Disaster King’s Cross – Beneath the Flames

The Disaster Specials look at how and why major disasters happen, and what can be learned from them. They are specifically intended to focus and inform on issues relating to health and safety issues, crisis management and post-disaster supervision. Episode 1 King’s Cross – Over thirty people died in the Kings Cross underground fire, which broke out as commuters headed home on November 18, 1987. At around 19.30 a passenger on an escalator lit a cigarette and dropped the match. The results of this seemingly tiny action were disastrous. The miniscule fire fed on grease on the moving stairway and in 10 minutes had engulfed the wooden treads on the steps. Fifteen minutes later the flames had reached the Kings Cross ticket hall, then erupted in a fireball, filling the crowded station with poisonous black smoke. Many of those who died were killed instantly. Almost 15 years on this programme examines one of the UK’s worst ever disasters.

Rocket Science Episode 1

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 1 – Physics teacher Andy Smith tries to convert his pupils to physics and chemistry. at the beginning Andy is in for a rough ride. Pupil Chantelle, for instance, thinks science is just copying answers from a textbook, while Taz wants to be Kate Moss, and Charlie can do the work but won’t behave. To engage the children, Andy has to battle short attention spans and the fact that most chemicals in the school storeroom are well past their sell by date.

World War II In Colour Episode 4 Hitler Strikes East

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.

Summer of Heat: 1976

Drought, water rationing, forest fires, riots and Punk made the tropical summer of 1976 one of the most dramatic in British history. The great British summertime is when the nation shrugs off its winter blues people spill out into the sunshine and let passions run free, but in 1976 something strange happened something more than the usual British enthusiasm for fun in the sun. It was the hottest summer on record and under the glaring heat tension filled the air. While the country baked and sweltered, shriveled and dried out the crusty British establishment suddenly found itself under attack. In the space of a few long hot months British society suffered an upheavel which would transform a generation. The summer started with a bang on May 1, cup final day. Second division underdog South Hampton had fought it’s way to the final only to face one of the countries greatest teams, Manchester United. Under the hot sunshine South Hampton was in danger of trying to hard. The game remained goal less as South Hampton held on for 83 minutes, then scored and took the cup. Giant killing South Hampton had set the tones for the following months. The underdogs were on the march and Britain’s old order was about to be challenged. England was in need of change, despite the weather in the summer of 1976, the social climate was far from sunny. Unemployment and inflation was the highest since World War II, the unions were repeatedly striking and the economy was facing bankruptcy. It seemed as if everyone was skint. For young people especially the prospects was bleak in June a new army of high school graduates joined record numbers at the welfare office lines. Not even the sunniest weather in years could mask the pervading sense of despair. As those worst off looked to the scapegoats immigrants were soon being blamed for all the countries problems. Inflamatory programs on TV fueled an overtly racist climate. The heat wave showed no sign of subsiding. On June 26 the temperature in London hit an all time record of 35 degrees celsius, 95 degrees fahrenheit. But even in the heat young people still dressed to impress as ever fashion was the clearest way to make a statement about who you were and how you felt. The perfect weather suited the quintessential English sport of cricket. But in the summer of 1976 the game would experience a different kind of heat. The West Indies team was visiting england for the season the two sides would battle it out over 5 matches, each lasting up to 5 days. With a proud but alienated caribbean community living in England the rivalry was always going to be intense, but England’s team captain made things worse with his comments. The wonderful heat wave soon caused problems as drought set in. For the first time in british history water had to be rationed. The country rallied round the attempt to save water. As ever blue peter’s audience played its part. with slogans “think before you drink” and “don’t rush to flush”. The situation was critical in South Wales. causing fears the shortage of water would lead to a shortage in beer. James Hunt made his mark in Formula 1 racing, and his winning boosted England’s self esteem. 1976 was a great year for home grown black band The Real Thing, they came from one of Britain’s poorest areas their song “You to me are everything” raced up the charts to number 1. Early efforts to get the public to save water hadn’t worked. The goverment deicded to appoint Dennis Howl minister for drought. Throughout the summer punk rock was rapidly gaining momentum, they were blazing the trail for a change in music tastes, a brand new underground movement as The Damned, Buzzcocks, and The Clash punk bands debuted. After months of drought the parched landscape began to burn as forest fires raged up and down the country. At the end of August the rains finally came, extinguishing the fires and providing respite from the heat. But even 30 years later the impact of those long hot unforgettable days is still with Britains today. The summer of 76 was an awakening, it was the pivotal moment when the old gray monoculture of Britain was about to change into something different.

500 Nations Episode 2 Mexico

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 2 Mexico – Follow the dramatic and tragic history of the Mexican Indian nations from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization. Witness the rise and fall of the Toltecs and the growth of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec city of an empire.

Guilty Pleasures Luxury in Ancient Greece

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 Ancient Greece – follows the debate about luxury which convulsed ancient Greece from the beginning of the classical era. In Athens, it explores the role of luxury in the beginnings of democracy – how certain kinds of luxury came to be forbidden and others embraced. A simple luxury like meat could unite the democracy, and yet a taste for fish could divide it. Some luxuries were associated with effeminacy and foreigners, others with the very idea of democracy.

The Curse of Oil Episode 3 The Wilderness

Three part series that goes exploring the world’s oil producing regions, beyond the familiar territory of the Middle East. Unlike other documentaries that are full of gloomy predictions of perishable reserves of oil. Bill Cran’s series takes the view that there are ample supplies of oil, the problem is that most of it lies in the wrong places. Requiring the first world to deal with nasty governments or destroying the wilderness. But the relationship between oil companies, consumers and those who live where the oil is extracted is changing very rapidly. It is becoming possible for native populations to obstruct oil companies. The series concludes there are no easy answers. Episode 3 The Wilderness – Examines how political instabilities in the Middle East have led companies to search for oil elsewhere. In Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is soon to be the site of extensive development, despite protests from environmentalists and locals fearing for their way of life. Meanwhile, in Alberta a huge oil reserve has been discovered deep beneath an ancient forest, but getting at it could well be the most environmentally damaging operation in history.

Battle for Berlin

Timewatch looks at the Red Army’s sweep to Berlin and battle for the city, and the great loss of life and suffering endured. Historian Antony Beevor looks at the scale and tactics of the battle, and at the rapes, murder, looting and destruction that went on against the civilian population. Drawing on new evidence gleaned from soldiers’ remains and interviews with survivors, he has been able to unearth a number of new discoveries, including Stalin’s willingness to sacrifice his own men to take the German capital before the Americans, and the Red Army’s brutal treatment of German civilians as they advanced across the country.

The Lost Mummy of Imhotep

The Lost Mummy of Imhotep uncovers what may be Egypt’s fabled city of the dead and the legendary Imhotep, buried beneath the sands of Saqqara. At the dawn of Egyptian civilization, Imhotep built the first pyramid, became legendary as a physician and governed the greatest state on earth. The ancients made him a god, and Hollywood made him “The Mummy.” But few realize that the character was based on one of the most important figures in all of ancient history, a man historians have called the world’s “first known genius.” For some archaeologists, Imhotep’s lost burial site has been the Holy Grail of Egyptology. Now, at long last, Polish archaeologist Karol Mysliwiec may indeed have found him.

Ancient Rome The Rise and Fall of an Empire Episode 3 Rebellion

This is the 6 episode BBC docudrama with voiceover, not the 13 episode History channel documentary with recreations. The rise and fall of Ancient Rome through six key turning points. Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research, it reveals how the greed, lust and ambition of men like Caesar, Nero and Constantine shaped the Roman Empire. CGI is mixed with compelling drama and spectacular live-action battles. Episode 3 Rebellion – The First Jewish – Roman War begins when the Jews rise up against their corrupt governor, drive the Romans out of Judea and defeat a counter attack at the Battle of Beth Horon. Vespasian leads a three-week Siege of Jotapata and Josephus is captured. Joesephus predicts that Titus is destined to be emperor. Back in Rome the army turns to Vespasian to be their new Emperor.

Lost Worlds Athens Ancient Greek Supercity

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 6 Athens Ancient Supercity – In the 5th century B.C., one man led his city to greatness and paved the way for western civilization. The city was Athens and Pericles was not a king or prince, but an elected ruler. He directed the most costly and ambitious construction campaign undertaken in the western world, creating a model city of temples, houses, market places, civic buildings, and a highly innovative sanitation system. Despite Athens’ extraordinary influence and importance, Pericles’ plan led to his, and the city’s, downfall.

Walking With Beasts Episode 1 New Dawn

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 1 New Dawn – The dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, but what on earth happened next? This first episode of the sequel to Walking with Dinosaurs, drops in on our planet 49 million years ago to find it has fully recovered from the extinction and is covered in a mysterious forest. This is a time that the world has almost forgotten: Germany was a hot, sweaty jungle, birds ruled the Earth and preyed on miniature horses, and the ancestors of the whales walked on land.

Killer Fog

The fog that blanketed London, England, on December 5, 1952, seemed quite ordinary at first. But over the next two days, the fog turned yellow and people began to die. By the end of the week 4,000 Londoners lay dead or dying. Evidence suppressed for fifty years put the final death toll at 12,000 victims. Killer Fog reveals how air pollution was the real cause of one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th century.

Women Pharaohs

New discoveries by Egyptologists have found that women pharaohs wielded secret powers in ancient Egypt. This documentary examines their rise to power and cultural influence in ancient Egypt. From Nefertiti, who some scholars believe briefly ruled before the accession of Tutankhamun, to Hatshepsut generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, learn about the female rulers of one of the ancient world s greatest dynasties. Of course no exploration of the women who ruled Egypt would be complete without an insight into the life of the most famous Empress of them all, the legendary Cleopatra. Traditionally she has been painted as a cruel voluptuary, but through dramatic reconstruction and breathtaking footage of various Roman and Egyptian sites, Discovery tells the true story of the Egyptian Queen. Narrated by Kyra Sedgwick.

Discover Magazine Engineering Secrets of Hagia Sophia

For 1500 years the dome atop Haiga Sophia has soared above instanbul. That this wonder of the ancient world still stands is remarkable, but when you consider where it stands it becomes miraculous. At the intersection of two contents is Turkey. Istanbul, once the ancient city of Constantinople, is at ground zero in one of the nmost deadly earthquake zones on earth. Since the beginning of recorded history, 4000 years ago, the city has been periodically hit by a series of massive earthquakes. But while buildings around it have toppled, Haiga Sophia and it’s amazing dome have survived 15 centuries of devastation. Is this by chance or by design. Dr. Amit Chakma of Princeton University is searching every inch of the structure seeking to answer that question.

Rocket Science Episode 2

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 2 – The kids finally mount their own triumphant firework display for the retiring head, and we see how practical work makes all the difference. They are involved and excited as they do kitchen chemistry, measure the speed of sound, and even take on the atomic basics of how coloured light is created. To show how firework science connects to the real world, Mr Smith organises field trips to where the chemicals that colour fireworks actually come from Nevada, Scotland and China.

World War II In Colour Episode 5 Red Sun Rampant

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.

Television Under the Swastika English with Spanish Subtitles

Legend has it that the triumphal march of television began in the United States in the 1950s but in reality its origins hark back much further. Nazi leaders, determined to beat Great Britain and the U.S. to be the world’s first television broadcaster, began Greater German Television in March 1935. German viewers enjoyed their TV broadcasts until September 1944, as Allied troops closed in. Making use of 285 reels of film discovered in the catacombs of the Berlin Federal Film Archive, Television Under the Swastika is a fascinating look at the world’s first television broadcast network. It explores both the technology behind this new medium, and the programming the Nazis chose to put on it. Interviews with high ranking Nazis as well as “ordinary” people on the street, cooking shows, sporting events, cabaret acts and teleplays are some of the stunning finds seen here-all of it propaganda, but some of it quite entertaining.