Latest Documentaries

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Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut

Delve into the digestive system with this lighthearted and informative documentary that demystifies the role gut health plays in our overall well-being.

2024 • Health

Our Changing Planet Series 3

In the third year of this seven-year project examining the issues facing the planet’s most threatened ecosystems, Dr. M. Sanjayan visits the Maldives to take an in-depth look at coral reefs and the urgent efforts to help them survive climate change.

S3E1 • 2024 • Nature

M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity

The life and work of M.C. Escher is presented primarily through his own words in the form of his writings being read against a backdrop of images associated to him, including archival footage of himself and images of his drawings. Many further details are provided by surviving family members. Escher himself considered what he did being caught between the worlds of art and mathematics - he not very good at either - his drawings always having an element of geometry. He made a conscious decision to work in monochromatic black and white realizing that he would be missing being able to convey ideas that are inherent with color. The evolution to two of his later periods is discussed, namely his series of drawings of the human eye, and what would become his ultimate fascination, that of the concept of infinity, whether it be real, as in the circle or the study of a man viewing a picture of himself viewing a picture of himself and so on, or perceived through illusions, such as his never-ending staircase. The documentary is buttressed by commentary from fan, musician Graham Nash who believes his brilliance has not yet been fully appreciated. Further Information

2021 • People

The Universe is Full of Aliens!

We often assume that advanced technology will make it easy for aliens to colonize space. But what if space exploration is always difficult, no matter how advanced you are? Let’s travel back in human history, to the colonization of Oceania over 5000 years ago, to find parallels between ancient explorers and extraterrestrial civilizations.

In a Nutshell • 2024 • Astronomy

The Second Viking Age

The mid-10th-century reign of Harald Bluetooth as king of a newly unified, powerful and Christianized Denmark marked the beginning of a second Viking age. But the reign was not to last with the Normans finally winning the English Kingdom in 1066. We look at the final days of the Viking empire.

S1E6Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Wild West

Political turmoil in Norway leads a voyage of discovery west. The Vikings discover Iceland where they established lasting settlement. Further exploration from Iceland leads to the discovery of Greenland and to the shores of Newfoundland, making them the first Europeans to discover America.

S1E5Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Fall of Francia

The siege of Paris in 885 was the culmination of the Viking invasions of Francia. We look at the persistent Viking attacks on Francia and the enduring presence of the Scandinavians on the Frankish Empire and beyond.

S1E4Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

As Far East as Baghdad

The "Silk Road" opened up a world of trade for the Scandinavians in the East. Seeking further wealth, the Vikings known in the East as "the Rus" attacked Constantinople in 860. The Rus became a permanent and feared fixture in the Byzantine Empire.

S1E3Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Great Heathen Army

The Siege of York occurred from 866 when the Great Heathen Army laid claim to the Northumbrian capital of York. We look at the major battles, players and strongholds of the York battle and how the Vikings later came to control much of the 9th Century England.

S1E2Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Road to Lindisfarne

An attack on a small religious community on the holy island of Lindisfarne in AD 793 heralded the start of the Viking Age of conquest and expansion. For 200 years, the longships from Scandinavia threatened all of Europe. But it was far from their first attack. We reveal how the Vikings' reign of terror began in Scandinavia.

S1E1Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

Ukraine: Enemy in the Woods

Follows a Ukrainian battalion on the frontline of the war against Russia, filmed by the soldiers themselves as they try to defend a vital railway line, the capture of which would enable Russia to mount a direct attack on Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv. The film examines the lives of the 99-strong military company as they face sustained Russian assaults, presenting a ground-level view of the war through the eyes of the troops fighting it.

2024 • History

PBS American Experience - The Cancer Detectives

The story of how the life-saving cervical cancer test became an ordinary part of women's lives is as unusual and remarkable as the coalition of people who ultimately made it possible: a Greek immigrant, Dr. George Papanicolaou; his intrepid wife, Mary; Japanese-born artist Hashime Murayama; Dr. Helen Dickens, an African American OBGYN in Philadelphia; and an entirely new class of female scientists known as cyto-screeners. But the test was just the beginning. Once the test proved effective, the campaign to make pap smears available to millions of women required nothing short of a total national mobilization. The Cancer Detectives tells the untold story of the first-ever war on cancer and the people who fought tirelessly to save women from what was once the number one cancer killer of women.

2024 • Health

Recommended Documentaries

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James Lovelock

In a series about scientists with brilliant minds, James Lovelock explains how his maverick way of thinking led him not only to technical breakthroughs in atmospheric detection systems on Earth and Mars, but also to Gaia - a new way of thinking about the Earth as a holistic, self-regulating system. He tells of his struggle against the scientific consensus of the day, the ridicule of his peers and his belief that the mainstream scientific establishment stifles intellectual creativity.

S1E2Beautiful Minds • 2010 • People

Moldova

The next leg of my journey takes us north to Moldova, an ancient region covering the Easternmost part of the country. Originally twice its current size, it included northern Bucovina and Basarabia, now the separate and not to confused with the Republic of Moldova.

S1E4Flavours of Romania • 2018 • Travel

The Order of the Elements

In part two, Professor Al-Khalili looks at the 19th century chemists who struggled to impose an order on the apparently random world of the elements. From working out how many there were to discovering their unique relationships with each other, the early scientists' bid to decode the hidden order of the elements was driven by false starts and bitter disputes. But ultimately the quest would lead to one of chemistry's most beautiful intellectual creations - the periodic table.

S1E2Chemistry: A Volatile History • 2010 • Science

The Impossible Flight

In March 2015, Solar Impulse II launched the greatest aviation undertaking of our time: to be the first solar-powered airplane to fly around the world. It was a feat 12 years in the making, and was anything but a sure bet. NOVA follows intrepid pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg - two men bent on pushing the boundaries of human flight and proving renewable energy's potential. Along with a team of brilliant engineers, the two designed and built Solar Impulse from scratch - though top airplane manufacturers told them would be too big, too light, and impossible to control. NOVA follows the team as it overcomes seemingly insurmountable challenges to build and fly the first solar plane around the world.

NOVA PBS • 2018 • Technology

Part I

Chris Packham, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall explore our oceans and its wildlife, to find out how marine life is coping in the face of increasing environmental pressure.

S1E1Blue Planet Live • 2019 • Nature

End of an Era: The Final Shuttle Launch

"You might have thought, as I did then, that our species would be on Mars before the century was over"

6/10The Sagan Series • 1989 • Astronomy

Astronomy Documentaries

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Failure at Re-Entry

Discover what makes re-entry into our atmosphere so challenging and relive some of the most perilous returns to Earth

S1E2Space Disasters • 2020 • Astronomy

Secrets of the Asteroid

One of NASA's most ambitious missions, OSIRIS-REx, is investigating the asteroid Bennu in more detail than ever before, revealing how space rocks can kick-start life on other planets and how they could possibly hold answers to the secrets of the Solar System.

S8E6Space's Deepest Secrets • 2021 • Astronomy

Falling

This episode documents how gravity has an effect across the universe, and how the relatively weak force creates an orbit. We also see how a neutron star's gravity works. Finally, there is a look back at how research on gravity has enabled us to better understand the cosmos.

S1E3Wonders of the UniverseAstronomy

The Black Hole That Kills Galaxies - Quasars

The universe isn't just a vast empty ocean sprinkled with galaxies – most of the atoms are actually drifting in between, in the intergalactic medium. If we look closely, we can see who is in charge here: Quasars, the single most powerful objects in existence. As small as a grain of sand compared to the amazon river, they reside in the centers of some galaxies, shining with the power of a trillion stars, blasting out huge jets of matter, completely reshaping the cosmos around them. They are so powerful that they can kill a galaxy. What are they, and how do they mold the structure of the universe at their whim?

In a Nutshell • 2023 • Astronomy

Drones in Space: Mars to Titan

Drones have already conquered Earth, and now they're heading out into the solar system. The Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity is proving to be successful and will pave the way for Dragonfly, a future daring mission to Titan.

S4E4Breakthrough • 2021 • Astronomy

The Indifferent Amazing Universe

A science short by Sean Carroll, Modern physics reveals a universe with no need of a creator -- and a world where each person creates their own meaning.

2017 • Astronomy

History Documentaries

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Champollion: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Stone

In July 1799, during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, the French soldiers of lieutenant Bouchard discover by chance at Rosetta a large black stone. It is, in fact, the fragment of a stele engraved in honor of King Ptolemy V, including three writing systems: Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs.

S3E5Butterfly Effect • 2018 • History

Commonalities and Divisions

Europe was embroiled in near constant conflict for centuries. Violent power struggles between nations and rulers shook the continent. Not until the Enlightenment and the French Revolution of 1789 that a new idea of Europe emerged based on common values: freedom, equality, and fraternalism.

S1E5The Story of Europe • 2018 • History

Order and Disorder (1825-1865)

This episode of NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM details New York's enormous growth as a booming commercial center and multi-ethnic port, and the mounting tensions that set the stage for the nation's bloodiest riot. Already established as America's premier port, New York City swelled into the nation's greatest industrial metropolis as a massive wave of German and Irish immigration turned the city into one of the world's most complex urban environments, bringing with it a host of new social problems. Episode Two reveals how the city's artists, innovators and leaders, from poet Walt Whitman to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (the designers of Central Park) grappled with the city's growing conflicts -- which culminated in the catastrophic Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.

S1E2New York: A Documentary Film • 1999 • History

Suleiman the Magnificent and Abdul Hamid II

Continuing his fascinating journey to rediscover the central role played by the Ottoman empire in Europe and the Middle East, Rageh Omaar explores the huge contrasts in the times of two very different Ottoman sultans. The most famous Suleiman the Magnificent in the golden age of the 16th century and the troubled reign of Abdul Hamid II in the 19th century when the Ottomans were dubbed 'the Sick Man of Europe'. Rageh examines the cultural legacy as well as the physical, religious and political architecture of Ottoman rule to find out what a Muslim world run from Europe was really like. It reveals the backdrop to the relationship between Islam and Europe today, how the Ottomans became central in the power politics of Europe and what could have happened had they succeeded in their successive bids to seize Vienna, then a key European capital.

S1E2The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors • 2013 • History

Into the Unknown

Exploration has created and defined our modern world. Humanity's primal curiosity has sparked new inventions and revealed the mysteries of the universe.

S1E7Origins: The Journey of Humankind • 2017 • History

Mussolini: The Father of Fascism

This is the story of the rise and fall of the man who became a role model to Hitler and some of history's worst dictators of the twentieth century and beyond - Benito Mussolini.

7/10Evolution of Evil • 2015 • History

Randoms! Documentaries

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Deliverance

All seems lost for the Allies. The Italians are defeated at Caporette, and a Bolshevik Russia pulls out of the war. But the American reinforcements are decisive, and the Allies emerge victorious. The Allies are unable to negotiate an honorable peace agreement, and the Treaty of Versailles, 20 years later, will have disastrous consequences.

S1E5Apocalypse: World War 1 • 2014 • History

Michio Kaku: The Universe in a Nutshell

What if we could find one single equation that explains every force in the universe? Dr. Michio Kaku explores how physicists may shrink the science of the Big Bang into an equation as small as Einstein's "e=mc^2." Thanks to advances in string theory, physics may allow us to escape the heat death of the universe, explore the multiverse, and unlock the secrets of existence. While firing up our imaginations about the future, Kaku also presents a succinct history of physics and makes a compelling case for why physics is the key to pretty much everything.

Big ThinkAstronomy

Coffee and Tea

Gloria and Chris settle the argument over whether tea and coffee are good or bad for us - and if the same is true for both. There is also the truth about a food often touted as a way to fight cancer. And, after reports suggesting reusing plastic water bottles is a bad idea, tests reveal if we should be using a fresh one every time.

S2E4Food: Truth or Scare • 2017 • Health

Aerial America: Yellowstone

When you soar above Yellowstone, it's easy to see why it became the world's first national park in 1872. It's a place of staggering beauty and fragile creatures, of stunning granite peaks that pierce the sky and colorful springs that may hold secrets about the origins of life. This aerial voyage takes you over high elevation lakes, snaking canyons, sputtering hot geysers, and snow-covered landscapes. Explore Yellowstone's history of Native Americans, European explorers, and 10 million years of tectonic upheaval.

2018 • Environment

Vitamins

Following reports that taking extra vitamins is pointless and possibly even dangerous, Gloria discovers whether the vitamins she takes each day are really necessary or if she can get all the nutrients she needs from her food? Chris tests out a new meal plan to see what difference changing what you eat makes to how you power through the day, and even how you sleep.

S1E1Food: Truth or Scare • 2016 • Health

Animal Intelligence

Evolutionary anthropologists are probing the depths of animal intelligence like never before, revealing stunning new insights about humans too.

S1E6Stories of Impact • 2019 • Science