Latest Documentaries

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The Sacrifice of Cassini

A scientist figures out how to go to the moon while fighting for his life in a war trench.

8/12Cosmos: Possible Worlds • 2020 • Astronomy

The Search for Intelligent Life on Earth

A hidden underground network, a collaboration of four kingdoms of life, is revealed.

7/12Cosmos: Possible Worlds • 2020 • Astronomy

Coronavirus Race for a Vaccine

According to current estimates, a widely available COVID-19 vaccine will likely be available within the next 12 months. Why so long? Learn how vaccines are developed and explore the current state of the coronavirus landscape, guided by the scientists on the ground trying to find a solution.

Breakthrough • 2020 • Health

Apollo: The Forgotten Films

In July 1969, history was made as 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind on the surface of the moon. But behind these iconic images is an untold story. Now, 50 years later, Discovery and Science Channel celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing with a two-hour television event, APOLLO: THE FORGOTTEN FILMS, that tells the complete story of this most audacious of missions. Featuring forgotten and never-before-seen footage from events surrounding the landmark mission, the documentary by Duncan Copp traces the decade's worth of effort involving half a million scientists that was required to enable that "one giant leap for mankind". The archives reveal the incredible lengths an army of engineers, scientists and astronauts went to, to achieve America's greatest technological feat.

2019 • Astronomy

Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic

The government rates the global outbreak of a deadly flu virus as a major threat to the UK. It could happen at any time. To predict the impact of the next pandemic more accurately than ever before, new data is needed - and lots of it. Dr Hannah Fry is on the case. She sets out to recruit the nation to download the BBC Pandemic app in a ground-breaking experiment to help plan for when the next deadly virus comes to the UK. How quickly will it spread? How many could it kill? What can we do about it? The BBC Four Pandemic experiment will find out. Hannah masterminds the experiment and adopts the role of Patient Zero by walking the streets of Haslemere in Surrey to launch the outbreak. Meanwhile, emergency physician Dr Javid Abdelmoneim finds out why flu is still such a danger to society a century after Spanish flu killed up to 100 million people worldwide. He meets researchers trying to discover what makes some people more contagious than others and visits a factory that will produce vaccine when the next pandemic flu virus emerges. Armed with the information he gathers and the results of the BBC Four Pandemic experiment, Hannah and Javid make a shocking revelation.

2018 • Health

The Man of a Trillion Worlds

A young Carl Sagan realizes his childhood dreams, carrying his mentors' research forward.

6/12Cosmos: Possible Worlds • 2020 • Astronomy

Recommended Documentaries

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Christmas

In a special seasonal edition of his acclaimed series, film critic Mark Kermode celebrates one of the most perennial of all genres: the Christmas movie. Mark unwraps a glittering selection of Christmas cinematic treats, from much-loved classics to hidden gems, Hollywood blockbusters to international films, and reveals the film-making techniques and storytelling secrets that make them so successful. Mark demonstrates how, as with all great genres, a key to the success of the Christmas movie lies in its adaptability. Christmas cinema embraces a remarkable range of styles and themes, from fairy tale fantasy to high-octane action, family drama to horror. But a great Christmas movie does more than simply set its story in the festive season. It captures something magical - the Christmas spirit - and in this programme, Mark shows you how.

Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema • 2018 • Creativity

Behaviour and Belief

How can a lie become true? In this episode, Dr. Aaron Blaisdell and I create a game show that is actually a giant “human Skinner Box” to observe the formation of superstitious beliefs. And Dr. Samuel Veissière helps me design and perform a placebo reverse exorcism, harnessing the power of belief in both science and religion to convince normal people that a spirit has possessed their bodies.

S3E7Mind Field • 2019 • Brain

Great Escape at Dunkirk

As France fell to the German armies in May 1940, 300,000 Allied troops were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Their annihilation seemed certain - a disaster that could have led to Britain's surrender. But then, in a last-minute rescue dramatized in Christopher Nolan's recent film, Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of tiny civilian boats evacuated hundreds of thousands of soldiers to safety across the Channel - the legendary "miracle of Dunkirk." Now, NOVA follows a team of archaeologists, historians, and divers as they recover the remains of ships, planes, and personal effects lost during the epic operation. With access to previously classified files recently released by the UK government, they also uncover the truth behind the myths of Dunkirk - notably, a claim that the Royal Air Force failed to protect the stranded men from the Luftwaffe's constant bombing of the beaches. Featuring an exclusive excavation of a newly-found Spitfire wreck, NOVA debunks the myth and highlights the essential role that the RAF's iconic fighter played in reversing the desperate stakes that played out in the air above the beleaguered men.

NOVA PBS • 2018 • History

Ice Station Antarctica

Antarctica is the last great wilderness. It's the coldest, windiest, driest and most isolated place on Earth. And every winter, for over three months of the year, the sun never rises. But it's also home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station. A veteran of living and working at Halley in the early eighties, BBC weatherman Peter Gibbs makes an emotional return to the place he once called home. A place that, during his time, was key to the discovery of the ozone hole. The journey starts with an arduous 12-day, 3000-mile voyage onboard the RRS Ernest Shackleton. Once on the ice shelf, Peter is delighted to finally arrive at the futuristic research station and marvels at the cutting edge science being done at Halley today. From vital discoveries about how our lives are vulnerable to the sun's activities, to studying interplanetary travel and the threat of man-made climate change. But Peter's journey is also something of a rescue mission. The research station's home is a floating ice shelf that constantly moves and cracks, and the ice shelf has developed a chasm that could cast Halley adrift on a massive iceberg.

Horizon • 2016 • Science

Second Genesis

Artemis arrives on the exoplanet Minerva B, but have they found evidence of life?

3/4Living Universe • 2018 • Astronomy

Born Genius

Marc Yu is only seven years old but at the age of three he could play Beethoven on the piano. Could he have been born with a brilliant brain making him a true child genius?

3/3My Brilliant Brain • 2007 • Brain

People Documentaries

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Sacred Nature

Award winning wildlife photographers Jonathan and Angela Scott have traveled the world, always returning home to Kenya. There they introduced the world to the big cats of the Maasai Mara and now they are part of its fight for survival

S2E1Tales by Light • 2017 • People

Da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius

Leonardo Da Vinci - the ultimate Renaissance man. In this special, meet some modern-day Leonardos who embody the inventive spirit of the master himself, and those who are working to bring his forgotten visions to life. Hosted by Kevin Brauch (Thirsty Traveller), this one-hour special travels to Chicago, Calgary, Italy and the U.K. to meet these modern Leonardos and discover how they are leaving their mark on the world and, in the spirit of da Vinci, are breaking the barriers of art and science today. Filmed in HD and featuring dramatic CGI, detailed 3D models and super macro photography, see how these modern-day inventors and their creations are continuing the legacy of Leonardo.

2006 • People

Don't Panic - The Truth About Population

Using state-of-the-art 3D graphics and the timing of a stand-up comedian, world-famous statistician Professor Hans Rosling presents a spectacular portrait of our rapidly changing world.

People

Episode 3

We countdown from 75 to 63 and showcase some of the most surprising characters. From Josephine Baker who walked along Paris streets with her pet cheetah, to leader who have forever changes the world.

3/8The 101 People who Made the 20th Century • 2016 • People

Baraka

A collection of expertly photographed scenes of human life and religion. Baraka is a documentary film with no narrative or voice-over. It explores themes via a compilation of natural events, life, human activities and technological phenomena shot in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period.

1992 • People

Empathy

What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

RSA Shorts • 2015 • People

Health Documentaries

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Killers into Cures

Not all the microbes that live on us or inside us are benign, and it is only thanks to the superhuman nature of our bodies that we survive constant attack. However, humans are becoming increasingly vulnerable to disease. This programme examines the dramatic increase in allergic diseases such as asthma, eczema and hayfever.

5/6Superhuman • 2001 • Health

Do I Only Use 10% of My Brain?

SciShow debunks the myth that you only use 10 percent of your brain. So, how much do you really use? And how do we know?

Health

Antibiotic Crisis

Growing resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics is one of the biggest public health threats of modern times, with the potential to cause 80,000 deaths in the UK over the next 20 years. Experts say the use of a range of NHS 'last-resort' antibiotics in farming is risking the lives of future patients. Tom Heap asks if the commercial pressure to produce cheap meat and poultry is fuelling the rise of superbugs and meets the patients for whom the drugs have already stopped working.

Panorama • 2016 • Health

Curing Alzheimer's

Horizon investigates a new era of Alzheimer's research, which is bringing hope to millions of sufferers across the world. New scanning and gene technology is allowing scientists to identify the disease at its earliest stages, often 15 years before symptoms appear and the brain cells are destroyed. A series of new drugs trials in Colombia, the USA and Europe are showing startling success in reducing beta amyloid, the protein which is a hallmark of the disease. It is also becoming clear that changes in lifestyle can prevent the development of the disease. A new system inside the brain has been discovered which clears amyloid when we are in deep sleep, but allows it to accumulate if we don't sleep well. The programme reveals that for sufferers in the early stages of the disease, brain connections, or synapses, can be strengthened and even replaced by absorbing enough of the right nutrients. A UK-wide trail helps sufferers in the early stages to concentrate on improving everyday tasks, and in the process not only make their lives easier, but helps to reactivate the planning and organisational parts of the brain. In an ageing world, where the biggest risk of developing Alzheimer's is old age, the scientific breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease are bringing hope where once there was despair.

Horizon • 2016 • Health

While You Were Sleeping

For thousands of years, we’ve regarded sleep as nothing more than an annihilation of consciousness. But there is one compelling fact that has always stood in the way of that view. “Even the Greek philosophers wondered why we needed to sleep,” says neuroscientist, Dr. Kenneth Wright. “If sleep wasn’t important, it’s probably one of the most significant mistakes that evolution ever made.” Yet decades of intense research have failed to discover the key function of sleep. But now, thanks to revolutionary new technology, innovative animal research and extraordinary advances in genetics, all that’s about to change. Join Dr. Jennifer Gardy as she goes on an extraordinary odyssey from a city that never sleeps to an isolation chamber in the Colorado Rockies, from one of the most unique research centres in the world to the world of dreams. Her goal is simple: Discover why we sleep

The Nature of Things • 2016 • Health

Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic

The government rates the global outbreak of a deadly flu virus as a major threat to the UK. It could happen at any time. To predict the impact of the next pandemic more accurately than ever before, new data is needed - and lots of it. Dr Hannah Fry is on the case. She sets out to recruit the nation to download the BBC Pandemic app in a ground-breaking experiment to help plan for when the next deadly virus comes to the UK. How quickly will it spread? How many could it kill? What can we do about it? The BBC Four Pandemic experiment will find out. Hannah masterminds the experiment and adopts the role of Patient Zero by walking the streets of Haslemere in Surrey to launch the outbreak. Meanwhile, emergency physician Dr Javid Abdelmoneim finds out why flu is still such a danger to society a century after Spanish flu killed up to 100 million people worldwide. He meets researchers trying to discover what makes some people more contagious than others and visits a factory that will produce vaccine when the next pandemic flu virus emerges. Armed with the information he gathers and the results of the BBC Four Pandemic experiment, Hannah and Javid make a shocking revelation.

2018 • Health

Randoms! Documentaries

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Revelations and Revolutions

How we finally came to understand the science of electricity.

3/3Shock and Awe: The Story of ElectricityPhysics

The Mystery of Van Gogh's Ear

It is one of the greatest and bloodiest mysteries in art: what happened on the December night in 1888 when Vincent van Gogh took a blade to his own ear? Jeremy Paxman joins art sleuth Bernadette Murphy on her amazing quest to discover the truth - what exactly did the artist do, why did he do it and who was the unknown girl he is said to have handed his severed ear to, her real identity kept secret by her family for over a century? It is an event that defines van Gogh, who created his greatest masterpieces including the sunflowers at the same moment as suffering mental torture, but what are the real facts? This revealing detective story travels from Vincent's home in the south of France to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and uncovers key evidence hidden in a Californian library that has created an art-world sensation, as we finally solve the mystery of Van Gogh's ear.

2016 • People

Neil deGrasse Tyson on the New Cosmos

In this talk-show with the popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill explores a variety of topics, including the nature of an expanding, accelerating universe (and how it might end), the difference between “dark energy” and “dark matter,” the concept of God in cosmology and why science matters.

Astronomy

A Week Without Lying

Deception is an integral part of human nature and it is estimated we all lie up to nine times a day. But what if we created a world in which we couldn't lie? In a radical experiment, pioneering scientists from across Europe have come together to make this happen. Brand new technology is allowing them to rig three British people to make it impossible for them to lie undetected. Then they will be challenged to live for a whole week without telling a single lie. It is a bold social experiment to discover the role of deception in our lives - to investigate the impact lying has on our mental state and the consequences of it for our relationships, and to ask whether the world would be a better or worse place if we couldn't lie.

Horizon • 2018 • Lifehack

Earth's Death Orbit

Earth's journey through the universe is a perilous one, and new discoveries reveal that our planet is heading toward a mysterious area of the cosmos that could eject us out of the Milky Way and into oblivion.

S8E9How the Universe Works • 2020 • Astronomy

Hotel Armadillo

David Attenborough looks at the giant armadillo and examines how this seldom-seen animal provides scores of other creatures with the hotel and restaurant services they need to thrive in earth's biggest natural wetland - the Pantanal of Brazil.

Natural World • 2017 • Nature