Friday 18 Apr 2014
For centuries the Royal Navy has strived to help make Britain one of the world's great maritime superpowers.
In Empire Of The Seas (a Timewatch production), historian and avid sailor Dan Snow goes beyond the battle tactics to reveal a surprising history.
Travelling across the oceans and with unique access to the modern fleet, Dan examines the impact of the Royal Navy on society, from its role in the foundation of the Bank Of England to the creation of a model for the civil service.
The series unearths rarely seen manuscripts and records, and reveals the hidden human stories behind the famous battles. Offering a fresh perspective, Empire Of The Seas tells a fascinating story of how Royal Navy ships on the high seas have inspired the people of Britain.
In a powerful and moving account of an experience that frames all of our lives, Kirsty Young tells the story of the British family from the end of the Second World War to the present day. The series offers a thoughtful, amusing and emotional examination of the dramatic changes to family life along the way.
Featuring the testimony of families, each episode tackles a major theme: marriage from the Forties to the Sixties; sex through the Seventies and Eighties; money through the Eighties and Nineties; and children in the last dozen years.
Combining her trademark interview style with remarkable film archive of family life, Kirsty hears intimate stories of shame, grief, secrets, lies, lust and love.
The British Family shows that, behind the policy, statistics and trends around family life lie the most intense emotional choices and dilemmas.
Whether it's chavs, WAGs, slummy mummies, the celebritocracy or the tension between supersizing and size zero, The Noughties examines the defining events that have shaped British life in the first decade of the 21st century, telling the surprising story of our times.
In this three-part series, leading experts and commentators look behind the headlines to examine how middle age was replaced by "middle youth" while, at the same time, real youths became a source of fear and anxiety.
The Noughties asks if an apparent tendency to speak and dress the same masks a collapse in social mobility and, turning its attention to globalisation, the series considers whether modern Britain, populated by everyone from Polish plumbers to "migrant" Premiership footballers, is a winner or a loser in the new world order.
Along the way, the series shows how cheap downloads saved the Millennium Dome and how the rise of China rendered burglary redundant, but made mugging cost-effective.
Father Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth, emerged as the key figure in the BBC Two series The Monastery broadcast six years ago. He believes that if people can learn to be silent they can communicate with God, and rediscover their souls.
In a new three-part documentary series, five people attempt to put silence at the heart of their everyday, busy lives and learn what to do with it once it's there.
The series investigates just why "peace and quiet" is so elusive, and in doing so opens up a debate about why some people try to avoid silence because of the reflection that it may bring. Do people construct layers of noise, or "busy-ness" to dull the anxieties of the modern world? The Silence looks at what might happen to the inner self when people keep quiet.
Featuring a number of individuals on the verge of making crucial life decisions, The Silence asks whether the power of prayer can help them change their lives.
Tiger Aspect Productions
The fascinating work of the world-renowned Professor Sue Black and her team at the Centre For Anatomy And Human Identification at the University Of Dundee comes under the spotlight in a new documentary series.
Analysing the skeletons of everyday people from across the ages, the team reveals in staggering detail how each person lived his or her life, opening new windows on the history of our forebears by literally fleshing out the person that the skeleton once was.
Much more than just looking at historical remains, the History Cold Case team work on answering three big questions for each skeleton: Who were they? Why did they die? And what does their life story explain that was not known before?
These remarkable stories of everyday people are painstakingly reconstructed, along with faces that haven't been seen for hundreds of years. Skeletons unearthed in a range of circumstances include a bizarre mummy discovered by accident in the cellar of a Victorian house. Travelling all over the UK, the team unravel personal stories from Roman times to the early 20th century.
A Shine Television production
Seeking a model for how to fight and win in the Middle East, the American military is turning to an extraordinary source – Lawrence of Arabia. Today, the writing of Thomas Edward Lawrence is required reading in some US military academies.
But for Rory Stewart, a former soldier and diplomat in post-war Iraq, this surprising story has a darker message: Lawrence might have won his desert war and been hailed a warrior hero, but the political deals that followed fatally undermined his success.
In two films, Rory Stewart explains why he believes that Lawrence, as a result, came to the bitter conclusion that foreign military interventions in the Middle East are fundamentally unworkable and should not take place.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
Museum Of Life is a story of mysteries, dinosaurs, diamonds and audacious attempts to hold back extinction.
As a young man, Jimmy Doherty (Jimmy's Farm) worked as a volunteer at London's Natural History Museum. Now he returns to join the 350 scientists who work with a collection of 70 million objects to try to understand the complexities and resolve some of the problems of the natural world.
As BBC television cameras are granted unprecedented access to the Natural History Museum, vaults are opened, stories unfold and mysteries unravel.
Shot in the museum and locations all over the UK and around the world, Jimmy traces the dramatic, pioneering and often surprising scientific work of a much-loved institution.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
The Descent From The Cross by Rogier van der Weyden has been delighting art lovers for hundreds of years.
Susie Nash, Head Of The Renaissance Section of the Courtauld Institute Of Art in London, describes it as "the greatest work of northern art of the 15th century and certainly the most influential", but what is the secret history of this world-renowned painting?
Private Life Of An Easter Masterpiece delves into the turbulent times of this iconic portrayal of Christ, charting its history from its inception and rise to fame, to reportedly surviving a shipwreck and in more recent times becoming one of the first paintings to be featured on Google Earth.
From visual art to music, BBC Two also offers a feast for the ears to mark this religious festival, with Easter At King's. The programme will feature the traditional service for Easter from King's College, Cambridge with music by the world-famous Chapel Choir of King's College and readings by members of the college to mark the Easter story.
Fulmarwest Productions/BBC Productions
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