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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

Creation

   2016    Culture
In the fourth episode, Morgan Freeman examines how different faiths see the creation of the world, taking him on a journey to the Vatican, Cairo and the jungles of Guatemala.
Series: The Story of God

The Secret World of Lewis Carroll

   2015    History
It's a timeless classic of children's literature and the third most-quoted book in English after the Bible and Shakespeare. But what lies behind the extraordinary appeal of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to generations of adults and children alike? To mark the 150th anniversary of its publication, this documentary explores the life and imagination of the man who wrote it, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll." Broadcaster and journalist Martha Kearney delves into the biographies of both Carroll himself and of the young girl, Alice Liddell, who inspired his most famous creation. Kearney's lifelong passion for Carroll's work began as a young girl, when she starred as Carroll's heroine Alice in her local village play. She discusses the book with a range of experts, biographers and distinguished cultural figures - from the actor Richard E Grant to children's author Philip Pullman - and explores with them the mystery of how a retiring, buttoned-up and meticulous mathematics don, who spent almost his entire life within the cloistered confines of Christ Church Oxford, was able to capture the world of childhood in such a captivating way

The Seven New Signs of the Apocalypse

   2015    Culture
Every day our planet faces cataclysmic events that threaten our very existence. Whether from natural or man-made forces, rising from the earth or menacing from space, the world seems beset by more catastrophes than ever. Some believe the signs of the coming Apocalypse are all around us–as outlined in the bible’s most compelling book of prophecies: Revelation". And even the non-religious can’t ignore what appears to be a growing rate of globe-threatening disasters. Are we approaching a biblical “End of Times”? And if so–how will it happen? Will it come from an act of God? Or a colossal misstep of man? Get an uncomfortably close front row seat to some of the most likely apocalyptic scenarios our world faces today–and the history, both scientific and biblical, behind them.

Heavenly Destruction

   2014    History
Sodom and Gomorrah, a tale of two cities incinerated by a hail of fire and brimstone. Is this a fantastic fable, or could it be a near apocalyptic disaster from space? In this episode, we will check into the mysteries relating to the destruction of both cities. Were they astronomical events?
Newly discovered evidence might hold the secrets to one of the Bible's greatest mysteries.
Series: The Universe Season 7
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Senna
Senna

   2010    Culture
The Crime of the Century
The Crime of the Century

   2021    Medicine
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science
The Germanic Tribes
The Germanic Tribes

   2007    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven

   2009    Art