On June 4th, 1989 the world’s biggest, longest, and most famous pro-democracy demonstration was brought to a tragic end. The images from those final bloody days remain potent and the death toll is still disputed. In Tiananmen: The People V the Party, eyewitness accounts and leaked secret documents provide a deeper understanding of how the events of those seven weeks unfolded in the Square and behind the scenes, changing the course of Chinese history.
The finale episode examines an ancient civilization unlike any other, that of the Indus Valley. Rather than imposing order through war or religion, it relied on the free flow of trade. The exchange of goods promoted wealth, co-operation and trust.
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.
Alastair Sooke charts the decline and fall of the Roman Empire through some of its hidden and most magical artistic treasures. He travels to Leptis Magna in Libya, shortly after the overthrow of Gaddafi, and finds one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world and the cradle of later Roman art. Sooke discovers glorious mosaics which have never been filmed before but also finds evidence of shocking neglect of Libya's Roman heritage by the Gaddafi regime. His artistic tour takes him to Egypt and the northern frontiers of the empire where he encounters stunning mummy paintings and exquisite silver and glassware. As Rome careered from one crisis to another, official art became more hard boiled and militaristic and an obscure cult called Christianity rose up to seize the mantle of Western art for centuries to come.
In 15th Century France confusion reigns with a king who goes mad, dauphines who die as teenagers, a queen who switches allegiances between rival dukes and multiple assassinations. And then, of course, there was the English king, Henry V, who also claimed the throne of France...
S1E2 • The Real War of Thrones: The True History of Europe • 2017 • History