The Radio 3 Documentary

The Radio 3 Documentary

In-depth documentaries which each week explore a different aspect of history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature. The Sunday Feature is broadcast every Sunday at 7.45pm on BBC Radio 3. Each episode lasts 45 minutes. We aim to include as many episodes of The Sunday Feature in the podcast as we can but you'll find that some aren't included for rights reasons.

Updated: weekly
Episodes available for: Indefinitely
Series Feed: RSS

  • 23 Nov 20MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: In the Shadow of the Tower

    Andrew Hussey travels across Paris to understand how the Eiffel Tower, and the huge World's Fair that gave birth to it,

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 16 Nov 21MB

    Sunday Feature: New Generation Thinkers

    Christopher Harding explores the influence of Freud in India, China and Japan, and John Gallagher focuses on the history

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 09 Nov 21MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: God and the Great War

    Frank Cottrell Boyce on the impact of the First World War on religion at home and at the Front.

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 03 Nov 22MB

    R3Docs: Kitty Marion and The Poetry of Science

    Gregory Tate explores why many C19th scientists wrote poetry, as do several today. Fern Riddell rediscovers the

    Duration: 47 mins

  • 26 Oct 21MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: The Gospel According to Joan

    Theatre director Joan Littlewood and her impact on British theatre, remembered by those who played and worked for her,

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 20 Oct 20MB

    R3Docs: Enter the Dragon Chinese Theatre in the 21st century

    Rana Mitter travels to Beijing to explore the recent flourishing of theatre in China and its re-invention as an art-form

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 12 Oct 21MB

    Sunday Feature: Who Was Richard Strauss?

    Richard Strauss's works are staples of both concert hall and opera house, and yet relatively little is known or

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 05 Oct 20MB

    Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music - A New World Symphony

    In the final programme in the series Petroc Trelawny measures the impact and effectiveness of education in sustaining

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 28 Sep 21MB

    Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music - A New World Symphony

    The second programme in Petroc Trelawny’s series looking at the new Global passion for classical music. In programme

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 22 Sep 21MB

    Sunday Feature: Global Classical Music- A New World Symphony

    Petroc Trelawny presents a three part Sunday Feature series looking at the way Western Classical Music is flourishing in

    Duration: 46 mins

  • 15 Sep 21MB

    R3Docs: I Have Been Here Before 14 Sept 2014

    Francis Spufford explores how An Experiment with Time, written by former soldier and aircraft designer J.W. Dunne, had a

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 08 Aug 21MB

    R3Docs: The Devastation of British Art

    Diarmaid MacCulloch tells the story of iconoclasm during the English Reformation.

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 13 Jul 20MB

    R3Docs: How Did Scotland's Artists Turn Nationalist

    Scotland goes to the polls on the 18th September to decide its constitutional future. Why do so many of Scotland's

    Duration: 43 mins

  • 26 Jun 21MB

    R3Docs: June 22: Bannockburn Begins

    Novelist Louise Welsh explores some of the meanings, ancient and modern, of the battle of Bannockburn on its 700th

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 15 Jun 21MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: Dennis Potter 15 Jun 14

    The playwright Dennis Potter died twenty years ago. Matthew Sweet reassesses the legacy of the author of 'The Singing

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 08 Jun 21MB

    R3Docs: Sonic Art Boom 08 JUN 14

    Dan Jones, composer and sound designer, considers why it has taken so long for Sound Art to get a hearing, he goes

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 04 May 21MB

    Sunday Feature: Dylan Thomas the Radio Poet 4th May 2014

    Writer Rachel Trezise - the first winner of the annual Dylan Thomas Prize - tells the story of Dylan Thomas's

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 28 Apr 20MB

    Sunday Feature: Educating Isaac 27 APR 14

    Could your child compose like Mozart? While searching for a creative and fun way to teach his 3-year-old son, Nick

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 06 Apr 21MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature:Merchant Ivory 06 APR 14

    Style, flair, individuality, ideas and stars. The filmic output of the remarkable three-person association of

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 23 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: Music and the Jews (3/3)

    Norman Lebrecht presents the last of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 20 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: Music and the Jews (2/3)

    Norman Lebrecht presents the second of three programmes examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish

    Duration: 46 mins

  • 19 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: Music and the Jews (1/3)

    Norman Lebrecht presents the first programme in a three-part series examining the complex relationship between music and

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 26 Jan 22MB

    Shanghai World City Redux 26 JAN 14

    Rana Mitter reveals how Shanghai today is forging its identity as an ultramodern city – by rediscovering its glamorous

    Duration: 47 mins

  • 05 Jan 21MB

    R3Docs: 05 Jan 14 - Somme

    Paul Farley journeys down France's sleepiest river whose character belies its violent history, a history intertwined

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 03 Jan 21MB

    R3Docs: Anything But Banal - the Fascination of the Villain

    Paul Allen explores the allure of evil through great villains, from Hollywood baddies to Shakespearean antiheroes and

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 15 Dec 21MB

    R3Docs: 15th December: Ideas of Germany

    Anne McElvoy finds out how those active in Germany's cultural world see the identity of Europe's largest and most

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 08 Dec 22MB

    R3Docs: The Invisible Theatre 08 DEC 13

    Tom Service and others explore the history of the festival theatre in Bayreuth that Wagner built for the staging of his

    Duration: 47 mins

  • 03 Dec 22MB

    R3Docs: Sunday Feature: 1 December 2013 - Ken Adam Profile

    Matthew Sweet meets Ken Adam, the 92-year-old designer of iconic sets from Dr No and Goldfinger to Doctor Strangelove

    Duration: 46 mins

  • 03 Nov 21MB

    R3Docs: Albert Camus: Inside the Outsider

    Professor Hussey celebrates the life, work and tragic death of literature's enigmatic Outsider Albert Camus, one hundred

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 27 Oct 22MB

    R3Docs: 27 October 13: Sunday Feature - Production Line Living

    How has the factory production line changed us? AL Kennedy finds out.

    Duration: 47 mins

  • 23 Sep 21MB

    R3Docs: 22 Sept 13 Sound of Cinema: Composing for Hollywood

    Once upon a time Hollywood composers were classically schooled European maestros. Today many of the most successful ones

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 15 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs: 14 July 13 Significant Others ep 2

    The thousand-year-old story of the Jewish presence in Poland was all but ended by the Nazis. But now a new Poland is

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 09 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs: 07 July 13: Significant Others 1

    The story of the Jewish presence in Poland

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 09 Jun 20MB

    R3Docs: 09 June 13: Sunday Feature - Stirring Up A Revolution

    Author and journalist Tarek Osman returns to the Middle East to explore how the apparently unassuming establishment of

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 19 May 21MB

    R3Docs: 19 May 13: Sunday Feature - Wagner: Making a National Hero

    As part of Wagner 200, Stephen Johnson explores the worlds of Wagner's heroes, from Norse myths to his own Tannhauser,

    Duration: 46 mins

  • 13 May 21MB

    R3Docs: 12 May 13: Jan Morris, Travels Round My House

    Writer Anthony Sattin visits Jan Morris's Welsh home on the 60th anniversary of the ascent of Everest to talk about her

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 07 May 22MB

    R3Docs: 5th May 13: Sunday Feature - Piano's Music Boxes

    Renzo Piano is the architect behind the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard at London Bridge. He grew up

    Duration: 46 mins

  • 11 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: 24 Feb 13: Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (3 of 3)

    The Reverend Richard Coles visits Lincoln Cathedral, the focus of Medieval pilgrimage, to begin the last of his series

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 11 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: 10 Feb 13: Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (1 of 3)

    In this first of three programmes, Richard explores what exactly is meant by sin, and its origins in man's earliest

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 07 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs: 17 Feb 13: Sunday Feature - The Idea of Sin (2 of 3)

    The Reverand Richard Coles explores notions of temptation and its part in contemporary and ancient societies.

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 04 Feb 21MB

    R3Docs: Margaret are you Grieving? A Cultural History of Weeping

    Throughout our cultural history, tears have been intimately connected with the arts, whether as inspiration or

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 04 Feb 20MB

    R3Docs: Modernism Redux

    Will Self broadcasts an imaginary archive of modernist radio and discusses the influence of modernism today. In a

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 29 Jan 21MB

    R3Docs: 20 Jan 13: A Brief History of Being Cold

    Sunday Feature: Alexandra Harris presents a cultural history of the cold. With the help of writers including Simon

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 05 Dec 21MB

    R3Docs 02 Dec 12: Tolstoy and Napoleon. 1 - On Napoleon

    In 1812 Napoleon led his army to Moscow. In War and Peace Tolstoy gave his account of the great invasion, the battle of

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 15 Oct 7MB

    R3Docs 15 Oct 12: The Essay: Anglo-Saxon Portraits 1: Vortigern

    Barry Cunliffe on the king whom history has often held responsible for inviting in the first Anglo-Saxons. First in a

    Duration: 15 mins

  • 04 Oct 21MB

    R3Docs 30 Sep 12: Sunday Feature: After the Gold Rush - The Poetry of California

    Californian poetry found fame with The Beats in the 1950s. Dana Gioia reveals developments since - Language, ecological,

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 25 Sep 21MB

    R3Docs: 23 Sep 12: Piano Tales - A Social History of the Piano

    Sunday Feature: Michael Goldfarb explores the development and enduring appeal of the piano across social and geographic

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 13 Sep 21MB

    R3Docs 9 Sep 12: Jacquetta Hawkes and The Personal Past

    Sunday Feature: Jacquetta Hawkes and The Personal Past. Christine Finn excavates clues in the personal and public life

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 27 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 27 Jul 12: Dr Adam Smith on Britain in the American Civil War

    The American Civil War: Blockade Runners and Black Minstrels. What did Britain do in the American Civil War? Louise

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 26 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 26 Jul 12: Dr Adam Smith on the dividing lines of the American Civil War

    The American Civil War: Dividing Lines. Historian Adam Smith visits contemporary America to trace how the dividing

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 25 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 25 Jul 12: Dr Adam Smith on the War of the North in America

    The American Civil War: The War of the North. Dr Adam Smith travels from Lincoln's home town to Washington DC and the

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 25 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 24 Jul 12: Dr Adam Smith on the War of the South in America

    The American Civil War: The War of the South. Dr Adam Smith travels to Richmond, the heart of the Southern Confederacy,

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 20 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 20 Jul 12: Historian Tristram Hunt on anti-imperialism.

    Great British Ideas:J.A. Hobson, Lenin and Anti-Imperialism. Historian Tristram Hunt traces how an anti-imperialist

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 20 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 19 Jul 12: Historian Tristram Hunt on England and Ireland in the 1840’s.

    Great British Ideas: Young England and Young Ireland. Tristram Hunt traces the curious influence of the romantic 'Young

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 20 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 18 Jul 12: Tristram Hunt on economist Robert Malthus

    Great British Ideas: Robert Malthus. Historian Tristram Hunt traces how the ideas of the 18th century British economist

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 01 Jul 21MB

    R3Docs 1 Jul 12 : George Reynolds - writer and contemporary of Dickens

    Sunday Feature: The Other Dickens. Laurence Scott explores the work and the life of Victorian bad boy writer and

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 24 Jun 21MB

    R3Docs 24 Jun 12: Geneticist Steve Jones investigates the science of crowds

    Sunday Feature: Crowd Psychology. From the summer riots last year to the Olympics 2012, geneticist Steve Jones

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 13 Jun 21MB

    R3Docs 10 Jun 12 : Andrew Graham Yooll examines Argentine identity

    Sunday Feature: Malvinas Madness. Andrew Graham Yooll, former editor of the Buenos Aires Herald, examines Argentine

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 28 May 21MB

    R3Docs 27 May 12: Phoenix Rising - The Story of Coventry Cathedral

    Giles Fraser examines the history, ministry and artistic legacy of Coventry Cathedral as it celebrates its Golden

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 21 May 21MB

    R3Docs 20 May 12 : Wesker at 80

    Sunday Feature: As Arnold Wesker celebrates his 80th birthday Matthew Sweet looks back with the celebrated playwright at

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 03 May 21MB

    R3Docs 29 Apr 12: Europe - the Art of Austerity

    Sunday Feature: Michael Goldfarb talks to Anne Enright and Justin Cartwright about writers' responses to economic crisis

    Duration: 45 mins

  • 16 Mar 21MB

    R3Docs 11 Mar 12 : The Archbishop of Canterbury on poet Vernon Watkins

    Sunday Feature: Swansea's Other Poet. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams presents a portrait of Vernon

    Duration: 44 mins

  • 05 Mar 1MB

    R3Docs: Welcome

    Welcome to this new BBC podcast. If you subscribe to the podcast feed, you should receive the first episode of this

    Duration: 1 min