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The Last Empire

   2016    History
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises. At a traditional printing house where the wood blocks are hand-carved, we see how the Complete Tang Poems were reproduced - all 48,000 of them. We travel through the wintry countryside to a remote village where a hardy audience watch open-air opera in the snow and visit a painter's studio, and 'storytelling' houses in Yangzhou. In the 18th century, China was arguably the greatest economy in the world, and we get a fabulous sense of the rich culture that came with prosperity. But then came the clash with the British, in the first Opium War, when a British expedition destroyed the Qing navy and extracted territory and trading rights. We leave with a glimpse of the future. 'Every dynasty has risen and declined,' says Michael, 'and has needed new life to regenerate, and this time the catalyst was the British.' Among the ports China ceded was an almost uninhabited island, Hong Kong, one of today's greatest financial centres, and Shanghai, a small town then but now one of the greatest cities in world.
Series: The Story of China

The Mystery of Dark Energy

   2016    Science
Dark energy - the mysterious force that is unexpectedly causing the universe's expansion to speed up. The effects of dark energy were discovered in 1998 but physicists still don't know what it is. Worse, its very existence calls into question Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity - the cornerstone of modern physics. The hunt for the identity of dark energy is on". Experiments on earth and in space generate data that might provide a clue, but there are also hopes that another Einstein might emerge - someone who can write a new theory explaining the mystery of the dark energy.

A Death in the Family

   2016    History
In less than two years, Al Capone has risen from a humble bookkeeper to second-in-command of Johnny Torrio's criminal empire in Chicago. The empire is worth the modern-day equivalent of $35 million. Capone purchases a home for his family and moves them from New York to Chicago. Torrio and Capone expand their empire from Chicago's South Side to the North Side, which is controlled by Chicago's second largest gang, the Irish. Violence erupts as ruthless Irish gang leader Dean O'Banion protects his territory and bootlegging business from Torrio and Capone.
Series: The Making of the Mob

Judgment Day

   2016    History
In 1927, Prohibition agent Eliot Ness narrowly escapes a hit ordered by Al Capone. Determined to prove to Capone that he's not intimidated, Ness and his team of Untouchables execute a series of high-profile raids on Capone's breweries. Over the course of a few months, they destroy more than 200,000 gallons of beer, worth a modern-day equivalent of $134 million - and the newspapers cover it all. Capone lashes out against Ness in the press. What Capone doesn't realize is that Ness and the Prohibition agents aren't the only ones trying to take him down. For the past four years, another government agency with more manpower and resources than Ness has been going after the infamous kingpin: the Internal Revenue Service.
Series: The Making of the Mob

The Eagle Huntress

   2016    Culture
This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting an ingrained culture of misogyny to become the first female Eagle Hunter in 2,000 years of male-dominated history. Through breathtaking aerial cinematography and intimate verite footage, the film captures her personal journey while also addressing universal themes like female empowerment, the natural world, coming of age and the onset of modernity.
Through the Wormhole Season 7
Through the Wormhole Season 7

   2016    Culture
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
Frozen Planet
Frozen Planet

   2011    Nature
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places
Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places

   2016    Science
Wonders Of The Universe
Wonders Of The Universe

   2011    Science
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
Hiroshima
Hiroshima

   2005    History