses, northern fur seals, sea lions dot its coastline, and bowhead whales breed in the waters just offshore. Millions of salmon swim in its streams while the world’s largest eagles soar above all that make Kamchatka a living Eden. Narrated by Linda Hunt.
This is the profile of an extraterrestrial mass murderer: one whose existence was denied by scientific orthodoxy for nearly two decades, but has now been tracked down. 65 million years ago a 15 kilometers wide asteroid hit the Earth. In 1978 Walter Alvarez, a Nobel prize winning physicist, and his son Luis, first proposed the outrageous idea that a meteorite strike blasted the dinosaurs into extinction, taking with them half of life on the planet. Their theory was hotly disputed. Now the irrefutable evidence is rolling in. Martin Belderson’s dramatic film retraces the hunt for evidence for the hidden “smoking cannon” the crater left by the impact 65 million years ago.
At a time when immigration reform continues to be one of the most heated topics in political and business circles, this feature length special reexamines the controversial war that resulted in the United States taking control of what was nearly half of Mexico’s territory. Featuring lavish reenactments, and interviews with both Mexican and American historians to tell the story of President Polk’s desire to expand US territory to the Pacific Ocean. Hosted by Oscar de la Hoya.
Google has been estimated to run over one million servers in data centers around the world. Google’s meteoric rise to Internet stardom is one of the great business sagas of our time. Larry Page and Sergey Brin two brainy Stanford University grad students who founded the company say their goal was to make the entire world’s information searchable and instantly accessible.
David Dimbleby narrates two part documentary profile of Nelson Mandela. Former South African President and ANC leader, Nelson Mandela offers unprecedented access and a unique glimpse into his hectic daily life. Filmed at his home in South Africa and in a series of exclusive interviews with David Dimbleby, Mandela relays stories from his childhood and recounts many of the significant events that took place in his life, including his leadership of the ANC party and struggle against Apartheid, his term in office; and the arduous time he spent in Robben Island Prison. Recollections of his life are also heard from family and friends alongside famous and ordinary people, including the ANC’s political role model and the Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro. Former United States President and fellow AIDS campaigner, Bill Clinton speaks of the deep admiration that he holds for Mandela.
A three episode series about life in the Paleozoic, bringing to life extinct arthropods, fish, amphibians, synapsids, and reptiles. As with previous Walking with installments, it uses state-of-the-art visual effects and draws on the knowledge of over 600 scientists and shows nearly 300 million years of history, from the Cambrian Period (530 million years ago) to the Early Triassic Period (248 million years ago). Episode 1 Water Dwellers – Begins with an illustration of the giant impact hypothesis approximately 4.4 billion years ago when the Earth was formed, it is conjectured that a planet like object, Theia collided into the early Earth, dynamically reshaping the Earth and forming the moon. The episode then jumps ahead to the Cambrian Explosion, showing the first diversification of life in the sea. Strange predators called Anomalocaris feed on trilobites, and are attacked by a school of Haikouichthys, the first vertebrate. In the Silurian period see the jawless fish, the marine scorpion and the giant eurypterid. Other species in this episode are Hynerpeton, Stethacanthus and Hyneria.
Entirely new forms of lightning have been discovered up to 1000 times bigger than any bolt previously seen. While normal lightning fires down below clouds, these giant bolts shoot up, stunning experts with images of lightning 80 kilometres high. This lightning, six times more powerful than passenger planes are designed to withstand, may be the real killer in a spate of baffling air disasters. Few cloud to ground strikes are longer than three kilometres. and textbooks said no lightning could exist above the clouds, but then weatherman walt lyons aimed his camera across the colorado plains on july 6, 1993. What he saw overturned 200 years of scientific certainty in an instant. His videos show lightning 80 kilometres high and 40 kilometres wide firing above the clouds. Their existence had been dismissed as fantasy, their discovery sheds new light on what has been causing airplanes to fall from the sky. The discovery of megalightning began with ordinary people seeing extraordinary things. This documentary interviews these people and explores the topic of megalightning.
For years, thousands of paintings owned by the British public have been hidden away and inaccessible, until now. Thanks to the work of the Your Paintings project, over 200,000 works in our national collections have been painstakingly uncovered, photographed and put online, some for the very first time, allowing art experts and amateur sleuths alike to make connections and discoveries that wouldn’t have been possible before. Alastair Sooke teams up with art detective Dr. Bendor Grosvenor to unearth some hidden gems and find out what the paintings say about British society.
Dinosaurs, their secrets can be revealed. For the largest creature to walk the earth, was breaking the sound barrier foreplay to mating? Did T-rex stalk the prehistoric jungle with they eyes of a hawk? After all that eating dinosaurs dropped mountains of dung loaded with clues. Unloock secrets from fossilized feces and become a dinosaur detective. Are prehistoric footprints evidence of one dinosaur attacking another? The world of dinosaurs is a mysterious place once wrapped in silence. But now for the first time dinosaurs are breaking their silence. Speaking to humans over millions of years of time. And scientist using the latest computers are listening. From love to death the secret lives of dinosaurs are revealed in this documentary.