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Silk Roads and China Ships

   2016    History
Michael Wood tells the tale of China's first great international age under the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the picturesque old city of Luoyang, he travels along the Silk Road to the bazaars of central Asia and into India on the track of the Chinese monk who brought Buddhism back to China. This tale is still loved by the Chinese today and is brought to life by storytellers, films and shadow puppet plays. Then in the backstreets and markets of Xi'an, Michael meets descendants of the traders from central Asia and Persia who came into China on the Silk Road. He talks to Chinese Muslims in the Great Mosque and across town hears the amazing story of the first reception of Christianity in 635. Moving south, Michael sees the beginnings of China as an economic giant. On the Grand Canal, a lock built in 605 still handles 800 barges every day! The film tracks the rise of the silk industry and the world's favourite drink - tea. Michael looks too at the spread of Chinese script, language and culture across east Asia. 'China's influence on the East was as profound as Rome on the Latin West', he says, 'and still is today'. Finally, the film tells the intense drama of the fall of the Tang. Among the eyewitnesses were China's greatest poets. In a secondary school in a dusty village, where the Chinese Shakespeare - Du Fu - is buried in the grounds, the pupils take Michael through one famous poem about loss and longing as the dynasty falls. And in that ordinary classroom, there is a sense of the amazing drama and the deep-rooted continuities of Chinese culture.
Series: The Story of China

The Story of China Ancestors

   2016    History
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
Series: The Story of China

Stealing from Saturn

       History
Pompey wants to find out what happened to the gold from the Roman Treasury and sends his son Quintus to Rome to find out what happened. Atia and her family have stayed behind when Pompey and others fled and she now throws a party for her triumphant uncle, Julius Caesar. She clearly has her sights set on the great leader and is puzzled when he sends her a guest list that includes Servilia of the Junii. She soon finds out why.
Series: Rome

Superhumans

   2018    Culture
The Series 'In Search of' conducted investigations into the controversial, paranormal and mysterious. The producer's purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries examined. The 2018 revival is presented by Zachary Quinto.
In this episode, Zach wants to understand how a person can be superhuman. He meets a man who bent the metal frame of a car door with his bare hands in a moment of crisis; a man who can feel no pain; and a Shaolin warrior monk, who teaches him how to harness superhuman powers of his own.
Series: In Search of

La Joie De Vivre

   2017    Culture
The demands of a celebrity chef, especially one that runs three vibrant restaurants and a fried chicken franchise, are rigorous. The daily upkeep to ensure quality and consistency in his establishments keep him busy enough, but add to that the photo shoots, TV appearances, interviews and a constant online presence, and the tasks become herculean.
When Ludo Lefebvre needs to escape the chaos, he heads to the lilting and poetic world of Paris in the spring, where the emphasis is placed on the joy and fun of life.
Series: The Mind of a Chef
Power of Art
Power of Art

   2006    Art
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
The Normans
The Normans

   2010    History
Chemistry
Chemistry

   2010    Science
Cosmos 2014
Cosmos 2014

   2014    Science
Ancient Aliens
Ancient Aliens

   2014    Culture
Colour The Spectrum of Science
Colour The Spectrum of Science

   2015    Science