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In the first episode, Professor Joann Fletcher goes in search of the building blocks of Egyptian civilisation and finds out what made ancient Egypt the incredible civilisation that it was.
Joann sees how people here changed, in just a few centuries, from primitive farmers to pyramid builders and finds the early evidence for Egypt’s amazing gods and obsession with death and the afterlife.
On her search, Joann travels almost 20,000 years back in time to discover north Africa’s earliest rock art, she discovers how the first writing was used to calculate taxes and explores one of the first stone structures on earth – Egypt’s first pyramid. Joann ends her journey in the largest monument of them all – the Great Pyramid. Here, she explains how Egypt had now reached a pinnacle – the ultimate society, creating one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Heroin: Cape Cod, USA is a cinema-verité look at the heroin epidemic currently sweeping America’s small towns and communities, focusing on eight young heroin addicts in idyllic Cape Cod, Mass.
American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History chronicles the rise of the company from its earliest days as a small, financially struggling collective, to its pinnacle as one of the most respected and revered dance companies in the world. Beginning film production in 2006, Ric Burns was given unprecedented access to the company and shot hundreds of hours of original footage, including dramatic live performances in Paris and Havana, grueling rehearsals at ABT’s flagship studio in New York City and slow-motion captures at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y.
Truth, Justice, and the American Way (1938-1958)
During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation. When the thrilling “Adventures of Superman” is broadcast on the new medium of television, America’s first and greatest superhero leads the entire comic book industry to renewed strength.
Great Power, Great Responsibility (1959-1977)
In the 1960s, a new breed of superhero emerges in the pages of Marvel Comics, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring the pop culture and pop artists of the time. Spider-Man, the Hulk and others are the first to have “problems” with which an adult audience can identify, and contemporary social issues make their way into comic books. Black powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage appear on the scene, and the pages of “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” explode with relevant storylines as comic books are forced to confront the reality of an increasingly complex world.
A Hero Can Be Anyone (1978-Present)
Modern enthusiasm for superheroes has been embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic Superman movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen bring new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the burgeoning new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture with feature films, television shows and video games complementing a new generation of web-based comics that bring superhero adventures to every corner of the world.
Simon’s adventure starts in the magnificent ‘red centre’ of the continent and onwards through South Australia, via the extraordinary Indian Pacific Railway until he reaches the west coast city of Perth.
On the way, he joins an Aussie rancher in the parched outback and takes part in a spectacular camel round-up. This mad aventure, involving specially adapted off-road vehicles and a chopper, is part of an ongoing effort to stop the damaging spread of up to a million feral camels across the country.
Simon also passes through Australia’s wine country and to the lucrative tuna fishing city of Port Lincoln, and he investigates the impact these trades are having on the environment. In Western Australia, he joins a 21st century gold rush – part of the resource boom that has made Australia one of the richest countries in the world.
Finally in Perth, Simon discovers a full scale British invasion. Working in a mine or driving a lorry can bring a salary of a hundred thousand pounds a year, as evidenced when Simon meets a former binman from hull who is now living the dream, with a beautiful house in the sun, private pool and his very own boat.
Land of the Sabre-tooth
Professor Alice Roberts journeys 40,000 years back in time on the trail of the great beasts of the Ice Age. Drawing on the latest scientific detective work and a dash of graphic wizardry, Alice brings the Ice Age giants back to life.
The Ice Age odyssey begins in the ‘land of the sabre-tooth’ – North America, a continent that was half covered by ice that was up to two miles thick. Yet this frozen land also boasts the most impressive cast of Ice Age giants in the world.
High in a cave in the Grand Canyon, Alice discovers the mummified poo of the loveable, grizzly bear-sized Shasta ground sloth. Lying in the sands of Arizona are the shelled remains of a glyptodon, surely the weirdest mammal that ever lived. On the coastal plains of California, Alice encounters the vast Columbian mammoth, an animal far larger than any elephant today.
These leviathans all have one thing in common: they were stalked by the meanest big cat that ever prowled the Earth, armed with seven-inch teeth and hunting in packs – Smilodon fatalis, the sabre-toothed cat.
Documentary telling the gripping and shocking story of photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, who survived two world wars to become one of the world’s most highly-paid fashion photographers and a key influence on the development of photography as an art form. Yet after a mysterious death in Rome in 1969 his name is little-known today, the reasons for which lie in his unconventional lifestyle.
The first ever film about his life and work uses exclusive access to Blumenfeld’s extensive archive of stunning photographs, fashion films, home-movies and self-portraits to tell of a man obsessed by the pursuit of beautiful women, but also by the endless possibilities of photography itself.
With contributions from leading photographers Rankin, Nick Knight and Solve Sundsbo and 82-year-old supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, it uncovers the richly complex story of one of the 20th century’s most original photographic artists.
Why do cats scratch your furniture? Insist on climbing up curtains and sitting on top of the bookshelf? A team of cat experts come together to answer the questions that plague cat owners everywhere. State-of-the-art “cat cams” reveal exactly where a handful of specially selected cats go when they leave the house. Join us as we learn why the kitty on your couch is a versatile and adaptable creature, but not so far removed from the prowling cats of the Kalahari.
Born to Be Wild
Take an extraordinary journey through North America and meet the incredible array of exotic wildlife that lives in our backyard. Through epic cinematography and compelling storytelling, we experience their struggle for survival in this land of extremes.
No Place to Hide
A world of extreme storms and unpredictable blizzards, this land tests all those who set foot on it. From bunker building prairie dogs to the fastest land animals on the continent, the fight to survive shapes all who dare call this place home.