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Battle of Midway: The True Story

   2019    History
It's June 1942 and the world's fate is about to be decided by a handful of pilots and their untested aircraft. Experience an inside look at the Battle of Midway, captured through rarely seen battle footage and first-hand accounts from its hero dive-bombing pilot, "Dusty" Kleiss. This is an hour-by-hour recount of one of the most pivotal conflicts of the 20th century. Take a closer look at how this desperately needed victory came about through the design of U.S. air planes, the skill of the pilots, the element of surprise, and a stroke of luck.

The Captains

   2011    Art
Follow actor William Shatner through interviews with the other actors who have portrayed starship Enterprise captains in five other incarnations of the Star Trek franchise. Shatner's subjects discuss their lives and careers before, during and after their tenure with Star Trek. With the use of conversations and archival footage, they explore the pressures, stigmas and sacrifices that accompanied their roles and their larger careers. During the process of the film and with help from the other Captains, Sir Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula and Chris Pine, Shatner overcomes his disdain and learns to embrace his best known character, Captain James T. Kirk.

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

Protestantism The Evangelical Explosion

   2011    Culture
Diarmaid MacCulloch traces the growth of an exuberant expression of faith that has spread across the globe - Evangelical Protestantism. Today, it is associated with conservative politics, but the whole story is distinctly more unexpected. It is easily forgotten that the evangelical explosion has been driven by a concern for social justice and the claim that one could stand in a direct emotional relationship with God. It allowed the Protestant faith to burst its boundaries from its homeland in Europe. In America, its preachers marketed Christianity with all the flair and swashbuckling enterprise of American commerce. In Africa, it converted much of the continent by adapting to local traditions, and now it is expanding into Asia. But is Korean Pentecostalism and its message of prosperity in the here and now an adaptation too far?
Series: A History of Christianity

Star Trek

   2018    Technology
Since the original series went on the air in 1966, the Star Trek franchise has had a history of ups and downs in the toy business - from AMT's faithful scale model kit of the USS Enterprise to Remco's obscure tie-in merchandise, to Mego's best–selling action figure line. Following Mego's bankruptcy in 1983 and a string of flops by Ertl and Galoob, Playmates Toys picked up the toy license in the late 1980s and sparked a resurgence in the franchise's toy sales.
From the mid-2000s onwards, companies such as Art Asylum and McFarlane Toys continue to keep the Star Trek toy franchise alive.
Series: The Toys that Made Us
Out of the Cradle
Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
Secrets of the Universe
Secrets of the Universe

   2021    Science
The Keepers
The Keepers

   2017    Culture
Minimalism
Minimalism

   2015    Culture
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Tiger
Tiger

   2020    History