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The Ming

   2016    History
The tale of one of China's most famous dynasties begins with the amazing story of Hongwu, a peasant rebel who founded one of greatest eras in Chinese history. The film takes us to his great capital Nanjing, with its 21 miles of walls, each brick stamped with the name of the village that made it. Following the trail, we go to the Bao family village and see the villagers act a Ming murder story.
Like many authoritarian states, the Ming were obsessive about architecture. We see the giant fortifications of the Great Wall, the ritual enclaves of the Forbidden City in Beijing and travel with bargeman Mr Hu down the Grand Canal, China's great artery of commerce right up to the present day. We then hear about Admiral Zheng He's voyages to Africa and the Gulf decades before Columbus, watch the construction of an ocean-going wooden boat 250ft long, and hitch a ride on a replica Ming junk in the South China Sea.
As state prosperity grew, so did a rising middle class. Wood looks at Ming culture in Suzhou, the 'Venice of China'. Staying in a merchant's house, he discovers the silk, ceramic and lacquer-making industries, and visits one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Then on to Macao and the arrival of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, who hoped to convert China to Christianity. In the cathedral in Beijing, we learn more about these fateful exchanges with the west. Finally in Shaoxing, we visit the house of the 'Ming Proust' and at grassroots the Zhao family in Fujian where the film ends in an elegiac mood with the fall of the Ming in 1644.
Series: The Story of China

The Vikings Uncovered

   2016    History
Dan Snow uncovers the lost Vikings in America with space archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak. Sarah uses satellites 383 miles above the earth to spot ruins as small as 30cm buried beneath the surface. As Sarah searches for Viking sites from Britain to America, Dan explores how they voyaged thousands of miles when most ships never left the shoreline. He also tracks their expansion west, first as raiders and then as settlers and traders throughout Britain and beyond to Iceland and Greenland. In North America they excavate what could be the most westerly Viking settlement ever discovered.

National Gallery

   2015    Art
Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman goes behind the scenes at the National Gallery in a journey to the heart of a museum inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. This three-hour epic has no voiceover, no score and no added sound effects. Combining a vivid sense of how vast the gallery's many activities are with an eye for droll observational detail, the film reveals how the gallery works and its relations with its staff, public and paintings.

History of the World in Two Hours

   2012    History    3D
Did you know that 1% of the white noise you see on old televisions is background radiation from The Big Bang? That the gold on a wedding ring comes from a star that exploded 5 billion years ago? And, that we're connected to the salt water of the first oceans through the water in our bodies? Our human story is actually 14 billion years old and the clues are all around us. This CGI-driven special will tell the history of our world in two hours, an ambitious story that will give surprising connections to our daily lives. From the formation of the earth and the emergence of life, to the advance of man and the growth of civilization, it’s a rapid-fire view of our unforgettable story.

Holy War

   2012    History
Dr. Thomas Asbridge introduces the epic story of the Crusades – a tale of religious fanaticism and unspeakable brutality, of medieval knights and Jihadi warriors; of castles and kings; of heroism, betrayal, and sacrifice. He explains how, using fresh evidence, eye-witness testimonies and contemporary accounts – from both the Christian and Islamic worlds – we are able to re-examine this epic medieval drama, and how he has retraced the steps of the Crusaders from a small town in France to the magnificent cities of the Holy Land, bringing to life the human experience of the Crusades, and shedding new light on how it was that two of the world’s great religions waged war in the name of God.
Series: The Crusades
Vietnam in HD
Vietnam in HD

   2011    History
The Brain with David Eagleman
The Brain with David Eagleman

   2015    Medicine
Love On The Spectrum
Love On The Spectrum

   2019    Culture
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Technology
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl

   2010    Art
Africa with David Attenborough
Africa with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven

   2009    Art