Latest Documentaries

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Total Trust: Surveillance State

Explores state surveillance and digital social control in China by following the experiences of two families and a journalist. Zijuan Chen is fighting for the release of her imprisoned husband, human rights lawyer Weiping Chang, while trying to keep his memory alive for their son. Wenzu Li and her newly freed husband, Quanzhang Wang, struggle against surveillance that is not only stopping him from being able to work but also affecting ordinary tasks like taking their son to school. Journalist Sophie Xueqin Huang, a pivotal figure in bringing the Me Too movement to China, is at constant risk of arrest. Chinese film-maker Jialing Zhang gives an exclusive and previously impossible intimate insight into the interior of China and tells a deeply disturbing story of how the state uses technology to control its citizens as well as propaganda to convince its people to trust it.

2024 • Technology

Mariupol: The People's Story

In a little under three months, residents of what was a thriving city witnessed the deaths of women and children in a maternity hospital and bodies left abandoned on the streets of Mariupol. Filmed and told by many of the citizens of Mariupol, this powerful documentary records the deaths of thousands and daring escapes, and is the story of their loss, bravery and determination.

2022 • History

Controversially 1990: That Was the Year that Was

Jan Leeming narrates a look at controversies, scandals and surprises in TV, film, music and politics from 1990, when Mark Fowler rocked Walford with a dramatic return to EastEnders and a sitcom about Adolf Hitler was pulled off air after just one episode. The Poll Tax riots caused chaos on the streets of London and it was the end of the road for Britain's longest serving prime minister when Margaret Thatcher resigned. Heavy metal band Judas Priest were accused of hiding subliminal messages in their songs, and pop duo Milli Vanilli's career came to a dramatic end when it was revealed they were nothing more than a mime act.

S1E5Controversially: That Was the Year that Was • 2023 • Economics

Controversially 1988: That Was the Year that Was

Jan Leeming narrates a look at controversies, scandals and surprises in TV, film, music and politics in 1988, including Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses igniting a literary and religious firestorm and Ian Paisley daring to heckle the Pope. On the global stage, US president Ronald Reagan and USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev reshaped geopolitics, while a soundbite from Tory MP Edwina Currie dented the UK's confidence in eggs, leading to a nationwide salmonella scare.

S1E4Controversially: That Was the Year that Was • 2023 • Economics

Controversially 1986: That Was the Year that Was

Controversies, scandals and surprises from the year, with Grange Hill tackling the issue of heroin addiction and EastEnders introducing a gay couple to Albert Square. Screenwriter Dennis Potter's drama The Singing Detective won over the critics, but its sex scenes and nudity upset moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse, while cricketer Ian Botham caused a storm after confessing that he'd smoked marijuana. Narrated by Jan Leeming, with contributions from Mark Little, Nick Ferrari, Cheryl Baker, Nick Hewer, Danny John-Jules and Nina Wadia.

S1E3Controversially: That Was the Year that Was • 2023 • Economics

Controversially 1984: That Was the Year that Was

A look back at key events in TV, film, showbusiness and politics in 1984, a year when Spitting Image and The Young Ones revolutionised comedy and enraged the old guard. Conservative crusaders became hysterical over the horror of video nasties, and an attempt to silence pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood backfired spectacularly. In politics, Margaret Thatcher faced a fierce year-long battle with striking coal miners and the Conservative Party was hit by a deadly terrorist attack in Brighton. Narrated by Jan Leeming and featuring contributions from John Thomson, Cheryl Baker, Steve Nallon, Edwina Currie, Matthew Parris and Martin Bell.

S1E2Controversially: That Was the Year that Was • 2023 • Economics

Controversially 1972: That Was the Year that Was

Controversies, scandals and shocks in TV, film, music and politics, when a royal reunion proved divisive, Uri Geller demonstrated his fork-bending talents, and Cosmopolitan magazine was launched. A Clockwork Orange and Last Tango in Paris shocked cinema audiences, while did Jesus Christ Superstar did the same on stage.

S1E1Controversially: That Was the Year that Was • 2023 • Economics

A World Still to Conquer

The Persian Empire conquered, Alexander defeats Darius III. Still ambitious, he now seeks to control the entire world.

S1E6Alexander: The Making of a God • 2024 • History

The Living God

Alexander faces his destiny leading his army into Persia's heart. Peace impossible, he heads for a final confrontation with Darius III.

S1E5Alexander: The Making of a God • 2024 • History

The Golden Empire

After Egypt brings new purpose, Alexander embarks on a dangerous quest to find an oracle and discover his identity.

S1E4Alexander: The Making of a God • 2024 • History

Face to Face

After defeating Darius III at Battle of Issus against odds, Alexander falls back and sets sights on unexpected target: Egypt.

S1E3Alexander: The Making of a God • 2024 • History

Death or Victory

Alexander leads army to victory in western Persia. Darius III reassesses opponent as tyrant inside Alexander starts to emerge.

S1E2Alexander: The Making of a God • 2024 • History

Recommended Documentaries

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Coastal Seas

From fearsome sharks to lowly urchins, 90 percent of marine creatures live in coastal waters. Protecting these habitats is a battle humanity must win.

S1E4Our Planet • 2019 • Nature

How to Talk to Aliens

Are we alone in the universe? Even if we could contact aliens, what would we say? How would we say it? And, most importantly, should we even be trying to make contact at all? This episode takes me on a journey to compose and send my own personal message into outer space.

S3E6Mind Field • 2019 • Brain

The Planet Hunters

For as long as we’ve had eyes to see and minds to wonder we’ve marveled at the stars. Since the discovery of the first so-called exoplanet in 1994, the Planet Hunters have transformed the way we see the universe. It is the year 2157, and spacecraft Artemis enters the final phase of construction.

S1E1Living Universe • 2018 • Astronomy

Ancient Prophecies

Amid a spiral of brutality and low morale, Mehmed makes Giustiniani an enticing offer. The grand vizier urges Mehmed to seek a truce with his rival.

S1E5Rise of Empires: Ottoman • 2020 • History

The Soviet Story

The Soviet Story offers an alternative history of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale.

2008 • History

The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis

Humans are the only Earthlings with complex language. But at what cost was that ability acquired? In this episode, I visit Tetsuro Matsuzawa to learn about his influential cognitive tradeoff hypothesis.

S3E1Mind Field • 2019 • Brain

Health Documentaries

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E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace

Michael Mosley investigates the dramatic rise in e-cigarettes. They're everywhere these days, but what does the latest scientific research on them reveal? Michael reveals what e-cigarettes are really doing to your health. Are they really better for you than cigarettes? What is actually in them? Is passive vapour harmful? And can they really stop you from smoking? Michael meets some of the scientists around the world studying them, asks a group of volunteers to try to give up smoking regular cigarettes using them, and even takes up 'vaping' himself, smoking an e-cigarette every day for a month to see the effects on his own health - no easy task for such a committed non-smoker.

Horizon • 2016 • Health

The End of Blue Zones?

Both the Greek island of Ikaria and a peninsula in Costa Rica boast some of the world's healthiest and most active folks over 100 years old. Discover how they do it with simple foods and exercise that are fully integrated into daily life.

S1E3Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones • 2023 • Health

50 Shocking Facts About Diet and Exercise

A countdown show looking at the shocking truth behind what we eat and the often dangerous and misguided methods we adopt in order to lose weight. Scientists, industry experts and exponents discuss the pros and cons of fad diets, 'healthy' foods and extreme exercise regimes. We all know about the benefits of exercise, good diet, looking good and living a healthy lifestyle, but most of the things that are good for us can bring side-effects that are precisely the opposite. Incontinence, infertility, infected genitalia, energy drink madness, hip replacements and even death are commonplace among the beautiful people – as are botched surgeries, extremely dangerous self-harming diets and bizarre exercise programmes.

2013 • Health

How do your kidneys work?

After drinking a few glasses of water on a hot day, you might be struck with a sudden ... urge. Behind that feeling are two bean-shaped organs that work as fine-tuned internal sensors.

TED-EdHealth

The Autism Enigma

A fresh perspective on autism research with the developing "Bacterial Theory" of autism. The fastest-growing developmental disorder in the industrialized world, autism has increased an astounding 600 per cent over the last 20 years. Science cannot say why. Some say it's triggered by environmental factors and point to another intriguing statistic: 70 per cent of kids with autism also have severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Could autism actually begin in the gut? The Autism Enigma looks at the progress of an international group of scientists who are studying the gut's amazingly diverse and powerful microbial ecosystem for clues to the baffling disorder.

S51E08The Nature of Things • 2011 • Health

Sugar Coated

Is sugar the new tobacco? How did the food industry get us to stop asking the question: is sugar toxic? It all starts with a secret PR campaign dating back to the 1970s. For forty years, Big Sugar deflected all threats to its multi-billion dollar empire, while sweetening the world's food supply. As obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rates skyrocket, doctors are now treating the first generation of children suffering from fatty liver disease. The sugar industry is once again under siege. They dodged the bullet once. Can they do it again?

2015 • Health

Physics Documentaries

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Let It Snow!

In this extraordinary documentary we are going to witness very different kinds and situations of snowing: from howling blizzards to the gentlest and loveliest of weather events, from huge handkerchiefs quietly falling to the needle-sharp attack of hard, heavy grains. Snow - what is it really? How is it created - naturally and artificially? Thanks to CGI and new camera techniques we can actually see this process for the first time and listen to the incredible, inaudible music of snowfall, of myriads of tiny crystals touching and rolling and settling. Each snowflake is unique and bears more secrets than we could imagine. Did you know that different kinds of music influence the crystallization process and the shape of snowflakes? And have you ever imagined that we would be able to produce artificial snow that melts at 30 degrees Celsius? With this in mind: just let it snow!

2008 • Physics

3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Awesome!

Nuclear energy might have a lot of unused potential. Not only is it one of the best mid term solutions for global warming bit despite what gut feeling tells us, it has saved millions of lives. By investing more into better technologies we might be able to make nuclear energy finally save and clean forever.

S1E3Nuclear Energy ExplainedPhysics

Ejection seats

Witness the ingenuity and bravery of the pioneers who developed, built, and even risked their lives testing the ejection seat.

S1E3Survival in the Skies • 2019 • Physics

Einstein's brilliant mistake: Entangled states

When you think about Einstein and physics, E=mc^2 is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But one of his greatest contributions to the field actually came in the form of an odd philosophical footnote in a 1935 paper he co-wrote -- which ended up being wrong.

TED-EdPhysics

Neutrinos Matter and Antimatter the Yin Yang of the Big Bang

What happened to all of the universe's antimatter? Can a particle be its own anti-particle? And how do you build an experiment to find out? In this program, particle physicists reveal their hunt for a neutrino event so rare, it happens to a single atom at most once every 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years: far longer than the current age of the universe. If they find it, it could explain no less than the existence of our matter-filled universe.

World Science Festival • 2019 • Physics

For the Love of Physics (Walter Lewin's Last Lecture)

On May 16, 2011, Professor of Physics Emeritus Walter Lewin returned to MIT lecture hall 26-100 for a physics talk and book signing, complete with some of his most famous physics demonstrations to celebrate the publication of his new book For The Love Of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics, written with Warren Goldstein.

2014 • Physics

Randoms! Documentaries

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Age of Rebellion

Howard Goodall examines the ways in which modernism and the birth of recorded sound in the late 19th century changed the way music was played, heard and distributed. He reveals how the works of Mussorgsky made a huge impression on European composers when aired at the 1889 Paris World Fair, and discusses how increasingly disparate musical influences were woven together to create groundbreaking new sounds.

S1E5Howard Goodall's Story of Music • 2013 • Music

Part 1: Afghanistan

Beginning in Afghanistan, he will push himself to his physical limits as he treks 1,700 miles across the roof of the world, teaming up with local guides and meeting soldiers, monks and nomadic tribes. As well as battling natural obstacles, from punishing terrain to altitudes above 5,000m, Levison has to tread carefully through one of the most fought-over areas of the world.

S1E1Walking the Himalayas with Levison Wood • 2016 • Travel

Inside Job

'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse.

2010 • Economics

How to Go Viral

Richard Clay, art historian and expert on semiotics and iconoclasm and the interplay between new technology and shifts in meaning, compares and contrasts cultural symbols from across the centuries, unpicking iconic images, music, and other cultural outputs to explain where ‘stickiness’ comes from.

2019 • Technology

On Thin ice

David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.

S1E7Frozen Planet • 2011 • Nature

Does this look white to you?

When you mix red and green, what do you get? White light is all of the colors, right? So, how do computer screens show you every wavelength of light? Or do they?

Physics Girl • 2015 • Brain