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 4 Nations - A profile of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots. He established English rule over Wales but his attempts to conquer Scotland were thwarted by the fierce resistance led by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. As a consequence, Scotland and Wales gained a stronger sense of national identity.
Chronicles the final days of Adolf Hitler's life and an account of how he died. Uses information gathered from the Soviet intelligence operation codenamed "Operation Myth" which describes how his body was found and identified after his suicide. Also, re-enactments of interrogations and responses of Germans by Soviet Intelligence taken from transcripts.
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.
WWII was not just a military conflict. It was also a series of psychological battles waged by the four great leaders Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. In these mental duels, the "warlords" lied, schemed, charmed, flattered and cheated to win. Inter-weaving the leaders' own words with personal recollections and private diaries, it reveals the four warlords as fascinating, flawed, and fully human. Episode 3 Churchill vs Stalin, June 1941 - June 1943 Churchill v Stalin examines the duel between the British and Russian leaders over what kind of Europe would emerge at the end of the war, a duel during which Roosevelt secretly intervened behind Churchill's back to decide the outcome.
The Real Da Vinci Code ought to be the last word among plentiful video debates over the validity of startling claims in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. Produced by Britain's Channel Four Television and broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the U.S., the irreverent but no-nonsense documentary systematically dismantles so called historical facts Brown embraced (not only in his story, but in interviews) to support the idea that the Holy Grail is actually the blood lineage of Jesus, carried by descendants of his child by Mary Magdalene. Hosted by Tony Robinson (Blackadder's Baldrick), The Real Da Vinci Code hopscotches through France, Scotland, Israel, Italy, Spain, and America to investigate evidence that the major historical players in Brown's alternative Grail legend, the heretical Cathars, the wealthy but persecuted Knights Templar, the secretive Priory of Sion, did the things Brown (and his research sources) said they did.
Robert Beckford explores the historical evidence for claims that Jesus had brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and nephews, as well as a deep friendship with Mary Magdalene. Beckford and many other theologians believe that Jesus did indeed have an extended family that survived some 300 years after his death. However, they have been airbrushed from history and excised from the Bible as the result of a power struggle in the early church. The idea that Jesus was a divine being is backed by the claim that his mother Mary was a virgin and that his birth was the miraculous work of God. There is evidence from the Gospels and other documents that Mary and Joseph had other children besides Jesus, and that he grew up in an ordinary Jewish family, surrounded by brothers and sisters. For most Christians Mary's virginity is central to their faith, and many consider it heresy to suggest that Jesus was not her only child.
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 11 The Wrong Empire - Discovering how the expansion of imperialism was built on the Empire's slave trade and relied on the subjugation of native peoples to enrich the mother country, despite Britons' natural distrust of large armies and all powerful governments.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, it's the scariest, meanest, most bewitching dinosaur of them all. Children are captivated by the sheer savagery of the teeth. Moviemakers made millions out of the terror it inspired. But could our picture of this monster be completely wrong? Was T. Rex in fact a slow lumbering creature, with hideously bad breath, that couldn't get anywhere close to catching a Triceratops. Was it really a scavenger that lived off the scraps left by others? Was T. Rex, in fact, a wimp?
The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.
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 14 Empire of Good Intentions - How the noble ideals behind the British Empire failed to match the reality. While British society believed it was delivering the benefits of modern Western civilization, in truth the inhabitants of India and Ireland suffered privation due to a laissez-faire economic policy.
Chronicling the exploits of former German Panzer driver Henry Metelmann, who was conscripted to fight for the Fatherland in World War Two. Transformed from idealistic Hitler Youth to battle-hardened soldier, he was responsible for the deaths of surrendering fighters and innocent civilians, only surviving the Russian Front through a combination of luck and cowardice. He tells his story in flashbacks from his home in Britain as an old man. A matter of fact account of his youth before the war and his trials during his time as a soldier.
A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain's greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of "huge and mighty hills of water" advancing at a speed "faster than a greyhound can run" and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Musson, head of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. "The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful," he said. "We know from seismological evidence, that we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active." Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.
Documentary about the final hours of Stalin's life, why was he denied medical attention, was he poisoned? Was it one of his inner circle of cronies and henchmen, also reconstructions of that days events and interviews with Stalin's living relatives and the children of his inner circle. This is a real who done it.
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.
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 1 The Evidence - If ancient aliens visited Earth, what was their legacy, and did they leave behind clues that exist in plain sight? Indian Sanskrit texts, dating back to 6000 B.C., describe flying machines called Vimanas. Are these examples of modern technology, or is there evidence that these incredible mechanisms existed on Earth thousands of years ago?
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 7 Aliens, Plagues and Epidemics - Scientists are continually challenged by unidentified strains of bacteria. Could some of our most crippling plagues and epidemics be traced to the darkest voids of space or even extraterrestrial intervention? Is it possible that ancient aliens, as small as microbes, have shaped human history?
Decoding the Past is a series that "decodes" the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Episode Bible Code 2 Apocalypse and Beyond - continues discussion of Bible codes began in previous episode.
Adolf Hitler dreampt of creating a master race but the Fuhrer himself was an appalling hypochondriac who abused laxatives and suffered for much of his life from stomach cramps and embarrassing flatulence. And that was simply the start. By the time he committed suicide in 1945, the "great" dictator was frail with tremors and a shuffling walk, a feeble condition that was kept secret from the world. The doctor whose job it was to maintain the Fuhrer in vigorous and energetic health to pursue the Nazi project and its military ambitions was Dr. Theodore Morell.
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.
The trouble in Salem began during the cold, dark Massachusetts winter, in January of 1692. Eight young girls began to take ill, begining with 9 year old Elizabeth Parris. The girls suffered from delirium, violent convulsions, incomprehensible speech, trance like states, and odd skin sensations. The worried villagers searched desperately for an explanation. Their conclusion, the girls were under a spell, bewitched, and, worse yet, by members of their own pious community. And then the finger pointing began. In the centuries since, scholars and historians have struggled as well to explain the madness that overtook Salem. Was it sexual repression, dietary deficiency, mass hysteria? Or, could a simple fungus have been to blame? This episode is titled Bewitched or Witches Curse.
The Mystery of the Black Death begins in September of 1665, when a tailor in the secluded English village of Eyam opened a flea infested shipment of fabric from London. In a matter of days, the tailor and much of the village were suffering the telltale signs of bubonic plague, the disease that, in the first five years since its arrival, had wiped out a third of the European population. To prevent the outbreak from spreading throughout the region, the whole town was quarantined, no one was allowed in or out. Outsiders assumed that the bacteria would simply wipe out the entire village. But they were wrong. Three hundred and fifty years later, Dr. Stephen O'Brien, a geneticist from the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., is delving into the reasons why some individuals managed to survive the excruciating Black Death while others were dying all around them. Following O'Brien as he takes DNA samples and investigates historical records and family archives, the film sheds light on the resistance to the plague, and reveals a stunning legacy that the plague survivors passed on to their descendents, a similar resistance to the modern day scourge of AIDS.
The idea that an event of cataclysmic proportions shrouded the Earth's atmosphere, darkening the sky and plunging its inhabitants into a massive crisis, is familiar to anyone who's read about the dinosaurs. But what if a similar event happened to humans? And what if recorded history around the world indicates a precise time when this disaster struck? This fascinating documentary tackles the premise that scribes in civilizations as far apart as Ireland and China all recorded a darkening of the sky and a drop in temperatures about the year A.D. 535. Episode 1 The Day The Sun Went Out - Looks at geological, meteorological, and other forces that may have significantly impacted the Earth's weather during the Dark Ages. Some scientists believe that either a volcano erupted or a meteor hit the earth, causing an unusually cold period to develop. Others are more attracted to Mike Baillie's theories involving tree rings.
The idea that an event of cataclysmic proportions shrouded the Earth's atmosphere, darkening the sky and plunging its inhabitants into a massive crisis, is familiar to anyone who's read about the dinosaurs. But what if a similar event happened to humans? And what if recorded history around the world indicates a precise time when this disaster struck? This fascinating documentary tackles the premise that scribes in civilizations as far apart as Ireland and China all recorded a darkening of the sky and a drop in temperatures about the year A.D. 535. Episode 2 How The World Changed - 535 A.D. has come and gone the world has been hit by a catastrophe. Now comes bizarre weather, the sun is darkened, skies are turbulent, rain is red and snow falls yellow. There is frost and famine. Seasons are blurred. In some places great drought destroys the land. In others floods bring chaos. The world will never be the same. The theory belongs to David Keys. With dogged detective work he has pieced together the story of an ancient catastrophe.
In this series Take a forensic look at the world's most popular and enduring mysteries from the "lost city" of Atlantis to UFOs to the Loch Ness monster. Episode Decoding The Dead Sea Scrolls - Experts unravel the mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and explore theories about their creation, including the Church's 50 year embargo on their publication.
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 1 The Clash of Empires - An alternative perspective to the events of the 20th century, offering different explanations for the two world wars and the shifting balance of power as the 1900s progressed. He begins by studying the origins of World War One, arguing that the conflict sparked racial hatred which was exploited by nation states for their own ends.