In 73 BC a deserter from the Roman Army was sold into the slave market. A few months later he led his fellow slaves and gladiators in a bid for freedom that turned into the greatest rebellion the Roman Empire ever faced. With extraordinary vision and bravery, he led his renegades to victory against the 'invincible' Roman legions, brought the Empire to the brink of revolution and won immortal fame as an icon of oppressed people around the world. His name was Spartacus.
After the four-month ordeal on Guadalcanal, Leckie and Basilone and thousands of their comrades land in Melbourne where they are greeted warmly by the Australians. While his buddies carouse,Leckie becomes deeply attached to an Australian woman and her first-generation Greek family.
This three part documentary series uncovers the historic inspiration and scientific fact behind some of the most enduring horror icons of our time, through spine-chilling dramatic reconstruction and expert interviews. In 19th century London, two decades before Mary Shelley wrote her acclaimed novel, pioneering scientific showman Professor Giovanni Aldini successfully used electricity to reanimate animals, severed human limbs and the corpses of recently beheaded criminals. But Aldini needed a whole body - a strong, male specimen, very recently killed by asphyxiation - to attempt his most ambitious experiment: a complete human reanimation.
Civil revolutions and Bell Canto, Paris Salon Culture, and German song. Rossini, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini took the world of Opera to new heights. The many sides of romantic music are explained in this episode. Featuring Jonas Kaufmann, Rene Kollo, Anna Netrebko, Julia Fischer and many more.
On July 20, 1969 an estimated 600 million people all over the world watched astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon for the first time. The moonwalk inspired musicians from David Bowie and the Byrds to Parliament - Funkadelic and Sun Ra to imagine a cosmic future for mankind. However, once the Cold War space race had been won, popular interest in space exploration waned rapidly - as reflected in songs by Elton John and Gil Scott-Heron. In December 1972, NASA launched its final manned mission to the moon, and we have never gone back since. Almost half a century after the moon landing, while our deep yearning to explore the universe lives on in the realm of art and music, its most profound legacy may be the perspective it gave us on our own planet and who we are as a species.
Nine modern-day adventurers attempt to replicate William Bligh's epic 1789 journey across 6500km of remote and unforgiving ocean. The final leg of the journey isn't plain sailing; the men are once again at the mercy of the weather, and when the winds slow so too does their progress. They face their most desperate challenge yet: life-threatening dehydration, as the finish line appears to be exasperatingly out of reach. Will they all make it to Captain Bligh's final destination?
By 22 November 1963, the date of his assassination, President Kennedy had made many enemies. He had declared war on the Mafia, racial prejudice and the industrial/military interest in Vietnam. He had humiliated Krushchev and Castro, who both wanted revenge over the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even to this day, conjecture surrounds the ballistics evidence and whether two assassins were involved. New film material from Washington has just been released.
How did a film, presented by a dubious producer based in London and purporting to show an autopsy being performed on a dead alien, come to convince large parts of the UFO-hungry public that it was authentic? Why did his reluctance to have the film authenticated and his string of broken promises not raise alarm bells? What's the real story behind a hoax that travelled the world and was itself the subject of a hoax some years later? We're going to investigate and find out. Not only that, we're going to place this infamous hoax in its proper context, because it came at a time of resurgent interest in the subject of extra-terrestrial invasion, which at least in part explained the success of films like Independence Day. We'll also look at the notorious Roswell Incident, which gave birth to the Alien Autopsy film.
1916. Britain's armed forces are decimated. Across the country, friends join up to fight together, in new battalions known as 'Pals'. Paddy Kennedy joins the Manchester Pals Battalion with his friends Henry, Andy and Jim.
Defying American airpower, North Vietnamese troops and materiel stream down the Ho Chi Minh Trail into the South, while Saigon struggles to "pacify the countryside." As an anti-war movement builds back home; hundreds of thousands of soldiers and marines discover that the war they are being asked to fight in Vietnam is nothing like their fathers' war.
While the Watergate scandal rivets Americans' attention and forces Richard Nixon to resign, the Vietnamese continue to savage one another in a brutal civil war. When hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese troops pour into the South, Saigon descends rapidly into chaos and collapses. For the next 40 years, Americans and Vietnamese from all sides search for healing and reconciliation.
How did Gandhi die and who killed him? These questions have never been adequately answered when looking at the life and biography of Mahatma Gandhi. This two-part special is the definitive inquiry into a deeply entrenched conspiracy that has remained only a footnote in history. It reveals an epic battle of clashing religious and political ideologies through interviews with historians, journalists, eyewitnesses and unprecedented access to the families of Mahatma Gandhi, his assassin Nathuram Godse, and the accused conspiracy mastermind VD Savarkar. Narrated by Canadian star Gordon Pinsent, the investigative documentary resurfaces rare archives, including the discovery of the All India Radio broadcast from January 20, 1948, where a gang of assassins is heard interrupting Gandhi's prayer meeting in a botched assassination attempt a mere 10 days before the fateful final act.
The 19-year restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper fresco has revealed that only 20 percent of the original painting is still visible. Will we never be able to see what the original painting looked like? In this thriller-like quest, a bestselling author and historian goes in search of a mysterious second version of the famous Last Supper fresco, reportedly painted by Leonardo da Vinci and his workshop for the King of France, Louis XII.
Operation Copper was an eight man mission to Mushu Island off New Guinea that went disastrously wrong. Only one man survived to tell the tale, Mick Dennis, who features in this episode, and survived 10 days in the jungle with the Japanese hunting him down.
From his portrayal of bushranger Ned Kelly to the sinister Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek, actor John Jarratt has carved a career out of playing quintessential Aussie characters. But while John wears his working class roots with pride, the traces of a Chinese heritage on his mum's side have always been a mystery. John first throws himself into his search for his Chinese origins before investigating the epic life story of his war hero ancestor.
Planning the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, there was controversy about whether TV cameras would be permitted to cover the ceremony. At first, she resisted. A public outcry compelled a rethink and the whole ceremony was televised, except for the most sacred moment - the anointing of the Queen. Her beauty, dignity and calmness made the event a worldwide success. Further evidence of her deep religious convictions came when she invited US evangelist Billy Graham to preach at Windsor Castle.
How did decades of government corruption scandals like played a role in WikiLeaks, a product of Gen X? The forces that led to the WikiLeaks release are examined through original interviews and footage.
Between 1850 and 1950, three cataclysmic revolutions shook China to the core, but out of them, today's China emerged. Inspired by the Christian story and calling himself God's second son, Hong unleashed the bloodiest war of the 19th century, the Taiping Rebellion. As imperial China weakened, foreign influence grew: treaty exports expanded, bringing growth and wealth, trams, railways and western sensibilities. This provoked another surge of violence, the Boxer Rebellion, an attack against foreigners.
The extraordinary true story behind the building of the largest palace on earth, The Forbidden City in Beijing. For six centuries The Forbidden City has been at the heart of China. It remains one of mankind's greatest historic and architectural icons. Now this spectacular film uses the latest discoveries, combined with compelling drama to reveal the secrets of how the Forbidden City was built, by the all-powerful Ming emperor Yongle, who would stop at nothing to achieve his amazing vision.
Dive into the historical events that shaped Generation X a look at race rights, women's rights and the epic US presidential election of 2008 where Gen X political rivals Barack Obama and Sarah Palin took centre stage.
Anita Dobson stars as Elizabeth I as Dan Snow takes to the sea to tell the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in the summer of 1588. Dan relives the fierce battles at sea and goes behind the scenes in Elizabeth's royal court as the Spanish fleet prepares for full-on invasion.
In Sydney in December 1838, seven men stand accused of the mass killing of a group of unarmed Aborigines. The massacre of about 30 Wirrayaraay people at Myall Creek was the culmination of a series of conflicts between settlers and Aborigines in the Liverpool Plains region of NSW. The men responsible for the massacre included freed and assigned convicts who had spent a day unsuccessfully pursuing a group of Aborigines. When they came to Henry Dangar's Myall Creek Station, they discovered a group of Wirrayaraay who they rounded up and tied together. The Aborigines were then led off and massacred.
Simon uncovers the truth about Spain's hero El Cid. He also investigates the horror of the Spanish Inquisition and in the process discovers an unsettling story about one of his own ancestors.
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As Henry VIII's court artist, Hans Holbein the Younger witnessed and recorded one of the most notorious eras in English history, painting major characters of the age including Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, as well as creating one of the most famous images of the king himself. Waldemar Januszczak looks at the life and career of an artist who became famous for bringing the Tudor age to life, exploring where he came from and examining the dark and unsettling secrets hidden in his work.
The drug addicted dilettante who created the Luftwaffe. Goering was at Hitler's side from the ill-fated beer hall putsch of 1923 until the estrangement between the two in April 1945 when Hitler ordered Goering's arrest.
The War That Changed Us is history on a grand scale, wrought from the fine grain detail of the vivid and evocative personal testimonies of six Australians - revealed in letters, diaries, speeches and newspaper articles written in the heat of the moment as the events of the war unfold at home and on the frontline. Driven by human stories, rather than the detail of military history, the series offers an opportunity to get close to the actual experience of war, and to learn how it changed the lives of those involved.
The second generation began to reach out to America and join the institutions their parents rejected. Some are successful beyond their wildest dreams, like Joe DiMaggio, who played the great American game, baseball. But with World War II, the hope of both Italians and Americans was dashed. With Mussolini's Italy officially declared an enemy, Italians in America were forced to choose, with dire consequences.
Still on the search for a more inclusive Australian identity in our art, this week Hannah enters the NOW! But in post-Cronulla Australia it seems even more difficult to define what it is to be Australian. Hannah ponders whether the very idea of a National Identity is even relevant in 2014!
Following the documentary The End of the World Cult which introduced us to cult leader Michael Travesser, the world was supposed to end on October 31, 2007. It didn't. Instead, another disaster struck shortly afterwards: Michael was arrested on charges of paedophilia. Now facing up to 33 years in prison, Cult On Trial captures Michael's fight for freedom - and his battle to keep his cult alive.
This episode looks at how Martin Bormann, Hitler's personal secretary, was tracked down. Bormann made Hitler, and the Third Reich, rich through thinly veiled extortion schemes such as the Hitler Endowment Fund of German Industry. More sinister was Bormann's involvement in ensuring the progress of the final solution.
Between April, 1975 and January, 1979, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people in Cambodia. A quarter of the population were wiped out in one of the most brutal and virulent genocides of the twentieth century. When Phnom Penh fell in 1975, two weeks before Saigon, the city was evacuated. Money was abolished and three million people were sent to the countryside to work as slave labour on collective farms. Pol Pot promised an agrarian utopia to reclaim the glory of Angkor but delivered a regime of mass-extermination, starvation and slaughter. This film explores the life of Pol Pot, the ever-smiling, obsessively secretive leader of the Khmer Rouge. What drove him to inflict such a radical experiment on his own people? How did the Khmer Rouge turn from a band of nationalist revolutionaries into a ruthless killing machine? And why did the West stand by and let it happen? As an international tribunal in Cambodia finally brings the surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge to justice, it's time to re-examine the gruesome legacy of Pol Pot.
Hero or Tyrant? How did Julius Caesar, Rome s greatest general, end up murdered by his friends and allies? Two thousand years after the event, the assassination of Julius Caesar still fascinates like no other act of political violence. It was an intensely brutal act - an unarmed man felled by the blades his friends and associates. Was it the necessary execution of a tyrant who would stop at nothing in his pursuit of power, or a cowardly murder by a fading elite? Robert Harris, Neil Faulkner, and classicist Maria Wyke, amongst others, unveil the real world of Roman politics, and reveal a Classical Rome that has more in common with the Godfather, than good government.
Seventy years after her liberation, Kitty Hart-Moxon makes a final return to Auschwitz-Birkenau to walk among the crumbling memorial with students Natalia and Lydia, who, at 16, are the same age now as she was then.
More than a million Armenians perished between 1915 and 1916; victims of a policy of deportation and massacres. This is one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, one of the most controversial as well, always denied by Turkey. To understand the origin, nature and issues of the Armenian Genocide, Laurence Jourdan endeavoured to trace the massacres committed against the Armenians during the previous decades and analyse the geopolitical context that preceded and followed the course of genocide.
There's no place in modern times for the dashing life of the knights, the expensive armour, the horses, and the indispensable castle. Many Imperial Knights lose their jobs and fall into poverty by the early 1500s. Peasant revolts, armies of mercenaries, and a new way to fight wars using muskets and canons make the mounted knight in his cumbersome armour a thing of the past.
Rising unemployment, economic turmoil, attacks on immigrants, mainstream politicians who don't listen to popular fears, voters turning to extremist parties it's the 21st century but it could be the 1930s. The election successes of the neo-Nazi parties in Europe reveal that voters are hungry again for populist politicians who express their anger towards failing governments; but do people really want an authoritarian, nationalist government in power?
Arguably the most notorious Nazi fugitive of all, Dr Joseph Mengele earned the nickname the 'Angel of Death' for his sadistic experiments at Auschwitz concentration camp. After the war, Mengele escaped to Buenos Aires where he lived the high life. That is, until 1959 when the West German government indicted Mengele for mass murder and demanded his extradition.
Dr James Fox tells the story of Paris in 1928. It was a city that attracted people dreaming of a better world after World War I. This was the year when the surrealists Magritte, Dali and Bunuel brought their bizarre new vision to the people, and when emigre writers and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin came looking for inspiration.
At the latest since September 11th, 2001, the armed struggle in the name of Allah has become a serious threat to the West, where many people share the view that Islam glorifies violence. The time is ripe to tame irrational views and seek to understand the history of a concept, and of a conflict. This is the very first documentary on the holy war from the dual perspective of East and West.
Australian journalist Keith Murdoch visits the British PM with a secret letter that will change the course of the war. Tolly is commended for his bravery at Lone Pine, while Dave refuses to get help for chronic illness. When General Hamilton requests another 95,000 troops for the failing campaign, the senior officers begin to question his leadership.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (known informally as the Met) is one of the world's largest art galleries, boasting over 2 million works from prehistory to the present day in galleries visited by over 5 million people every year. Here we discover tales of tragedy, madness and even murder.
Based on the successful series from the UK, Crimes That Shook Austalia will look at Australian crimes that shocked our nation. On 8th November 2010, Jason Downie broke into the house of his friend's girlfriend, Chantelle Rowe. Chantelle and her parents, Andrew and Rose, were asleep when he entered the house. Alerted to an intruder, Andrew Rowe confronted Downie but was stabbed at least 29 times and eventually died. Downie then turned to Rose Rowe who had also awoken and discovered what had happened; he attacked and killed her in the same way.
On September 13th 1940 80,000 Italian troops marched out of Libya into Egypt to threaten the epicentre of the British Empire at a critical moment in the Second World War. And what began as a desert skirmish rapidly became the fulcrum of Britain's struggle for survival against the Nazis. This obscure wilderness, of no apparent strategic value, was the scene of Winston Churchill's lonely stand against the seemingly overwhelming forces of the German-Italian fascist Axis.
The Battle of El Alamein in November 1942 has gone down in history as an epic encounter between two famous generals, Montgomery and Rommel. This compelling film marks the anniversary of this crucial Second World War episode by examining the high politics and grand strategy behind the many myths that have grown around it. Jonathan Dimbleby creates a vivid portrait of a struggle that for Winston Churchill marked the turn of the tide against Nazi Germany, but for the soldiers on the ground meant fighting and dying in a foreign desert.
As a teenager, Hans Wijnberg is sent to America from Holland to escape Nazi aggression; Fred Mayer and his family flee Germany at the onset of war. Both enlist in the US army and are recruited by the OSS. But for their daring mission Operation Greenup, investigating the Nazi stronghold of Tyrol in the Austrian alps, they need an inside man - POW and Tyrol native Franz Weber, a former officer and conscientious deserter from the Austrian Wehrmacht.
Reporter Rageh Omaar travels to Spain and Sicily to explore their forgotten medieval Muslim empires and their legacy today. In medieval times these were the most prosperous, enlightened and civilised parts of the world.
The tale of Kibworth village reaches the dramatic events of Henry VIII's Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. Michael Wood tracks Kibworth's 17th century dissenters, travel on the Grand Union Canal, and tells us about an 18th century feminist writer from Kibworth who was a pioneer of children's books. The story of a young highwayman transported to Australia comes alive as his living descendents come back to the village to uncover their roots.
This telemovie tells the story of Eddie 'Koiki' Mabo, the Torres Strait Islander, who left school at 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius. It traces Koiki's life, through his early exile from his beloved Murray Island, his years of working on the trochus trawlers and the outback railways, to his decision to embrace activism. It also tells of his struggles to begin a school specifically for Aboriginal and Islander children.
A key to understanding how the Victorians viewed life is to understand how they confronted death, which presenter Dan Cruickshank attempts to do by piecing together the fate of five apparently unrelated corpses.
True Horror discovers the historic inspiration and scientific fact behind some of the most enduring horror icons of our time, through spine-chilling dramatic reconstruction and expert interviews. Each episode: Werewolf, Frankenstein and Dracula focuses on the likely origin of a specific monster that has haunted our nightmares for generations; uncovering the historic figures that helped create the stories, and the possible inspiration for their weird and twisted behaviour.
On April 27, 1994, millions of first-time voters cast their ballots in South Africa's first free elections, ushering in the presidency of Mandela. Learn about the enormous change from those who lived it.
Dive into the Great Barrier Reef with Attenborough, explore Kakadu's Mountford rock art, peek inside the micro-worlds of the Galapagos, and be awed by the Great Wall of China when exploring the world's heritage sites.
Commemorate the 1915 struggle that saw enormous courage in the face of enormous loss at Gallipoli, which many consider the psychological birth of Australia. Start with the Peter Weir classic, Gallipoli.