Last Watched

"ELE"  Sort by

Super Telescope: Mission to the Edge of the Universe

   2022    Technology
As NASA releases the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, this film tells the inside story of the telescope's construction and the astronomers taking its first picture of distant stars and galaxies. Will it be the deepest image of our universe ever taken? The successor to Hubble, and 100 times more powerful, the James Webb is the most technically advanced telescope ever built. It will look further back in time than Hubble to an era around 200 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies appeared. Webb's primary mission is to capture the faint light from these objects on the edge of our visible universe so that scientists can learn how they formed, but its instruments are so sensitive it could also be the first telescope to detect signs of life on a distant planet.
The James Webb Telescope is an £8 billion gamble on the skills of its engineering team. It’s the first telescope designed to unfold in space – a complicated two-week operation in which 178 release devices must all work - 107 of them on the telescope's sun shield alone. If just one fails, the expensive telescope could become a giant piece of space junk.
From its conception in the late 1980s, the construction of Webb has posed a huge technical challenge. The team must build a mirror six times larger than Hubble’s and construct a vast sun shield the size of a tennis court, fold them up so they fit into an Ariane 5 rocket, then find a way to unfold them in space. This film tells the inside story of the James Webb Space Telescope in the words of the engineers who built it and the astronomers who will use it.

Doubt

   2022    Nature
Even as the science grew more certain, the oil industry continued to block action to tackle climate change in the new millennium. In a revelatory interview, Christine Todd Whitman, George W. Bush's former environment chief, tells the story of how the industry successfully lobbied President Bush to reverse course on his campaign promise to regulate carbon emissions.
Tensions grew between two of the world's biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil and BP, after the latter publicly called for action to tackle climate change. The election of Barack Obama provided hope for supporters of climate action, but the billionaire Koch brothers made an effort to block the new president's attempts to pass climate change legislation, and climate denialism became the mainstream position of the Republican Party. A lawyer who worked for Koch brothers through this period speaks on camera for the first time.
Series: Big Oil vs The World

The Fielder Method

   2022    Culture
To recruit actors for his rehearsals, Nathan opens an acting studio in Los Angeles, teaching 'the Fielder Method', which involves covertly observing and imitating unaware subjects. Feeling insecure about his own performance, Nathan reenacts the class with actors and a fake Nathan as the teacher while the real Nathan plays the role of Thomas, a student. Nathan makes his students immerse themselves in other people's lives while he immerses himself in Thomas's life, even living in Thomas's home.
Nathan returns to Oregon, where his 'son', Adam, is now a teenager. Nathan and Joshua, the actor playing Adam, decide that Adam should lash out due to resentment of his absentee father and develop a drug problem, a situation that mirrors Angela's own past. Adam suffers an overdose and is tended to by emergency responders played by Thomas and another Fielder Method graduate. After he runs away from home, the 15-year-old Adam reverts to a 6-year-old since Nathan plans to relive his son's earlier years.
Series: The Rehearsal

Super Small Animals

   2022    Nature
From a primate that’s no bigger than a mouse, to a chameleon that can fit on your fingertip, the natural world is full of fantastically small animals. Biologist Patrick Aryee explores the fascinating secrets behind these miniature marvels and shows that they’re not the underdogs you might think they are. Super Small Animals follows him as he meets the leading experts on these pint sized superstars, and finds out what makes them some of the most successful on the planet.
First up, he reveals the huge benefits that being small can bring. There’s the little lemur whose diminutive frame helps it to exploit a unique gap in the eco-system, the tiny hummingbird that uses its size to out-maneuver the competition, and the world’s smallest seahorse that never has to leave home. He also explores why small animals are proportionally the strongest in the world, and introduces a peanut-sized beetle that can pull over a thousand times its own weight.
Next he explores the challenges that animals face when they shrink in size, and the ingenious ways they overcome them. We find out how the smallest armadillo in the world manages to control its temperature in the searing desert sun, and the how the world’s smallest fish can survive in nothing more than a puddle, because it never really grows up. Patrick meets a secretive hippo that lives in the dense jungle, and looks like it’s been shrunk in the wash, and some of the world’s smallest snakes that give birth to enormous babies. He also meets a scientist that studies how really tiny spiders have a surprising trick that enables them to travel an incredible 40 miles per day, using almost no energy.
Then there are the animals that refuse to be pigeon holed as small, and manage to punch way above their weight. He puts some astonishing invertebrates to the test, to see how they work together to become much bigger than the sum of their parts and meets a pint-sized predator that takes on some of the largest and most dangerous creatures on the planet, getting hands on to discover how its build helps it to be brave. Finally he uncovers the incredible lengths that deep sea anglerfish go to in order to be big and small at the same time, and has an endearing encounter with a tiny carnivore that manages to be small in just one direction.
Whether their size helps them to hunt, hide or survive, all these remarkable animals prove that good things really do come in small packages.

Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting

   2022    Art
Three years in the making, Francis Whately’s film is a social and musical history of (probably) the world’s greatest music festival, as told by its principal curators, Michael and Emily Eavis, and many of the key artists who’ve appeared there between 1970 and 2019 – Billie Eilish, Thom Yorke, Florence Welch, Dua Lipa, The Levellers, Aswad, Orbital, Fatboy Slim, Linda Lewis, Noel Gallagher, Ed O’Brien, Chris Martin, Stormzy and more.
Balancing the driving forces of social conscience and hedonism, Glastonbury has always been both a world apart and a barometer of the state of the nation. Looking at the hippie days, CND, the contribution of the travellers, dance music, Britpop, The Wall, the impact of television and the first black British solo headliner, this film takes viewers backstage and deep into the archive to reveal the forces that have driven this alternative nation between utopia and dystopia, the greatest night of your life and a muddy field in the middle of nowhere.
This is not a chronological plod through the festival’s evolution so much as a thematic and story-driven exploration of the peaks and troughs, and the agonies and ecstasies, that have shaped Glastonbury’s 50 years and counting.

Frozen Ocean

   2022    Nature
At the top of our planet lies a magical realm, the Arctic Ocean. After four months of winter darkness, the sun returns to reveal a frozen ocean covered in ice. Mother polar bears emerge from their hillside dens and lead their cubs down to the sea ice to hunt, while a young male and female bear forge a surprising friendship out on the ice.
For others, the frozen sea is a trap. A pod of beluga whales has been confined to an ice hole for five months, slowly starving to death as the food around them runs out. Their salvation lies in the strengthening sun that comes with spring, melting the sea ice, allowing their escape.
Off the east coast of Greenland, the floating pack ice in spring is a nursery ground for harp seals. Mothers and pups have just a few weeks together for the pup to learn to swim before she leaves him to fend for himself. But in today’s warming climate, storms can tip helpless youngsters into the sea before they are strong enough to fend for themselves.
Summer is a time of plenty in the Arctic Ocean as plankton blooms feed millions of tiny mouths, such as bizarre skeleton shrimps, as well as the biggest: bowhead whales. These ancient and long-lived whales arrive en masse every year at secret locations known as whale spas. But today, with the loss of summer sea ice, their peace is shattered by orcas from the south. These daring predators are bold enough to take on the much larger bowheads, targeting their vulnerable calves.
The 24-hour daylight of the Arctic summer attracts visitors from afar, including huge flocks of seabirds like crested auklets. A male must use both his song and a secret tangerine perfume if he is to attract a mate. For the resident walrus, the summer heat can be unbearable. After hauling himself to the beach to moult, an old male uses an ingenious technique to get himself back to the cool of the water - a roly-poly!
Summers in the Arctic today bring record-breaking heat. With climate change, it is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. It is predicted that the Arctic Ocean could become ice-free each summer by 2035, raising new challenges for polar bears. Without sea ice, more and more bears are becoming stranded on remote Arctic islands. It's a dangerous place to be for a mother bear with cubs, surrounded by larger, predatory males.
Series: Frozen Planet II
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

2019  Culture
The Jinx

The Jinx

  History
History of the World

History of the World

2012  History
Clarkson Farm

Clarkson Farm

2021  Nature
Dinosaur Planet

Dinosaur Planet

2003  Science
Cosmos

Cosmos

1980  Culture
The Crime of the Century

The Crime of the Century

2021  Medicine
Generation Iron

Generation Iron

2018  History