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The Empire Strikes Back

   2021    History
In 1717, the seas of the Caribbean are ruled by the Flying Gang: Black Sam Bellamy, Edward Thatch and Benjamin Hornigold. From their base in the Bahamas, these pirates steal a fortune from the wealthiest empires in Europe and disrupt the lucrative slave trade. English authorities tap Woodes Rogers to put a stop to the pirate attacks. He is on a mission to destroy the Flying Gang of the Caribbean.
Series: The Lost Pirate Kingdom

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

Bear Woodlands

   2020    Nature
In the boreal forests of Europe, a young brown bear clashes with wolves and tries to find a mate beneath the stars. On the edge of the Arctic Circle, lies an enchanted wilderness. In Europe's boreal forest, It's so far north that in winter, nights can last 20 hours. This woodland is home to a population of secretive bears that lives most of their lives in the dark. But now, using low-light cameras we can see their nighttime world as if it were day.
Series: Earth at Night in Color

Hidden Spain

   2020    Nature
Spain is found at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, between Europe and Africa, resulting in diverse landscapes, ancient cultures and magnificent wildlife. It's a hidden Spain missed by many tourists who fail to venture outside the resorts. Worlds within worlds, the medieval towns, to farming communities, desert, mountains and forests with some of the most dramatic and diverse wildlife of the continent.

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing
Explained
Explained

   2018    Technology
Blue Planet II
Blue Planet II

   2017    Nature
Top Gear
Top Gear

   2012    Technology
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2015    Culture
Human Planet
Human Planet

   2011    Culture
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology