Episode 2 Survival


The Forbidden City in Beijing was an ancient palace whose very name inspired awe and fear. It’s nearly 10,000 rooms were built for one man, the Emperor of China, only he could give permission to enter it’s inner precincts, he had absolute power over the life and death of his subjects. Until the 20th century the Forbidden City was one of the most secret places on earth. In the past people who trespassed paid with their lives but today the price of an entrance ticket is cheaper and 8 million visitors a year walk where once only emperors trod. The palace buildings, constructed almost entirely of wood, have together been recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site.
Episode 1 Secrets – It was truly a “forbidden” city. For centuries access was denied to all but the emperorhis family and his most senior officials and servants. A swift and painful execution faced anyone who trespassed on its sacred precincts. With unprecedented access our cameras enter the heart of the palace to provide stunning images of its magnificent buildings and reveal the secrets of those who lived there.
Episode 2 Survival – Focuses on the time of the last Emperor Pu Yi and the restoration of the Forbidden City during the 20th century. Includes interviews with the brother of the last Empress Pu Yi’s wife. In 1912 Pu Yi lost his throne and was thrown out of the Forbidden City and severed the last imperial connection with it. With the emperor gone, there was no guarantee the Forbidden City would survive. The new republican government started with an inventory of the Forbidden City. Precautions were taken to avoid theft. The auditors found the City filled with 100s of thousands of works of art. As the 600th anniversery of its construction approaches an ambitious restoration project is attempting to turn back the clock and return the palace to its former glory. The renovation has solved some old mysteries and uncovered some new ones.