Latest Documentaries

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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.

Vikings: 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

The Rise and Fall of Pablo Escobar

The search for Pablo Escobar as told by US Drug Enforcement Administration agents, with never-before-seen footage of Escobar's life and capture.

2018 • People

Jane Goodall: Beauty and the Beasts

In 1960, a young secretary from Bournemouth, with no scientific qualifications, entered a remote forest in Africa and achieved something nobody else had ever done before. Jane Goodall became accepted by a group of wild chimpanzees, making discoveries that transformed our understanding of them, and challenged the way we define ourselves as human beings by showing just how close we are as a species to our nearest living relatives. Since then, both she and the chimps of Gombe in Tanzania have become world famous - Jane as the beauty of many wildlife films, they as the beasts with something profound to tell us. As one of the programme's contributors, David Attenborough, suggests, Jane Goodall's story could be a fable if it wasn't true. In this revealing programme filmed with Jane Goodall in Africa, we discover the person behind the myth, what motivates her and the personal cost her life's work has exacted from her - and why she still thinks we have a lot to learn from the chimps she has devoted her life to understanding.

2010 • Nature

Edge of Existence

This is a story about the greatest risks to humanity, and what we can do about it. We are living in a time when human-made risks pose the biggest threat to our existence. Technological progress has brought us to a precipice. For the first time ever, we have the capacity to destroy ourselves. Edge of Existence lays out how we can pull ourselves back from this precipice in order achieve a vast and extraordinary future.

2022 • Environment

Recommended Documentaries

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Size Matters

In this episode, Brian travels round Australia to explore the physics of the size of life.

S1E4Wonders of LifeNature

Episode 1

From St Abbs in Scotland, Steve reveals how ocean plastic rubbish is turned into kayaks that clean up our seas, Gillian goes oyster fishing in Cornwall and Chris meets author Philip Hoare who thinks we should all take a daily dip in the sea.

S1E1Blue Planet UK • 2019 • Nature

The Sun

From the frozen poles to the searing deserts, this episode shows how animals have come up with strategies to survive the uneven amounts of sunlight that fall on our planet.

S1E2A Perfect Planet • 2021 • Nature

Professor Julia Higgins discusses Michael Faraday

President of the Institute of Physics Professor Julia Higgins explores the life and work of Michael Faraday and how his curiosity and passion for communicating science inspires her.

S1E6People of Science with Brian Cox • 2018 • Science

Planet 9: The Lost World

Astronaut Mike Massimino investigates the possibility of a giant ninth planet at the edge of the solar system; using the latest technology, he reveals the incredible secrets of this mysterious world.

S1E5The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

The Invisible Enemy

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam takes a deep dive into the fascinating and varied world of viruses. He aims to show how public health measures, combined with ground-breaking science, will have an impact far beyond Covid-19, including breakthroughs that could help fight other infectious diseases, genetic disorders and even cancer.

S1E1Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health

Physics Documentaries

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How To Explore The Universe

Exploring the universe on a ship that can boldly go where no man has gone before isn't just a sci fi dream. Dr Michio Kaku reveals how we really could one day build a warp drive and set out on our own star trek.

S1E1Physics of the Impossible • 2009 • Physics

The Jet Race

From the first gas turbine to tomorrow's hypersonic jet engines, see the evolution of the machine that is changing the world.

S1E4Survival in the Skies • 2019 • Physics

What is the Universe Made Of?

For over a century, physicists have searched for a blueprint of the universe in the form of a single mathematical formula. This ultimate formula would explain the fundamental building blocks of the universe -– the elementary particles and the different forces that govern them. In their quest, physicists dedicated themselves to the pursuit of mathematical beauty but they were to be met with unexpected setbacks. The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 at last confirmed the Standard Model –- a culmination of the theories of various physicists that finally seemed to explain what this universe is made of. But is this where the story ends...? Using the latest computer graphics and interviews with Nobel Prize-winning physicists, we look at the fascinating and dramatic story of the search for the ultimate formula.

S1E1The Ultimate Formula • 2016 • Physics

The Story of Everything

In two mind-blowing hours, Hawking reveals the wonders of the cosmos to a new generation.

S1E3Stephen Hawking's Universe • 1997 • Physics

Building the Sun: The 250 Million Degree Problem

Scientists investigate the way the Sun builds its power -- through fusion -- hoping to find a way to use fusion as a less dangerous and less radioactive waste-producing path to energy than fission. But there are some major difficulties along the way...

2017 • Physics

Is There a Shadow Universe?

It appears we live in a universe filled with light. But scientists are now certain there is far more matter in the dark portions of our universe.

S5E10Through the WormholePhysics

Astronomy Documentaries

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A Matter Of Gravity

Where and how are we going into space post Space Shuttle? Further travel in space is inhibited by the challenges of gravity wells and the science and cost of developing vehicles that can transcend them. How can the moon possibly help with this problem and move space exploration to the next level?

S1E1Destination: Moon • 2016 • Astronomy

Pluto's Heart

A voyage a decade in the making, the New Horizons probe has travelled to the end of our Solar System to reveal a world unlike any other, Pluto. Now, as it heads deep into the Kuiper Belt, those responsible for its magnificent journey share their fears, joy and hope for this piano-sized explorer.

S1E5Space Probes • 2016 • Astronomy

The Big Bang

Professor Lawrence Krauss and Professor Michio Kaku explain the physics behind the events in the first second of The Big Bang, events which range from the first fractions of a second after creation: The Plank Era.

2012 • Astronomy

Apollo 11

From director Todd Douglas Miller comes a cinematic event fifty years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.

2019 • Astronomy

Stardust

Brian Cox discusses the elements of which all living things, including humans, are made. He explores the beginnings of the universe and the origins of humanity, going far back in time to look at the process of stellar evolution.

S1E2Wonders of the UniverseAstronomy

Infinite Worlds A Journey through Parallel Universes

The multiverse hypothesis, suggesting that our universe is but one of perhaps infinitely many, speaks to the very nature of reality. Join physicist Brian Greene, cosmologists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, and philosopher Nick Bostrom as they discuss and debate this controversial implication of forefront research and explore its potential for redefining the cosmic order. Moderated by Robert Krulwich and featuring an original musical interlude, inspired by parallel worlds, by DJ Spooky.

World Science Festival • 2015 • Astronomy

Randoms! Documentaries

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The Little Penguin

Despite their diminutive stature, little penguins are a formidable species. They spend months at sea hunting, they mate for life, and when gulls threaten to steal their hard-earned fish, they band together in groups for self-defense. Journey to the sandy beaches of Southern Australia, where the tiniest penguin species on the planet is living large.

S1E1Wild Birds of Australia • 2018 • Nature

Can We Build a Brain?

Artificially intelligent machines are taking over. They’re influencing our everyday lives in profound and often invisible ways. They can read handwriting, interpret emotions, play games, and even act as personal assistants. They are in our phones, our cars, our doctors’ offices, our banks, our web searches…the list goes on and is rapidly growing ever longer. But how does today’s A.I. actually work—and is it truly intelligent? And for that matter, what is intelligence? The world’s brightest computer programmers are trying to build brighter machines by reverse-engineering the brain and by inventing completely new kinds of computers, with exponentially greater speed and processing power. NOVA Wonders looks at how far we’ve come and where machines are headed as their software becomes ever more…cerebral. How close are we from a world in which computers take over—from diagnosing cancer to driving our cars to targeting weapons? If we place more and more of our lives under the control of these artificial brains, what are we putting at risk?

Nova Wonders • 2018 • Brain

Cast Adrift

Isolated since the time of the dinosaurs, New Zealand's wildlife has been left to its own devices, with surprising consequences. Its ancient forests are still stalked by predators from the Jurassic era. It's also one of the most geologically active countries on earth. From Kiwis with their giant eggs, to forest-dwelling penguins and helicopter-riding sheep dogs, meet the astonishing creatures and resilient people who must rise to the challenges of their beautiful, dramatic and demanding home.

Part 1New Zealand: Earth's Mythical Islands • 2016 • Nature

Michelangelo: Love and Death

The spectacular sculptures and paintings of Michelangelo seem so familiar to us, but what do we really know about this Renaissance genius, and who was this ambitious and passionate man? A virtuoso craftsman, Michelangelo's artistry is evident in everything that he touched. Spanning his 89 years, this episode takes a cinematic journey from the print and drawing rooms of Europe through the great chapels and museums of Florence, Rome and the Vatican to explore the tempestuous life of Michelangelo.

S1E3Great Art • 2018 • Design

The Language of the Universe

In Egypt, professor Marcus du Sautoy uncovers use of a decimal system based on ten fingers of the hand and discovers that the way we tell the time is based on the Babylonian Base 60 number system. In Greece, he looks at the contributions of some of the giants of mathematics including Plato, Archimedes and Pythagoras, who is credited with beginning the transformation of mathematics from a counting tool into the analytical subject of today.

S1E1The Story of MathsMath

Fireworks

Now a billion-dollar industry, Jeff learns the fireworks business is booming. From a dazzling drone display to spectacular stargazing, Jeff discovers how the feeling of awe affects us and the weird and wonderful ways we seek it out.

S2E4The World According to Jeff Goldblum • 2021 • Technology