It is hard to imagine a sky without an airplane in it. But David McCullough takes us back to the first days of aviation. We learn about the Wright Brothers, not only through their achievements, but by discovering who they were as people and the early family influences that shaped their characters.
From a painter who changed the face of modern art to the most recognised figure of WWII, this episode spans the century, highlighting people of such profound influence that they can reasonably be termed “iconic”. Whether they’re reshaping a nation or reinventing the tools that will forever change the way we live, no one could argue that the Top Twenty are all people who made the twentieth century.
In her final journey of the series, Kate Humble travels deep into the southern Gobi Desert in Mongolia to live with an extended family of cashmere goat and yak herders. Here in the seemingly barren wastes of Asia's largest desert, nomads have lived cheek by jowl with nature for centuries. Chimid, the 78-year-old mother of ten, welcomes Kate into her large family. With their herds of goats, sheep, horses and yaks, this family are successful nomads. They move four times a year with the seasons across the Gobi, to sheltered winter pastures and mountaintop summer grazing.
Bettany Hughes travels to Vienna on the trail of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Freud's influence surrounds us. In our vocabulary - repression, penis envy, the Freudian slip - and in the freedom we take for granted, to talk openly about our deepest feelings and insecurities. A pioneer in the study of the human mind, Freud's psychoanalytic methods addressed emotional issues, seldom even discussed in the 19th century. Talking to his patients inspired his radical understanding of the unconscious mind, as a repository of hidden repressed emotions and irrational primal desires.
Adolf Hitler is infamous today as a war criminal - arguably one of the worst war criminals in history. Yet during the 1930s he was loved by millions of Germans. How was this possible? In this fascinating series, award-winning historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees examines the background to Hitler's 'charismatic' rule.