Latest Documentaries

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Part 2

The museum's dinosaur experts Susie Maidment and Paul Barrett follow up an exciting tip-off about some possible dino footprints in Wales. Meanwhile, the world's most famous dinosaur - Dippy the Diplodocus - is on a road trip around the country and needs an up-close inspection to make sure it's safe.

S1E2Natural History Museum: World of Wonder • 2020 • Nature

Part 1

Every year, five million people visit London's Natural History Museum to see its incredible collection, from extraordinary dinosaurs to giant whales, and rare fossils to space rocks said to be as old as the solar system itself. But only a fraction of the staggering 80 million items in the collection are on display. Here cameras capture some of these incredible specimens, revealing the unique and rare pieces too valuable to exhibit.

S1E1Natural History Museum: World of Wonder • 2020 • Nature

Secrets in our DNA

Some 30 million Americans have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases.

NOVA PBS • 2021 • Science

Hunting the Elements

A two-hour special from the producers of "Making Stuff" Where do nature's building blocks, called the elements, come from? They're the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, technology columnist and lively host of Nova’s popular "Making Stuff" series, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe's most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare—substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second.

NOVA PBS • 2012 • Science

Safe in our Hands

This edition follows the plight of some of the youngest and most vulnerable of the mountain gorilla population. Includes the two young orphans whose mothers were callously murdered in execution-style killings, the young female battling with new emotions, and the new gorilla king struggling to keep hold of the group he fought so hard to win. Discover how they cope in this exploration of what the future holds for the remaining last few hundred mountain gorillas.

3/3Mountain Gorilla • 2010 • Nature

Last Stand of the Silverback King

Titus the gorilla king faces the biggest challenge of his life. He's lived longer and sired more offspring than any other known gorilla, but his time as a great leader may be coming to an end. The mighty silverback has a little orphan in his care - and both their lives hang in the balance. In Uganda, young silverback Marembo is back with his raging hormones and desire to be dominant - he's sure to shake things up a bit.

2/3Mountain Gorilla • 2010 • Nature

Kingdom in the Clouds

The largest gorilla family in the world is starting the perilous journey down to feed on the fresh shoots of bamboo. They run the risk of being caught in illegal snares and Cantsbee, the dominant silverback, will have his work cut out keeping them all safe, especially those closest to him. Meanwhile on the other side of the Rwandan volcanoes a young gorilla has been deserted by her mother. She turns to her silverback father for guidance and protection, but is he up to the job? In Uganda, Marembo the teenage silverback has come of age. He has lived 15 years under the watchful eye of dominant silverback Rukina but now feels it is time to make the break on his own.

1/3Mountain Gorilla • 2010 • Nature

Max Richter's Sleep

'My personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence' - Max Richter. Max Richter's Sleep is a meditative respite from the rush and chaos of modern life that studies a universal experience. This documentary film follows acclaimed composer and musician Max Richter and his creative partner, artist and Bafta-winning film-maker Yulia Mahr, as they navigate an ambitious performance of his celebrated eight-hour opus Sleep at an open-air concert in Los Angeles. Emmy-nominated director Natalie Johns weaves in Mahr's personal archive and performance footage from Berlin, Sydney and Paris to create a rich portrait of a shared artistic process, along with contributions that illuminate both the science and the story behind the work.

2020 • Music

The Moose Movie

Nothing shouts northern wilderness more than a magnificent moose, the undisputed king of the forest. But moose don’t start out big and burly; for two twins born into a forest glade, a challenging life lies ahead. PS Funny Stuff inside :)

2020 • Nature

Feast to Save the Planet

MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace and mathematician Dr Hannah Fry take over a restaurant and invite five special guests to enjoy a dinner party with a difference, where they will be scored on the carbon footprint of every dish they choose. Food accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, so making informed choices about what we eat is more important than ever. Diners Sara Pascoe, Amol Rajan, Nikki Fox, Desiree Burch and Matthew Fort choose from a menu of tantalising treats, each of which tells its own environmental story. But will they be able to sort the eco-goodies from the eco-nasties hidden in each course? Gregg is with the kitchen team preparing delicious dishes and uncovering tips and tricks we can all use to cook more sustainably. Hannah is working with environmental scientists to reveal the carbon footprint of every single item on the menu and uncovering the latest research that can help us enjoy the food we love that doesn't cost the Earth.

Horizon • 2021 • Environment

The Forgotten Forest

David Schwimmer visits a forgotten Brazilian rainforest.

S1E5Mysterious Planet • 2020 • Nature

Roof of Africa

David Schwimmer explores the Ethiopian Highlands.

S1E4Mysterious Planet • 2020 • Nature

Recommended Documentaries

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Communication

Nothing has shrunk the globe more than our extraordinary ability to talk to one another across the oceans and continents. Episode three of The Genius of Invention reveals the fascinating chain of events that made such every-day miracles possible. It tells the story of the handful of extraordinary inventors and inventions who helped build the modern world by harnessing electricity and electromagnetism to enable us to send instant messages across vast distances. Michael Mosley and academics, Prof Mark Miodownik and Dr Cassie Newland tell the amazing story of three more of the greatest and most transformative inventions of all time; the electric telegraph, the telephone and wireless communication. Our experts explain how these inventions came about by sparks of inventive genius and steady incremental improvements. They separate myth from reality in the lives of the great inventors and celebrate some of the most remarkable stories in British history.

Part 3The Genius of Invention • 2013 • Technology

Venus

We have been mesmerized by Venus since ancient times. Was this a paradise world teeming with life? This film tells the remarkable story of how spacecraft revealed the true nature of Earth’s enigmatic twin, that it’s a lifeless hell – and that the Earth could follow suit.

3/8Secrets of the Solar System • 2020 • Astronomy

Hunters and Hunted

This programme surveys mammal herbivores and their predators. The herbivores began to populate the forests when the dinosaurs disappeared, and many took to gathering food at night. To prepare for winter, some store it in vast quantities, some hibernate and others make do as best they can. However, the carnivores joined them, and when a drying climate triggered the spread of grass, they followed their prey out on to the plains. Grass is not easily digestible and most animals that eat it have to regurgitate it and chew the cud. Out in the open, the leaf-eaters had to develop means of protection.

11/13Life on Earth • 1979 • Nature

Colony

Watching the fascinating display of leafcutter ants at the Natural History Museum in London is one of my favourite ways to while away a few hours, but David Attenborough is operating on a much grander scale here in the last in the series. In Argentina he observes some cousins of the leafcutters who are part of a community so vast it spans an entire continent. It’s one of the mandible-dropping facts in a look at one of the key inventions of arthropods: colonies. From termites and honey bees to the leafcutters, it seems that if you want to get ahead, you move to the big city.

6Micro Monsters with David Attenborough • 2013 • Nature

Diagnosis on Demand

Could a machine replace your doctor? Dr Hannah Fry explores the incredible ways AI is revolutionising healthcare - and what this means for all of us. This film chronicles the inside story of the AI health revolution, as one company, Babylon Health, prepare for a man vs machine showdown. Can Babylon succeed in their quest to prove their AI can outperform human doctors at safe triage and accurate diagnosis?

Horizon • 2018 • Health

Water Apocalypse

California is on the brink of an apocalypse. The state faces a future of drought that will cost billions in lost farm revenue and thousands of jobs. But the challenges facing the state are not unique: All over the world, governments are struggling with bigger populations and a diminishing supply of freshwater. Innovators across the globe are seeking solutions in emergent technologies to prevent a planet-wide water crisis.

S1E6Breakthrough National Geographic • 2015 • Environment

Travel Documentaries

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East

his leg takes Ade to the east of the continent, from Tanzania, through Ethiopia and on to war-torn Somalia. Ade begins in Tanzania, in Selous Game Reserve – a game park the size of Switzerland. He is on the lookout for elephants. But the numbers in this park have fallen by 90 per cent over the last few decades. As well as poaching, one of the big problems is that elephants trample and eat crops – so the locals don't like them. But a new collaring programme is helping numbers to recover. Ade's next stop is Ethiopia's far north. He travels to the hottest place on the planet where he spends a night with some of the toughest people on earth - the Afar. He joins them doing what their ancestors have done for centuries – hacking blocks of salt from a dried-up salt lake and loading them onto camels. But change is finally coming to this place – thanks to another of its resources, the fertilizer potash. It is a sign of Ethiopia's development, which Ade sees more of in the capital, Addis Ababa. Having grown up with images of starving children in the famine-plagued 80s, Addis is nothing like Ade expected. The city is booming. And it is driving Ethiopia's economy - now one of the fastest-growing in the world. Ade gets a guided tour from perhaps the world's greatest-ever long distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie. Haile is now a businessman, with investments in coffee and construction. The real fuel in Ethiopia's boom is manufacturing. Asia is still the workshop of the world, but with wages there on the rise, Chinese companies are increasingly looking to countries like Ethiopia to set up factories – as Ade discovers on a visit to a shoe factory. Leaving Addis, Ade travels on Ethiopia's new high-speed Chinese built train, which whisks him all the way to neighbouring Djibouti, a vital port for Ethiopia's export-led economy. The final stop on this leg of Ade's trip is war-torn Somalia. He joins the African Union troops on a mission out of Mogadishu and discovers a country in ruins, thanks to decades of conflict with Islamist group al-Shabab. Even in areas ruled by the government conservative Islam dominates and women face restriction on their freedom. Back in Mogadishu, Ade shoots some hoops with a group of women defying the odds by playing basketball. His final encounter is with a female doctor who worked for the NHS for 30 years, and has now returned to Somalia to rebuild her country. She is prepared to give her life, if necessary, in her efforts to provide quality maternity care for new mothers.

3/4Africa with Ade Adepitan • 2019 • Travel

South

Simon Reeve sets out on an epic journey around the island of Ireland - a place steeped in history, culture and belief, but with a complex past. Part 1: South Simon begins his journey in the south of Ireland, paramotoring with an Irish explorer. On the west coast, he does spot of surfing before climbing Croagh Patrick in honour of Ireland's patron saint. This leg of his journey ends in Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point.

1/2Ireland with Simon Reeve • 2015 • Travel

Banat & Crisana

The Banat region borders on Serbia and Hungary, so its capital, Timisoara, is a very multi-cultural, cosmopolitan city, and provides the main social and economic hub for western Romania.

7/9Flavours of Romania • 2018 • Travel

Kenya and the Horn of Africa

The third leg of the adventurer's journey takes him from the south of Kenya to the Horn of Africa. Along the way he joins a Ugandan peace-keeping force in Mogadishu, the capital of war-torn Somalia, which turns out to be the most dangerous leg of his journey as he ends up under fire on the front line. In contrast, he finds neighbouring Somaliland a stable and democratic home to thousands of Somalis fleeing fighting and famine. In Kenya's Tana Delta, he meets villagers facing eviction from an area that the government is turning over to sugar cane production for bio-fuels.

3/6Indian OceanTravel

Part 2

The Mediterranean is abundant in so many ways – ethnically, religiously, culturally. Three major religions were born here. It’s also the world’s most densely populated region and the scene of countless battles in its wartorn history.

2/2Mediterranean: A Sea for All • 2020 • Travel

Part 1

Travelogue series into the notably private nation. Michael arrives in the capital Pyongyang, where he meets the guides who will follow his every move, visits the statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, watches propaganda art being created, and asks a local student what they know about the outside world.

1/2Michael Palin in North Korea • 2018 • Travel

Math Documentaries

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Digits

Latif explores a law of numerical probability that applies to classical music, contemporary social media, tax fraud and perhaps the entire universe.

S1E4Connected - The Hidden Science of Everything • 2020 • Math

Numbers as God

Hannah goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks to find out why they were so fascinated by the connection between beautiful music and maths. The patterns our ancestors found in music are all around us, from the way a sunflower stores its seeds to the number of petals in a flower. Even the shapes of some of the smallest structures in nature, such as viruses, seem to follow the rules of maths. All strong evidence for maths being discovered. But there are those who claim maths is all in our heads and something we invented. To find out if this is true, Hannah has her brain scanned. It turns out there is a place in all our brains where we do maths, but that doesn't prove its invented. Experiments with infants, who have never had a maths lesson in their lives, suggests we all come hardwired to do maths. Far from being a creation of the human mind, this is evidence for maths being something we discover. Then along comes the invention of zero to help make counting more convenient and the creation of imaginary numbers, and the balance is tilted in the direction of maths being something we invented. The question of whether maths is invented or discovered just got a whole lot more difficult to answer.

1/3Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths • 2018 • Math

Brady Numbers

The new "Brady Sequence" demonstrates why Fibonacci Numbers are not so special.

NumberphileMath

Why are manhole covers round?

Why are most manhole covers round? Sure it makes them easy to roll, and slide into place in any alignment. But there’s another, more compelling reason, involving a peculiar geometric property of circles and other shapes. Marc Chamberland explains curves of constant width and Barbier’s theorem.

TED-EdMath

Decoded

Secret codes run the world. The code of life, DNA, is the operating system for all organisms, which spawned intelligent life like us who eventually created codes of our own--language that allows us to talk and the alphabet that lets us write.

11/17Big History • 2013 • Math

Prediction

Marcus du Sautoy continues his exploration of the hidden numerical code that underpins all nature. This time it's the strange world of what happens next. Professor du Sautoy's odyssey starts with the lunar eclipse - once thought supernatural, now routinely predicted through the power of the code. But more intriguing is what the code can say about our future.

3/3The CodeMath

Randoms! Documentaries

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Is Climate Change Just A Lot Of Hot Air?

How can global warming of less than 1 degree Celsius drive extreme weather? You might need to look beneath the surface (of the ocean) for the answer.

MinuteEarth • 2015 • Environment

Ghosts in the Machine

The first episode of this new series tells the fascinating story of the birth of industrial design. Alongside the celebrated names, from Wedgwood to William Morris, it also explores the work of the anonymous designers responsible for prosaic but classic designs for cast-iron cooking pots to sheep shears - harbingers of a breed of industrially produced objects culminating in the Model T Ford. Includes interviews with legendary designer Dieter Rams and J Mays, Ford Motors' global head of design.

1/5The Genius of Design • 2010 • Design

Humanity from Space

From the global perspective of space, this 2-hour special reveals the breathtaking extent of our influence, revealing how we’ve transformed our planet and produced an interconnected world of extraordinary complexity. A journey through 12,000 years, Humanity from Space shows how seemingly small flashes of innovation have changed the course of civilization; innovations that touch all of us today in ways unimaginable to our ancestors. And we’ll gaze into the future at the new challenges we’ll face in order to survive as our global population soars because of our success. In every case we’ll look at our progression in a unique and surprising way, revealing unforgettable facts and "who knew?" connections. To visualize these stories cutting-edge technology is used to turn raw data into authentic moving images, building on expertise from a previous (and highly-praised) project; "Earth From Space." Using this technique, we can map humanity’s behavior in stunning, never seen before detail, revealing how our civilization grew, how it works today and what the future might hold.

2015 • Environment

Instanbul

Istanbul: At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, many of its secrets are concealed or underground. The latest 3D imaging technology reveals the city as no human eye ever could to show how the city has had to reinvent itself over and over through its turbulent past.

3/3Ancient Invisible Cities • 2018 • History

Parenthood

In the final challenge of the game of life, raising offspring is the ultimate prize. Continuing the line through the next generation, is the next best thing to immortality. But it’s far from easy... Some parents must risk their own lives for their offspring.

6/7Life Story • 2014 • Nature

Mars: The Definitive Guide

Astronaut Mike Massimino reveals the answers to some of the greatest mysteries on the Red Planet. Using the most detailed survey of Mars ever created, he discovers the dark history of our closest neighbor.

S1E2The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy