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The Big Bang: Before the Dawn

   2021    Science
How did the universe come to be? Thanks to a series of discoveries, our most powerful space missions have unravelled 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution and revealed the story of our universe from its birth all the way to the arrival of our nascent civilization. Our guide on this odyssey back to the dawn of time is light. Telescopes are time machines - by looking out into the distant universe, they open a window to the past. One telescope more than any other has helped us journey through the history of the universe: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Remarkably, Hubble has even found one of the first galaxies ever to exist in the universe, which was born some 13.4 billion years ago. It's a discovery that hints at the beginnings of our own Milky Way. Vivid CGI brings this ancient galaxy to life, allowing us to witness for ourselves the first dawn. It was the beginning of a relationship between stars and planets that would, on a faraway world, lead to the origin of life - and ultimately to us.
Hubble’s incredible discoveries have allowed scientists to piece together much of our cosmic story, but it cannot take us back to the most important moment in history: the Big Bang. For decades, the moment the universe began was the subject of pure speculation, but by combining astronomy and cosmology, scientists have finally found a way to put their theories to the test and study the momentous events that took place during the Big Bang. They can do this because the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope has seen the afterglow of the Big Bang itself – something we call the Cosmic Microwave Background. The unparalleled detail Planck gave us has helped confirm something remarkable: the Big Bang may not be the beginning. There was a time before the dawn – a place beyond anything we can comprehend. Professor Brian Cox transports us back to the fraction of a second before the Big Bang, when the seeds of our universe were planted.
Series: Universe

The Blob: A Genius without a Brain

   2021    Science
Not an animal, nor a plant, nor fungi, the blob is one giant single cell whose amazing capacities are leading pioneer scientists to a very new world – that of brainless intelligence. More commonly known as slime mould, this extraordinary one-billion-year-old organism challenges our understanding in many different fields.
This fascinating documentary follows top experts from Europe, Japan and the US on a scientific investigation into this most surprising organism.

The Secret File of Marco Polo

   2018    Historia
Did Marco Polo, the most illustrious traveller in history, ever go to China? To this day doubt lingers, among some scholars, as to whether the Venetian’s book is a personal account of China’s 13th-century Middle Kingdom and its marvels. Scientists, western scholars and Chinese historians have uncovered striking new evidence that the son of Venetian merchants actually had been to China. Explore the mysteries of the historical figure in this featured documentary.

The Bletchley Park Code Breakers

       History
The film reveals the secret story behind one of the greatest intellectual feats of World War II, a feat that gave birth to the digital age.
In 1943 Bill Tutte, a 24-year-old maths student and a GPO engineer called Tommy Flowers combined to hack into Hitler's personal super code machine - not Enigma but an even tougher system, which he called his 'secrets writer'. Their break turned the Battle of Kursk, powered the D-day landings and orchestrated the end of the conflict in Europe. But it was also to be used during the Cold War - which meant both men's achievements were hushed up and never officially recognised.

Dead or Alive

   2021    History
The Caribbean is home to a notorious band of British pirates called the Flying Gang. They plunder merchant ships, sailing from the Americas to Europe and Africa. England's King George I has had enough, so he comes up with a shock tactic to end piracy. It's an offer from the King, a pardon, clemency for those who turn their backs on piracy. Those who refuse will be hunted down and hanged. Two pirates, Blackbeard and Charles Vane stand the King's man, Woodes Rogers. Who will win the final battle?
Series: The Lost Pirate Kingdom
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Life in the Undergrowth
Life in the Undergrowth

   2005    Nature
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today

   2017    Art
The Beatles: Get Back
The Beatles: Get Back

   2021    Art
The Great Acceleration
The Great Acceleration

   2020    Technology
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    Culture