500 years ago, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set sail to gain control of the global spice trade. What resulted was the first circumnavigation of the Earth, laying the groundwork for colonization and globalization still felt today.
Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. New evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks-some even 1,700 years before him! Of these “inventions” Leonardo never affirmed that his projects came from his original ideas. The film features drawings of his most famous ideas and inventions some of which trace their original creation to ancient Greece while others were a product of the scientific inventions of golden age of Islamic learning. This knowledge seemed to be lost in Europe during the Dark Ages until the Renaissance when Leonardo recovered it.
2017 • Science
The Roman emperor Nero is considered one of history's greatest criminals. His name has become synonymous with evil, as historic accounts have accused him of killing his stepbrother, his wife and his mother, as well persecuting Christians and instigating the devastating Great Fire of Rome. This is the judgement that is passed in history from one generation to the next, but are these accounts of Nero's reign accurate? New scientific discoveries and a closer examination of the ancient texts written about Nero cast a different light on the Roman emperor and the accusations levelled against him. Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files follows internationally renowned criminal psychologist Thomas Muller and a team of scientists and historians as they investigate the new evidence in order to discover the truth about the controversial emperor.
2019 • History
After four centuries of occupation and leadership, the Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the island’s fate was left hanging in the balance. History teaches that in the 5th century, the country descended into a tumultuous and violent period knows as the Dark Ages, leaving the nation vulnerable to invading Angle and Saxon hordes from northern Europe. With a nation divided, great leader known as King Arthur emerged, uniting the lawless lands to fight off invaders – or at least that’s what the fragmentary historical texts suggest. The truth is, no one really knows what happened, and this pivotal moment in history has been shrouded in mystery – until now. Professor Alice Roberts and a team of experts use new archaeological discoveries to decode Dark Ages myths and piece together a very different story of this turning point in Britain’s history that might also explain the legend of King Arthur.
2019 • History
The discovery of a rare mass grave with the bones of nearly 60 people outside Luxor sends archaeologists on a quest to find out who the remains belong to, why they were buried the way they were and what was happening in ancient Egypt that would have led to a mass burial. Could the collapse of the empire’s Old Kingdom provide any clues?
2019 • History
More than five centuries ago, Michelangelo Buonarroti was the darling of the Catholic Church. Throughout his masterful career, the Papacy commissioned him to create many of its most important pieces, including the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. He spent his life glorifying the Church, etching Catholic ideals into masterpieces that defined religion for the masses. Yet when he died, his body was secretly shepherded off to Florence, and the Church was denied the opportunity to honor him with a grand funeral in Rome. Historians have long wondered about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, but now, five hundred years after his death, new finds are revealing a darker side to the master artisan. While restoring Michelangelo's sculptures in the tomb of Julius II, art historian Antonio Forcellino noticed some strange inconsistencies in the famous statue: "The Moses." Forcellino believes he has pieced together evidence of a deep rift between the Church and the esteemed artist. The cause: Michelangelo's belief in Protestant ideals. The imperfections in the statue started him on a careful scientific and historical investigation that exposed remarkable evidence of Michelangelo's involvement with a clandestine fellowship trying to put an end to the decadence and corruption of the Clergy and reform the Church from within. The group's radical ideas and accusations of corruption were considered heretical and punishable by death. Michelangelo's involvement put him at dangerous odds with powerful officials who held his livelihood - and life - in their hands. "Michelangelo Revealed" takes us back over 500 years to the dangerous political climate of papal Rome, vividly portrayed through dramatic reconstruction. We are thrown into the heart of a fierce battle for religious control between the cardinals, and the resulting injustices of the Inquisition, shedding new light on the angst surrounding Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" in the Sistine Chapel and his previously shrouded connections to a subversive religious group and persecuted religious beliefs. "Secrets of the Dead: Michelangelo Revealed" deconstructs the puzzling discrepancies between the sculptures Michelangelo created and the way he described them, revealing an intricate effort to carve his own beliefs into stone, while protecting himself from the wrath of a powerful Cardinal who viewed him as a heretic. MICHELANGELO REVEALED paints a stunning new picture of brave religious expression, personal vendettas, careful cover-ups and a most gifted artist desperately trying to reconcile his loyalty to the church with his own personal belief about the road to salvation.
2008 • People
The Sixth Episode features some major players from war and peace, from east and west. From inventors who have changed the way we live and fight to artists who have given us reasons to do both, we count through 35 to 24 and cover some of the most influential and infamous people who made the twentieth century – a long reigning monarch, a murderous dictator and the “father of the Atom Bomb”. Quite a mixture!
After 9/11, Osama goes into hiding. But US Navy Seals are on his tail. In 1997, bin Laden's al-Qaida expanded its operations in Afghanistan. With the United States as his target, he occasionally gives interviews to US networks from his base in the mountains to take his threats straight into the enemy's living room. In 1998, bin Laden followed with his infamous fatwa, in which he declared the killing of civilians and soldiers of the United States and its allies everywhere as the duty of every Muslim. Just months later, the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya are bombed, followed by a missile attack on Bin Laden's training camp and placing him on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. That doesn't deter him, however: in 2000, the secret services already suspected that "something was up" when al-Qaeda activists attacked a US warship and killed 17 people. In 2001, the first plans for an attack on the twin towers were already five years old. One of bin Laden's closest associates, Abu Hafs, disagrees with the strategy and leaves al-Qaeda before the operation goes ahead. On September 11, when the only TV station authorized by the Taliban broadcast the attack, a revolt broke out among the mujahideen. When George W. Bush declared the war on terror, bin Laden withdrew to the Tora Bora mountains. He never stays in the same place and always stays out of reach of American forces. In 2005, he and his family moved into a large house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There he lived unnoticed by the public until he was shot dead during an intelligence operation by US Navy SEALs in 2011.
Bettany Hughes investigates the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx. Born to an affluent Prussian family, Marx became an angry, idealistic radical, constantly on the run for his political agitating and incendiary writing. In Paris he first formulated his explosive analysis of capitalism and its corrosive effects on human nature. In Brussels he co-authored the Communist Manifesto with Frederick Engels. In London his obsessive theorizing dragged his family into poverty and tragedy. Marx's masterpiece Das Capital was largely overlooked in his lifetime, and only 11 people attended his funeral. Yet his ideas would generate one of the most influential, and divisive, ideologies in history. Drawing on expert opinion and new evidence, Bettany reveals the flesh-and-blood man and his groundbreaking ideas.
Salvador Magluta and Augusto Falcon are indicted by a grand jury in April 1991 on a variety of crimes. However, after a lengthy trial, Judge Federico Moreno found the two accused not guilty. In the wake of a stunning verdict, questions arise about the jury's credibility, and a subsequent investigation into Magluta and Falcon's finances reveals that they bribed several senior judges, and one juror in particular soon adopts a very creative legal defense.
What is it really like to go to war? Filled with terror, pain and grief, it also brings exhilaration, and a profound sense of purpose. In Going to War, renowned authors Karl Marlantes and Sebastian Junger help us make sense of this paradox and get to the heart of what it’s like to be a soldier at war. Veterans of various conflicts reveal some universal truths of combat with unflinching candor.
2018 • People