In 1957, Britain exploded its first megaton hydrogen bomb - codenamed Operation Grapple X. It was the culmination of an extraordinary scientific project, which against almost insuperable odds turned Britain into a nuclear superpower. Featuring access to the top-secret nuclear research facility at Aldermaston, the programme features interviews with veterans and scientists who took part in the atomic bomb programme, some speaking for the first time, and newly released footage of the British atomic bomb tests.
Simon uncovers the city's ancient Greek roots, maps its transformation into the imperial capital of a Christian Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great and reveals how ecclesiastical clashes forced Eastern and Western Churches apart.
Bettany Hughes' series profiling the most celebrated thinkers of the Ancient world continues as she turns her attention to Socrates. Heading to Greece, she details how the Athenian philosopher secured a reputation as an influential maverick. She also highlights how his contributions as one of the founders of Western philosophy did not please his detractors, as his outspoken defence of his beliefs ultimately led to his execution.
The Taino people of the Caribbean were the first people of the Americas to greet Christopher Columbus. But, as Jago reveals, they had a multicultural society complete with drug-infused rituals, strange skulls and amazing navigation. In deep caverns and turquoise seas, Jago uncovers their hidden history.
Narrated by Brian Cox, Revelation of the Pyramids takes an in-depth look into one of Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. For centuries, the Great Pyramids have fascinated Mankind; every year brings a batch of new theories, from the plausible to the absolutely bizarre. One lone seeker, after more than thirty-seven years of study and research, has at last managed first to understand and then to prove what lies behind this greatest of archaeological mysteries: a message of paramount importance for all mankind, through time and space. Its key - and its heart - are the Great Pyramids of Egypt. From China to Peru, from Egypt to Mexico, throughout the Middle East - through the world's oldest, most enigmatic and often most beautiful sites - the director has spent six years of investigation, guided by his anonymous informant, verifying his discoveries one by one, and meeting the planet's most eminent scientific and technical specialists. The result will shake the history of mankind as it is taught to its very core, and revolutionize Egyptology entirely. A great odyssey along a breathtaking route rich in staggering imagery, an extraordinary scientific leap and finally a revelation as unexpected as it is spectacular: the message bequeathed to future generations by these mysterious builders.
2010 • History
Jeremy Paxman continues his personal account of Britain's empire, looking at how the empire began as a pirates' treasure hunt, grew into an informal empire based on trade and developed into a global financial network. He travels from Jamaica, where sugar made plantation owners rich on the backs of African slaves, to Calcutta, where British traders became the new princes of India. Jeremy then heads to Hong Kong, where British-supplied opium threatened to turn the Chinese into a nation of drug addicts - leading to the brutal opium wars, in which Britain triumphed and took the island of Hong Kong as booty. Unfair trading helped spark the independence movement in India, led by Mahatma Gandhi; in a former cotton spinning town in Lancashire, Jeremy meets two women who remember Gandhi's extraordinary visit in 1931.