BBC Four Winter/Spring 2008
Sandwiched between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Renaissance, the medieval period is clouded by clichés of knights on chargers, superstitious peasants and tyrannical feudal lords – but what was it really like? Through a collection of documentaries and a one-off drama, the channel travels back to the Middle Ages and finds an unfamiliar place...
Inside The Medieval Mind
In Inside The Medieval Mind, Professor Robert Bartlett, one of the world's great authorities on the Middle Ages, looks at the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Through four programmes entitled Belief, Sex, Power and Knowledge, he reveals medieval man's fascination with the supernatural; their approach to sex and "courtly love"; their stringent class system; and how they understood the world around them.
Stephen Fry And The Gutenberg Press
The Gutenberg Press was perhaps the most revolutionary machine ever invented. In Stephen Fry And The Gutenberg Press, Stephen Fry discovers the lengths to which Gutenberg went to keep his project secret, then helps to build a working model of the press and explores how print democratised knowledge by making the written word accessible to all.
In Heist, Kris Marshall and Geraldine James star as audacious villains intent on breaking into Westminster Abbey to steal the king's treasure. In a hilarious plot, based on historical events, Marshall's character, Dick Puddlecote, wrestles with a double-crossing king and dodgy priests in a medieval Hustle.
In Search Of Medieval Britain
Using the "Gough Map" – the oldest road map in Britain – Dr Alixe Bovey of the University of Kent takes a historical journey to uncover just what it would have been like to navigate Britain 700 years ago, as she goes In Search Of Medieval Britain.
How To Build A Cathedral
Jon Cannon, meanwhile, asks what inspired a handful of visionaries to design buildings of prodigious proportions in How To Build A Cathedral.
The Saint And The Hanged Man
Based on a book by Professor Robert Bartlett, The Saint And The Hanged Man – narrated by Rob Brydon – reveals the clash at the heart of the medieval mind, as it investigates a Holy inquiry called by the Catholic Church to establish whether a hanged man was actually a miracle-worker or a fraud.
Other programmes include a documentary from Michael Wood that pieces together the life of Christina Cok of Codicote – a 14th-century Hertfordshire woman – from the Great Famine to the Black Death, creating an extraordinarily detailed portrait of medieval rural life.