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Born in the Purple

   2016    History
This stylish mix of documentary and historical epic chronicles the reign of Commodus, the emperor whose rule marked the beginning of Rome's fall. In the first episode, the death of Marcus Aurelius brings a century of Roman triumphs and victories to an end, transferring power to his spoiled, unprepared son Commodus. When his father bequeaths him the world's mightiest empire, he is forced to spill the blood of both friends and enemies alike to keep his crown.
Series: Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

Meet the Romans: All Roads Lead to Rome

   2012    History
Professor Mary Beard looks beyond the stories of emperors, armies, guts and gore to meet the everyday people at the heart of Ancient Rome's vast empire. In this programme, Mary asks not what the Romans did for us, but what the empire did for Rome. She rides the Via Appia, climbs up to the top seats of the Colosseum, takes a boat to Rome's port Ostia and takes us into the bowels of Monte Testaccio. She also meets some extraordinary Romans: Eurysaces, an eccentric baker, who made a fortune out of the grain trade and built his tomb in the shape of a giant bread oven; Baricha, Zabda and Achiba, three prisoners of war who became Roman citizens; and Pupius Amicus, the purple dye seller making imperial dye from shellfish imported from Tunisia. This is Rome from the bottom up.
Series: Meet the Romans

Heavy Metal

   2007    Art
The story of the longest surviving and certainly the loudest genre of rock, heavy metal. With no sign of disappearing, metal has been the most controversial and misunderstood of all rock genres. With Black Sabbath as the undisputed Godfathers, we follow their highs and lows, and, along the journey, meet Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
Series: Seven Ages of Rock

Taking To The Air

   2005    Nature
As the early June sun begins to set over a calm river in Central Hungary, masses of ghostly shapes emerge from their larval cases to take to the air for the first time. They are mayflies and in a spectacular display, thousands of them demonstrate how the very first wings were used. From the stunning aerobatics of hoverflies in an English garden to the mass migration of purple crow butterflies in the valleys of Taiwan, this episode tells the tale of the first animals ever to take to the air. Unique footage reveals the lightning fast reactions of bluebottles and hoverflies, filmed with one of the world's fastest cameras, and Sir David Attenborough handles the world's largest (and perhaps most ferocious) insect - the Titan beetle.
Series: Life in the Undergrowth

What is the World Made of

   2010    History
In this episode, Michael demonstrates how our society is built on our search to find the answer to what makes up everything in the material world. This is a story that moves from the secret labs of the alchemists and their search for gold by the stone of the philosophers to the creation of the world's first synthetic dye - Purple - and onto the invention of the transistor. This quest may seem abstract and highly theoretical. Yet it has delivered the greatest impact on humanity. By trying to answer this question, scientists have created theories from elements to atoms, and the strange concepts of quantum physics that underpin our modern, technological world.
Series: The Story of Science
Racism: A History
Racism: A History

   2007    Culture
The Beauty of Maps
The Beauty of Maps

   2010    Art
How Earth Made Us
How Earth Made Us

   2010    Science
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History
Himalaya with Michael Palin
Himalaya with Michael Palin

   2004    Culture
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Nova Wonders
Nova Wonders

   2018    Science
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science