This first episode covers Hitler's invasion of Poland, when the world stood on the brink of war, and features stunning colourised footage of the catastrophe faced by the Polish army as it was crushed by the Nazi war machine.
Jago begins by journeying through southern Mexico to investigate the rise and fall of America's oldest civilisation, the Olmec, who thrived over 3,000 years ago. He encounters colossal stone heads and the oldest rubber balls in the world and descends deep inside an ancient cave network in search of a were-jaguar.
The series starts with that great paradox. How could the settlement at the end of World War One - the 'war to end all wars' - lead to an even greater conflict just a few years later ? The answer is a tale with terrible resonancy today. This film shows how the Great Depression sapped the will of the democracies of the West to face up to a new and disturbing political phenomenon - the rise of militaristic dictators, in Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain. The result was that the major powers ignored all the warning signs and allowed the likes of Mussolini and above all Hitler to begin the course that would lead the world into catastrophe. The programme ends as Hitler plots his attack upon Poland.
Follows the UK's most ambitious and cutting-edge ancient DNA project to date. For the first time, a team of top scientists at the Natural History Museum and University College London have analysed the DNA of Britain's oldest complete skeleton. Known as Cheddar Man, this human male fossil was originally unearthed over 100 years ago in Gough's Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Building on the advanced genetic testing of his 10,000-year-old bones, two of the most acclaimed palaeontological model makers in the world, Dutch identical twins Adrie and Alfons Kennis, have recreated Cheddar Man's entire head to give his extraordinary skeleton a real identity for the first time.
Glorified at the XVIIth Congress of the Communist Party, in 1934, Stalin launched major projects that would go down in history. The NKVD, which succeeded the GPU, multiplies the camps. The number of deportees passed the one million mark in 1935. A spectacular showcase for the great terror unleashed in 1937, the Moscow trials concealed the extent of the repression that blindly fell on all of Soviet society and anonymous people. In August 1939, after the signing of the German-Soviet pact, hundreds of thousands of Poles, Balts, Western Ukrainians and Moldavians joined some 2 million Soviet deportees in the Gulag camps. Conditions of detention deteriorated appallingly with the invasion of the USSR by the Wehrmacht in June 1941; and in 1945, despite the victory over Nazi Germany, the number of oppressed increased by tens of thousands of men, women and even children who often had no other fault than to have survived the Nazi occupation...
Documentary offering a chronological timeline of how and why the central alliance between Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union was formed in the years leading into the Second World War. It was an uneasy alliance and one fraught with power struggles, false promises and deadly suspicions. Plus, an in-depth picture of the race to ultimate victory and post-war supremacy, concluding with V day on the May 8 1945.