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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

The Flu That Killed 50 Million

   2019    Medicine
It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure.
Narrated by Christopher Eccleston, the film also asks whether, a century later, the lessons learnt in 1918 might help us fight a future global flu pandemic.

International Space Station

   2019    Technology    HD
The International Space Station is the ultimate extreme home. Costing $150 billion, it is the most expensive structure humans have ever built, in the most inhospitable environment known to man, with no air food or water. Assembled at 250 miles above the earth, it's an epic engineering challenge. We're going to take it apart and uncover what's going on inside the ISS.
Its superstructure secrets will help our species reach other planets and beyond. Using photo-real computer graphics, we take it apart to uncover the extraordinary innovations that enable it to support life in the deadly vacuum of space.
Series: Superstructures: Engineering Marvels

Minimalism A Documentary About the Important Things

   2016    Culture
How might your life be better with less? The film examines the many flavours of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life -- families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker -- all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.
The main focus of the documentary is minimalism, explaining the concept and exploring what it means to adopt the lifestyle, but the narrative also cuts away to take a meaningful, scrutinizing look at the global culture — or, dare I say, crisis — of consumerism, the waste it produces, and the adverse effects it has on us as humans. Like all good documentaries, Minimalism looks at the bigger picture. The minimalist lifestyle could help so many people live happier lives, and Minimalism is a brilliantly succinct starting point.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today 1of2

   2017    Art
A documentation of the influences that went on to help create the seminal album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Featuring interviews with former employees, fellow musicians, family members and journalists, and supported by original and exclusive never-seen-before footage, this star-studded rockumentary offers a fascinating insight into the creation and recording of one of the most ground-breaking and influential albums in pop history.
Series: It Was Fifty Years Ago Today
The Germanic Tribes
The Germanic Tribes

   2007    History
Out of the Cradle
Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
The Universe Season 7
The Universe Season 7

   2014    Science
Queen Live at Wembley Stadium
Queen Live at Wembley Stadium

   1986    Art
Wild Russia
Wild Russia

   2009    Nature
Vietnam in HD
Vietnam in HD

   2011    History