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The Story of India: Beginnings

   2007    History
Through ancient manuscripts and oral tales Michael Wood charts the first human migrations out of Africa. He travels from the tropical backwaters of South India through lost ancient cities in Pakistan to the vibrant landscapes of the Ganges plain. In Turkmenistan dramatic archaeological discoveries cast new light on India’s past.
Series: The Story of India

Man-Eating Tigers of the Sundarbans

   2009    Nature
The Sundarbans mangrove forest, in Bangladesh near the Indian border, is a tidal jungle where Ganges and Brahmaputra enter the Indian Ocean. Its has some 400 Bengal tigers - the largest population in the world, and the only to be hardly scared of men. The downside is tigers kill up the 50 Bangladeshis a year, even from neighbouring villages, so keeping them inside the reserve is key to long-term survival.
A recent project tries to train local mongrels, not pets but fiercely self-reliant dogs, to spot and even scare off tigers from villages. An individual tiger can turn into a man-eater in order to survive - this process may occur due to an injury or old age (and so cannot hunt agile prey) or even accidentally tasting human flesh.
Series: Natural World

Capone First Kill

   2016    History
The story of America's most notorious gangster, Al Capone, starts on the streets of Brooklyn. In 1913, at the age of 14, Capone starts running errands for local gangsters - just one of many immigrants struggling to survive. One day, young Al Capone gets caught in a police raid. He quickly grabs what money he can, evades police, and runs to the headquarters of mob boss Johnny Torrio. Torrio rewards Capone for his quick-thinking. When Torrio recognizes Capone's intelligence and drive, he takes him under his wing.
Series: The Making of the Mob

The Joy of Mozart

   2015    Art
Tom Service plunges into the life and times of Mozart to try and rediscover the greatness and humanity of the living man in his moment. Mozart's prodigious output and untimely death have helped place him on a pedestal that can often blind us to the unique brilliance of his work in the context of his life and times. Service visits the key cities and rooms in which Mozart lived and worked, plays some of Mozart's original instruments and scores, and gradually uncovers the brilliance and originality of his work." There is the prodigious childhood when Mozart was feted as an infant phenomenon around Europe's most glittering courts, and his golden decade in Vienna in which masterpiece followed masterpiece - operas, symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets - as if this short, high-voiced man-child must have been taking dictation from some divine source, until his death at the age of just 35 in 1791. Even more than the music, Mozart's tragic demise sets the seal on his myth. The trajectory of Mozart's life sets the template for the romantic paradigm whose throes we are still in today, which requires our creative heroes to die young to prove that they were too good for this madding world, whether it be Wolfgang Amadeus or Jimi Hendrix. Service travels from London to Vienna and Salzberg, unpicking the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.

Blood Filled Streets

   2016    History
After the murder of his brother Frank, Al Capone is out for revenge against William Dever and the Chicago police. He plots to kill every undercover cop that was in Cicero on the day of Frank’s death. Before he can set his plan in motion, however, Johnny Torrio returns from Italy and reclaims his control of their criminal empire. Torrio forbids Capone from killing cops, fearing it would spark an all-out war. Despite Capone’s personal loss, Torrio returns to a booming business that’s raking in $10 million a month. However, as Torrio and Capone’s empire grows, it becomes harder to keep smaller factions under control. After a small group of Italian mobsters attacks one of Dean O’Banion’s distilleries, O’Banion blames Torrio and decides to end their business partnership. He announces his retirement to Torrio and offers Torrio an opportunity to buy him out. Torrio meets O’Banion at the Seine Brewery on May 19, 1924, with the buyout money. Chicago police raid the brewery and arrest Torrio while letting O’Banion walk free: O’Banion had set the whole thing up. With prior convictions, Torrio serves a mandatory prison sentence but is first released on bail. He vows to kill O’Banion as payback and gives Capone his blessing to kill O’Banion. Capone spends months planning the hit. Capone knows that catching O’Banion off guard is nearly impossible, so he places an order with O’Banion’s flower shop for nearly $20,000 worth of flowers, knowing that O’Banion personally oversees his biggest arrangements. On November 10, 1924, O’Banion works in his shop preparing the flower delivery. Two of Capone’s men enter the shop and fatally gun O’Banion down. Four days later, Chicago’s most powerful Irish gangster is laid to rest in one of the most lavish funerals Chicago has ever seen. More than two dozen cars are required to transport floral arrangements as a crowd of 10,000 mourns the death of the infamous gangster. Torrio and Capone attend the funeral, infuriating O’Banion’s top lieutenants, Hymie Weiss and Bugs Moran. Chaos breaks out as smaller gangs through the city begin a turf war. It’s the beginning of an era of bloodshed in Chicago known as the Beer Wars. Over 300 people are murdered at a rate of 75 to 100 murders a year.
Series: The Making of the Mob

St Valentine Day Massacre

   2016    History
Al Capone moves back to Chicago and takes over two floors of the city's finest hotel, the Lexington. With a thriving business and Chicago politicians in his back pocket, Capone soon reaches a level of celebrity normally reserved for athletes and entertainers. As Capone's profile grows, he begins to indulge in all that the Roaring '20s have to offer, including cocaine. While Capone enjoys his reign at the top of the Chicago underworld, Irish gangster Bugs Moran seeks to take him down as revenge for the deaths of his partners Dean O'Banion and Hymie Weiss. On March 7, 1928, Moran orders a hit on one of Capone's top associates, Jack McGurn, the man who took out Hymie Weiss. McGurn survives but Capone decides to retaliate by taking out Moran and as many of his men as possible - all at once. On February 14, 1929, Capone's men dress as law enforcement and raid the liquor buy. They order Moran's men to face the wall for handcuffing, but while their backs are turned, Capone's men shoot all of them. Firing 70 rounds of ammunition in less than 10 seconds, the assassins carry out the biggest gangland hit in American history that will come to be known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Through a stroke of luck, Moran avoids the massacre, but knows he's been defeated.
Series: The Making of the Mob
Blood of the Vikings

Blood of the Vikings

2001  History
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

2018  Culture
Wings

Wings

  Nature
How to Grow a Planet

How to Grow a Planet

2012  Science
The Life of Mammals

The Life of Mammals

2002  Nature
The Jinx

The Jinx

  History
The Hunt

The Hunt

2015  Nature
Atom

Atom

2007  Science