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City Maps

   2010    Culture
This is the story of three maps, three 'visions' of London over three centuries. The Morgan Map of 1682 was the first to show the whole of the City of London after the Great Fire of London. In 1746 John Rocque produced at the time the most detailed map ever made of London. Like Morgan's, Rocque's map is all neo-Classical beauty and clinical precision, but the London it represented had become the opposite. In engravings of the time, such as Night, the artist William Hogarth shows a city boiling with vice and corruption. Stephen Walter's contemporary image, The Island, plays with notions of cartographic order and respectability. His extraordinary London map looks at first glance to be just as precise and ordered as his hero Rocque's but, looking closer, it includes 21st century markings such as 'favourite kebab vans' and sites of 'personal heartbreak'.
Series: The Beauty of Maps

Cartoon Maps

   2010    Culture
The series concludes by delving into the world of satirical maps. How did maps take on a new form, not as geographical tools, but as devices for humour, satire or storytelling? Graphic Artist Fred Rose perfectly captured the public mood in 1880 with his General Election maps featuring Gladstone and Disraeli, using the maps to comment upon crucial election issues still familiar to us today. Technology was on the satirist's side with the advent of high-speed printing allowing for larger runs at lower cost. In 1877, when Rose produced his 'Serio Comic Map of Europe at War', maps began to take on a new direction and form, reflecting a changing world. Rose's map exploited these possibilities to the full using a combination of creatures and human figures to represent each European nation. The personification of Russia as a grotesque-looking octopus, extending its tentacles around the surrounding nations, perfectly symbolised the threat the country posed to its neighbours.
Series: The Beauty of Maps

Annapurna to Everest

   2004    Culture
During a Gurkha recruitment Palin is disturbed by Maoist insurgents, but survives to suffer as he climbs to 15,000 feet and sees the majesty of Annapurna Sanctuary. In Kathmandu he is blessed by the Nepalese king before meeting some holy men. Crossing into Tibet, he meets his first yaks at the highest monastery in the world, before heading up the Rongbuk glacier towards the summit of Everest.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin

The Roof of the World

   2004    Culture
Leaving Everest base camp to take the high road to Lhasa to see what the Chinese have done to Tibet. He sees that religion is once again tolerated, while the old Tibetan centre of the city is being replaced with modern Chinese shopping malls and nightclubs. Following the pilgrims to the holy Namtso Lake, he gets warm in a hot spring before learning how to milk a yak with a nomad family.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin

Bhutan to the Bay of Bengal

   2004    Culture
In Bhutan, Palin finds himself back in the land of yaks for a last look at the high Himalaya. Trekking to Chomolhari base camp he meets a nomad with a penchant for yak songs before heading down to Paro to witness the Buddhist festival or Tsechu. In a bar in Thimphu, he discusses reincarnation and the pursuit of happiness with Benji and Khendum, two of the king's cousins, and en route to Bangladesh is taken by Benji to see the rare black-neck cranes. On his journey south through Bangladesh, Michael visits the ship-breaking beaches of Chittagong and grid-locked Dhaka. He meets a man who made a fortune in Birmingham in the poultry business, and a woman who lends money only to women. On a 1920s paddle steamer he is serenaded with the words of Bengal's Shakespeare, and he completes his epic Himalayan journey aboard a fishing boat that carries him out into the Bay of Bengal and a westering sun.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Planet Earth II
Planet Earth II

   2016    Nature
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

   2012    Culture
Black Hole Apocalypse
Black Hole Apocalypse

   2018    Science
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture