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Last Stand Of The 300

   2007    History
In the year 480 B.C., the Greeks and the Persians fight one of the most famous battles in history at a place called Thermopylae. Here, the mighty Persian war machine, which has conquered most of the known world, will attempt an expansion into Europe. The only thing standing in their way will be an army led by 300 Spartans, the greatest soldiers the world has ever known. They will fight to the very last man, and in doing so will protect the cradle of democracy during its infancy, and the battle will go down in history as the greatest military stand of all time.

Lord of Asia

   1997    History
Michael crosses Iran towards the Caspian Sea. He meets nomads who tell of Alexander's tryst with an Amazon queen, and the living descendants of Alexander's Persian enemies, who have their own tales of `Alexander the Accursed'.
Series: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

   2020    Nature
When Homo sapiens, which means 'wise ones,' discovered and controlled fire hundreds of thousands of years ago, everything changed. Fire allowed us to cook food and heat dwellings, and it served as a focal point for storytelling and sharing cultural identity among community members. We don't yet have established parameters for what it means to be 'distinctly human,' It would seem the only thing that separates us from other animals, Neil deGrasse Tyson ponders, is our neurotic need to feel 'special'. Against the backdrop of the Halls of Extinction, Tyson insists that there must be a clear distinction between ourselves and animals that justifies our eating them, wearing them and even bringing an end to their species.
From the birth of the devil in ancient Persia to a searing story of saintliness among macaque monkeys, this episode is an exploration of human potential for change. It concludes with the story of how one of history's greatest monsters was transformed into one of its shining lights.
Series: Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Silk Roads and China Ships

   2016    History
Michael Wood tells the tale of China's first great international age under the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the picturesque old city of Luoyang, he travels along the Silk Road to the bazaars of central Asia and into India on the track of the Chinese monk who brought Buddhism back to China. This tale is still loved by the Chinese today and is brought to life by storytellers, films and shadow puppet plays. Then in the backstreets and markets of Xi'an, Michael meets descendants of the traders from central Asia and Persia who came into China on the Silk Road. He talks to Chinese Muslims in the Great Mosque and across town hears the amazing story of the first reception of Christianity in 635. Moving south, Michael sees the beginnings of China as an economic giant. On the Grand Canal, a lock built in 605 still handles 800 barges every day! The film tracks the rise of the silk industry and the world's favourite drink - tea. Michael looks too at the spread of Chinese script, language and culture across east Asia. 'China's influence on the East was as profound as Rome on the Latin West', he says, 'and still is today'. Finally, the film tells the intense drama of the fall of the Tang. Among the eyewitnesses were China's greatest poets. In a secondary school in a dusty village, where the Chinese Shakespeare - Du Fu - is buried in the grounds, the pupils take Michael through one famous poem about loss and longing as the dynasty falls. And in that ordinary classroom, there is a sense of the amazing drama and the deep-rooted continuities of Chinese culture.
Series: The Story of China

The Queen of Sheba

   2005    History
The Queen of Sheba - an exotic and mysterious woman of power - is immortalised in the world's great religious works, among them the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. She also appears in Turkish and Persian painting, in Kabbalistic treatises, and in medieval Christian mystical works, where she is viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. In Africa and Arabia her tale is still told to this day and, indeed, her tale has been told and retold in many lands for nearly 3,000 years.
Series: Myths and Heroes
Invisible Worlds
Invisible Worlds

   2010    Science
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
Becoming Human
Becoming Human

   2010    History
The Big Think
The Big Think

   2017    Technology
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today

   2017    Art
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
Shine a Light
Shine a Light

   2008    Art