Richard Miles explores the power and the paradox of the 'Greek Thing' - a blossoming in art, philosophy and science that went hand in hand with political discord, social injustice and endless war. He paints a fascinating picture of the internal and external pressures that fuelled this unique political and social experiment, one that would pioneer many of the political systems that we still live with today, from oligarchy to tyranny, from totalitarianism to democracy.
Three-part drama-documentary series revealing the truth about England's most infamous King, King Henry VIII. Filming in historic locations including Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and the Vatican and unearthing new documents never seen before on TV, a team of Tudor experts uncover the real Henry, and explore how his complex personality fundamentally shaped the nation. Ch1. Rise of a Tyrant Experts examine how Henry VIII's traumatic childhood affected his personality, from the death of his older brother to the tragic early death of his beloved mother. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch2. Bloodlust and the Boleyns Takes viewers on a journey through the turbulent marriages, affairs and tyrannical politics of King Henry VIII's reign, and explores how Henry's obsession with marrying Anne Boleyn resulted in a cataclysmic and hugely unpopular split with the Roman Catholic Church. The programme also examines Henry's relationship with his new chief advisor and enforcer, Thomas Cromwell, who would come to bear the brunt of the King's increasing unhinged behaviour in the years to come. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch3. Endgame A look at the king's final years, when the pain caused by an infected ulcer on his leg had a detrimental impact on his increasingly angry temperament. Lauren Johnson examines the king's exotic diet, including meat from porpoises and seals, and considers its impact on both his weight and his health. Plus, a look at a Catholic rebellion and the breakdown of Henry's relationship with advisor Thomas Cromwell.
2020 • History
The Industrial Revolution and the rise of modern warfare have roots in the depths of time—in the natural process that enriches the soil. How do prehistoric forests link to the development of steam engines, and the rise of modern industry?
In June 1940, Britain stood alone against the Nazis. Hitler was convinced that it was only a matter of days before it sued for peace. He had more troops, a better air force and the better weapons. This film shows how close Britain came to defeat, as its exhausted air force struggled to fight all the German Luftwaffe. However, because of critical errors by the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering, Britain was able to regroup. Then using its brilliant team of code crackers and specially trained spies, it began the fightback, working alongside the resistance movements in the occupied territories.
From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.