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BBC Four

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The Making of Thunderbirds

The Making of Thunderbirds logoDocumentary showing how the great British puppet TV series was done

The Martians and Us

The Martians and Us logoThis three-part documentary explores how UK writers pioneered and remained in the vanguard of one of the world's most popular literary genres.

The Medici: Makers of Modern Art

The Medici: Makers of Modern Art logoDocumentary in which Andrew Graham-Dixon reveals how the Medici family transformed Florence through sculpture, painting and architecture and created a world where masterpieces fetch millions today. Without the money and patronage of the Medici we might never have heard of artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo or Botticelli, and Graham-Dixon examines how a family of shadowy, corrupt businessmen, driven by greed and ambition, became the financial engine behind the Italian Renaissance.

The Medieval Season

The Medieval Season logoSandwiched 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, BBC Four travels back to the Middle Ages and finds an unfamiliar place... . These programmes were broadcast under the overall banner of "The Medieval Season" on BBC Four in early 2008 alongside the two distinct series "Inside the Medieval Mind" and "In Search Of Medieval Britain"
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The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea

The Pharaoh Who Conquered the Sea logoOver three thousand years ago, legend has it that Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's first female pharaoh, sent a fleet of ships to the wonderful, distant land of Punt. A bas-relief in the temple where she is entombed in Luxor shows them bringing back extraordinary treasures. But did this expedition really happen? And if it did, where exactly is the land of Punt? Drawing upon recent finds, the archaeologist Cheryl Ward sets out to recreate the voyage, in a full-size replica of one of these ancient ships, sailing it in the wake of Hatshepsut's fleet, in search of the mythical land of Punt. A human adventure as well as a scientific challenge, the expedition proves that, contrary to popular belief, the ancient Egyptians had the necessary tools, science and techniques to sail the seas.

The Pre-Raphaelites

The Pre-Raphaelites logoToward the middle of the 19th century, a small group of young artists in England reacted vigorously against what they felt was "the frivolous art of the day": this reaction became known as the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Their ambition was to bring English art (such as it was) back to a greater "truth to nature." They deeply admired the simplicities of the early 15th century, and they felt this admiration made them a brotherhood. Bursting into the spotlight in 1848 and shocking their peers with a new kind of radical art. This is a three-part series examining the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

The Quatermass Experiment (2005)

The Quatermass Experiment (2005) logoA contemporary retelling of Nigel Kneale's seminal 1953 classic science fiction serial. Starring the now famous David Tennant as another Doctor... Doctor Gordon Briscoe.

The Road to Coronation Street

The Road to Coronation Street logo6.53pm. December 9th 1960. Granada Studios, Manchester. With minutes to go until the live transmission of Episode One, creator Tony Warren is being sick in the toilets, actress Pat Phoenix is missing and so is the cat from the opening shot .... The Road to Coronation Street is the epic story of one man's struggle to make a programme that no one wanted. Granada's formidable bosses Sidney Bernstein and his brother Cecil are not enthusiastic. But together with producer Harry Elton and director Derek Bennett, Tony takes up the battle. He wants cobbles, a pub, seven houses and a shop, but above all he wants northern actors. Led by casting director Margaret Morris and her young assistant Josie Scott, the hunt begins for the legendary cast - Doris Speed, Pat Phoenix, Violet Carson and William Roa...

The Royal Ballet Celebrates Kenneth MacMillan

The Royal Ballet Celebrates Kenneth MacMillan logoA two part programme celebrating the genius of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan in the year in which he would have turned 80, with three of his works performed by the Royal Ballet.

The Secret Life of Chaos

The Secret Life of Chaos logoChaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand. It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia - how did we get here? In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science - how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder? It's a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God...
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