Dr Helen Castor explores the life - and death - of Joan of Arc. Joan was an extraordinary figure - a female warrior in an age that believed women couldn't fight, let alone lead an army. But Joan was driven by faith, and today more than ever we are acutely aware of the power of faith to drive actions for good or ill. Since her death, Joan has become an icon for almost everyone - the left and the right, Catholics and Protestants, traditionalists and feminists. But where in all of this is the real Joan - the experiences of a teenage peasant girl who achieved the seemingly impossible? Through an astonishing manuscript, we can hear Joan's own words at her trial, and as Helen unpicks Joan's story and places her back in the world that she inhabited, the real human Joan emerges.
Rome Empire looks at the increasingly deranged and paranoid reign of Emperor Caligula. He a kills his heir and forces his praetorian prefect to commit suicide. In search of a new heir to solidify his place as Emperor, Caligula begins affairs with his three sisters in order to have a child of royal blood. When his sister Drusilla dies, Caligula becomes deranged and the plot of three daggers surrounds him.
Europe has never experienced such a long period of peace and prosperity as after the Second World War. When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the dream of a Europe united in peace and freedom seemed to have finally to become a reality. But the clouds of nationalism have started to gather once again.
Alastair Sooke follows in the footsteps of Rome's mad, bad and dangerous emperors in the second part of his celebration of Roman art. He dons a wetsuit to explore the underwater remains of the Emperor Claudius's pleasure palace and ventures into the cave where Tiberius held wild parties. He finds their taste in art chimes perfectly with their obsession with sex and violence. The other side of the coin was the bombastic art the Romans are best remembered for - monumental arches and columns that boast about their conquests. Trajan's Column in Rome reads like the storyboard of a modern-day propaganda film. Sooke concludes with the remarkable legacy of the Emperor Hadrian. He gave the world the magnificent Pantheon in Rome - the eternal image of his lover Antinous, the most beautiful boy in the history of art - and a villa in Tivoli where he created one of the most ambitious art collections ever created.
In the dying days of World War II, a secret organisation of Holocaust survivors plans a terrible revenge. Six million Jews are dead but, by 1946, just a handful of Nazis face trial. Most of the guilty will never face justice. For many of Hitler's victims, this is not enough. Based on previously unheard recordings and exclusive interviews with those involved - all of whom are over 90 - this documentary tells the story of a remarkable secret group known as The Avengers, who decide to take matters into their own hands. Assembled by the warrior-poet Abba Kovner, their aim is 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.' Their plan: to murder six million Germans by infiltrating German cities and poisoning the water supply.
Part One of this epic event special follows these men through war in both the European and Pacific theaters, starting in December 1941 through late 1943, telling the story of their war experiences and how those experiences shaped them as leaders. In the Pacific, Johnson is nearly killed in a twist of fate, and JFK's PT boat is blown up, Reagan becomes the popular face of the American soldier, Carter joins the US Naval Academy and Eisenhower moves from a rookie to a seasoned general as he leads the invasion of North Africa, Italy and prepares for D-Day.
The team continues to make astonishing discoveries on the floor of the Black Sea. A treasure trove of shipwrecks uniquely preserved that date back two and a half thousand years to the Greek and Roman empires, culminating in maritime archaeology’s greatest ever wreck discovery.