King and Country tells the story of the first years of war in 1914 and 1915, culminating in the Battle of Loos when the Pals Battalions who had enthusiastically volunteered to serve had their first taste of the horror of mass industrialized warfare.
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The Battle of the Somme tells the story of one of the most iconic and tragic battles in history through its last survivors and through families at home. When the troops went over the top in June 1916 they imagined this was the attack that would end the war.
2021 • History
August 5, 1962, South Africa. After several months on the run, the Black leader Nelson Mandela is arrested by the South African police and incarcerated in Robben Island, a fortress-like jail off Cape Town. He doesn’t know it at that time, but it is only the beginning of his penitential ordeal.
In the first programme, he asks how such a small country got such a big head, and how a tiny island in the North Atlantic came to rule over a quarter of the world's population. He travels to India, where local soldiers and local maharajahs helped a handful of British traders to take over vast areas of land. Spectacular displays of imperial power dazzled subject peoples and developed a cult of Queen Victoria as Empress, mother and virtual God. In Egypt, Jeremy explores the bit of Empire that never was, as Britain's temporary peace-keeping visit turned into a seventy year occupation. He travels to the desert where Lawrence of Arabia brought a touch of romance to the grim struggle of the First World War. As Britain came to believe it could solve the world's problems, he tells the story of the triumphant conquest of Palestine by Imperial troops - and Britain's role in a conflict that haunts the Middle East to this day.
In 2017, the U.S. released films from a generation of nuclear tests allowing scientists to study the last images of thermonuclear explosions we hope we'll ever see. But just getting them took years of trying and dozens of nuclear explosions. In Los Angeles, a secret film studio, Lookout Mountain, staffed by Hollywood professionals, produced countless films aimed at diverse audiences from policymakers to soldiers, scientists to civilians. The goal: convince anyone who will listen.
Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges - the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature - rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.