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The Last Empire

   2016    History
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises. At a traditional printing house where the wood blocks are hand-carved, we see how the Complete Tang Poems were reproduced - all 48,000 of them. We travel through the wintry countryside to a remote village where a hardy audience watch open-air opera in the snow and visit a painter's studio, and 'storytelling' houses in Yangzhou. In the 18th century, China was arguably the greatest economy in the world, and we get a fabulous sense of the rich culture that came with prosperity. But then came the clash with the British, in the first Opium War, when a British expedition destroyed the Qing navy and extracted territory and trading rights. We leave with a glimpse of the future. 'Every dynasty has risen and declined,' says Michael, 'and has needed new life to regenerate, and this time the catalyst was the British.' Among the ports China ceded was an almost uninhabited island, Hong Kong, one of today's greatest financial centres, and Shanghai, a small town then but now one of the greatest cities in world.
Series: The Story of China

The Revelation of the Pyramids

   2010    History
An apocryphal view on the pyramids, starting in awe at the amazing achievement of the Pharaonic architecture and sculpture, most specially at Gizeh, given Cheops's pyramid's size, weight, incredibly precise carving, four pairs of slightly shifted half sides, stunningly precisely measured shapes and symmetry. Then it questions and challenges conventional Egyptology beliefs, which it calls unproven or even impossible to verify, such as the absence of machines, a wharf duration of only 20 years or accidental equinox-orientation. Next it elaborates the theory that other major pyramid technology sites in Precolombian America, Easter Island and China can't coincidentally lie on two lines intersecting at Gizeh, even if not contemporaneous and without known contacts in their ages, and have several improbable things in common, like some of their cultures. Elaborate mathematical theories and measurements indicate the Egyptians must have known some astronomy, pi and the golden number

Planet Dinosaur Ultimate Killers

   2012    Science    3D
This is one of the most ambitious animated programmes ever attempted for broadcast TV, recreating every detail of these extraordinary animals in an entirely digital production that stretches the boundaries of broadcast 3D with a scale and ambition normally reserved for Hollywood feature films. Planet Dinosaur 3D is a thrilling and immersive journey into a lost world. Pulling together cutting edge research from around the world this programme uses the latest, stunning fossil evidence to chart the rise and fall of the 'Ultimate Killers'; from the iconic Spinosaurus, the largest predator ever to walk the Earth, to Microraptor and the feathered, flying dinosaurs from China. At last, thanks to the advances in technology, and for the first time ever, these monsters can be experienced in all their full, magnificent wonder.
Series: Planet Dinosaur

Rivals

   2015    Science    3D
David Attenborough continues his search for the origins of flying animals, as he charts the rise of new, larger creatures – extinct reptiles that flew on wings of skin, dinosaurs that sprouted feathers to become the ancestors of birds, and gliding mammals that emerged from a life in the trees to dominate the night as bats. His journey spans the globe – from the rainforests of Borneo to see bizarre gliding animals, to China and its new discoveries of dinosaur fossils. Stunning CGI brings to life creatures that disappeared over 200 million years ago, and new filming techniques bring us closer than ever to the secrets of flight itself.
Series: Conquest of the Skies

Asia and Australia

   2012    Nature
In this bird's-eye view of two continents, demoiselle cranes negotiate a dangerous Himalayan pass on their way to India while high-flying bar-headed geese take the fast track five miles above. In Rajasthan, vultures watch hunting tigers hoping for a meal and pigeons visit a temple dedicated solely to sacred rats. Pigeons are also our guide to the greatest gatherings of camels on Earth and learn to dodge buzzards around the battlements of Jodhpur Fort. 9,000 cranes overwinter in the most unlikely of spots - a barbed wire compound in the centre of a desert town. In Australia, rainbow lorikeets drop in on Sydney and patrol Australia's Gold Coast. In the outback, white cockatoos swirl in thousands and budgerigars pass Uluru (Ayers Rock) and gather in the biggest flocks ever recorded. In China, swallows and swifts visit the Great Wall and the Forbidden City of Beijing. In Japan, the country's most revered birds - Japanese cranes are fed fish by appreciative locals and are joined in strange, momentary harmony by hungry red foxes, white-tailed eagles and Steller's eagles. As peace descends, Japanese cranes dance beautifully in the snow.
Series: Earthflight
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

   2016    History
Clash of the Gods
Clash of the Gods

   2009    History
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Engineering the Future
Engineering the Future

   2020    Technology
Sonic Highways
Sonic Highways

   2014    Art
Life In Cold Blood
Life In Cold Blood

   2008    Nature
Wonders Of The Universe
Wonders Of The Universe

   2011    Science