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Black Holes: Heart of Darkness

   2021    Science
The centre of our galaxy is home to an invisible monster of unimaginable power – a supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A star, with four million times the mass of the Sun. Recent astronomical breakthroughs have confirmed not only that black holes like Sagittarius A star exist, but that these bizarre invisible objects may be the ultimate galactic protagonists.
Stunning CGI takes us back to witness the fiery origins of our galaxy’s black hole 13.6 billion years ago, when the early universe was home to colossal blue stars, and when they ran out of fuel, they collapsed under their own enormous mass, crushing down into an object so small and so dense it punched a hole in the fabric of the universe. Over billions of years, Sagittarius A star feasted on nearby gas, stars, and through cataclysmic mergers with other black holes. A breakthrough discovery by Nasa’s Fermi gamma-ray telescope has shown that our black hole had the power to sculpt the entire galaxy, creating vast bubbles of gas above and below our galaxy and even protecting stars systems as ours.
In a mind-bending conclusion, Brian Cox reveals how our modern understanding of black holes is challenging our concepts of reality to the breaking point. In trying to understand the fate of objects that fall into Sagittarius A star, scientists have come to a stunning conclusion: space and time, concepts so foundational to how we experience the world around us, are not as fundamental as we once thought.
Series: Universe

Dzerzhinsky and Company

   2018    History
For the past century, Russian history has also been the history of its security services. They were used by the Soviet state to crush dissent. Millions suffered at their hands. Mass executions, secret wars, spies capable of stealing the atomic bomb, poisoning scandals all add up to the most extraordinary and dangerous security network the world has ever known. But even today, the security network is arguably stronger than ever. This is the History of the KGB, told through its veterans and its victims.
Founded in 1917, Cheka was the predecessor organization of the KGB. Set up as a 'temporary' measure by Lenin, unknown number of Soviet citizens would die at the hands of the secret services as internal dissents in the 1920s. An inglorious chapter is the "Great Terror" phase, when millions of Soviet citizens were convicted and executed in mock trials under Stalin's rule in the 1930s. Outside the Soviet Union, during the WWII they were busy infiltrating German High Command, British Intelligence and America's Manhattan Project. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
Series: KGB: The Sword and the Shield

Liberation of Buchenwald

   2020    History
Hitler’s rise to power was a unique moment in history. Germany suffered a humiliating defeat in WWI; now it's crippled by massive war reparations. Hitler offers a scapegoat: the Jews. The Nazis are quick to institute anti-Semitic laws and stoke distrust of the Jews. Anyone deemed 'undesirable,' from political opponents, to the handicapped, gypsies and Jews are sent to camps. There they are either worked to death, starved or executed. But just how much did the rest of the world know of what was going on?
Series: Greatest Events of WWII in Colour

United We Stand Divided We Fall

   2022    Culture
In 2011, a Social Security lawyer named Eric C. Conn and a judge named David Daugherty were investigated for committing massive fraud over many years. Conn figured out that he would get paid a hefty retainer for every Social Security disability payment he managed to get approved, so he and Daugherty (who need quick cash to pay for his daughter’s upcoming narcotics trial – which presumably meant bribing an awful lot of people) came to an arrangement.
In the second episode, Investigators starts to collect evidence against Eric and Judge Daugherty. The whistle-blowers are pressured.
Series: The Big Conn

Samurai Massacre

       History
The unearthing of a gruesome grave filled with thousands of skeletons at the beach of Kamakura in Japan could be about to unlock the true extent of the merciless violence and mystery surrounding the true origins of one of the most feared and revered warriors of all time: the Samurai.
In the Middle Ages, Kamakura was the capital of Japan. The 'Shogun', a kind of aristocratic military dictator, ruled here. This shogunate ended in 1333 with the Battle of Kamakura. A drastic event in Japanese history, because this resulted in not only political, but also social, philosophical and technical innovations. The remains of the samurai warriors who fell near Kamakura now provide scientists with detailed insights into the time of the Kamakura shogunate and the bloody conflict between the shogun and the emperor.
The chilling burial ground dates back to 1333. Kamakura was one of the most heavily fortified regions of Japan. When the Emperor became angered by the growing powers of the ruling Hojo family, he sought to retake control of the region, setting the stage for a war that would change the shape of the nation. Among over 4000 sets of remains, six have a unique story to tell: the husband and wife involved in a sword fight to the death; the warrior monk; a peasant boy soldier; and members of the ruling Hojo family, captured and decapitated, with their heads displayed as trophies of victory. These remains reveal the secrets of the Samurai, their ferocious fighting skills and their merciless killing techniques.
Series: Warrior Graveyard

Frozen Ocean

   2022    Nature
At the top of our planet lies a magical realm, the Arctic Ocean. After four months of winter darkness, the sun returns to reveal a frozen ocean covered in ice. Mother polar bears emerge from their hillside dens and lead their cubs down to the sea ice to hunt, while a young male and female bear forge a surprising friendship out on the ice.
For others, the frozen sea is a trap. A pod of beluga whales has been confined to an ice hole for five months, slowly starving to death as the food around them runs out. Their salvation lies in the strengthening sun that comes with spring, melting the sea ice, allowing their escape.
Off the east coast of Greenland, the floating pack ice in spring is a nursery ground for harp seals. Mothers and pups have just a few weeks together for the pup to learn to swim before she leaves him to fend for himself. But in today’s warming climate, storms can tip helpless youngsters into the sea before they are strong enough to fend for themselves.
Summer is a time of plenty in the Arctic Ocean as plankton blooms feed millions of tiny mouths, such as bizarre skeleton shrimps, as well as the biggest: bowhead whales. These ancient and long-lived whales arrive en masse every year at secret locations known as whale spas. But today, with the loss of summer sea ice, their peace is shattered by orcas from the south. These daring predators are bold enough to take on the much larger bowheads, targeting their vulnerable calves.
The 24-hour daylight of the Arctic summer attracts visitors from afar, including huge flocks of seabirds like crested auklets. A male must use both his song and a secret tangerine perfume if he is to attract a mate. For the resident walrus, the summer heat can be unbearable. After hauling himself to the beach to moult, an old male uses an ingenious technique to get himself back to the cool of the water - a roly-poly!
Summers in the Arctic today bring record-breaking heat. With climate change, it is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. It is predicted that the Arctic Ocean could become ice-free each summer by 2035, raising new challenges for polar bears. Without sea ice, more and more bears are becoming stranded on remote Arctic islands. It's a dangerous place to be for a mother bear with cubs, surrounded by larger, predatory males.
Series: Frozen Planet II
The Sky at Night

The Sky at Night

2018  Science
Animal

Animal

2021  Nature
Seven Ages of Rock

Seven Ages of Rock

2007  Art
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

2018  Culture
Heavens Gate

Heavens Gate

2020  Culture
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

2019  Culture