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Self-Access Centre - English - TV Documentaries




Supersized Earth: Part 2 - The Way We Move

BBC
In this episode, Dallas explores how we can travel further and faster than ever before - and how our desire to shrink the world is inspiring some of the most extraordinary engineering projects on the planet.
Engineering

Supersized Earth: Part 1 - A Place to Live

BBC
Supersized Earth traces the spectacular story of how humans have transformed our world in a generation. In this awe-inspiring three-part series, Dallas Campbell travels the globe, visiting the world's largest and most ambitious engineering projects, exploring the power of human ingenuity.
Engineering



Surving Progress

BBC
Documentary telling the double-edged story of the grave risks we pose to our own survival in the name of progress. With rich imagery the film connects financial collapse, growing inequality and global oligarchy with the sustainability of mankind itself.
Economics & Finance%%%Environmental Studies

Surviving the Tsunami: My Atomic Aunt

Kyoko Miyake
Storyville: Marking the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, this documentary tells an insightful and surprisingly funny story of a family adjusting to life after the tsunami.
Geography




Symphony - Episode 1: Genesis and Genius

BBC
Simon Russell Beale presents a radical reappraisal of the place of the symphony in the modern world and explores the surprising way in which it has shaped our history and identity.The first episode begins amidst the turmoil of the French Revolution with the arrival in England of Joseph Haydn, dubbed the \'Father of the Symphony\'.
Music



Symphony - Episode 4: Revolution and Rebirth

BBC
Simon Russell Beale\'s journey takes him into the 20th century, a time when the certainties of empire were falling away, war was looming and the world was changing faster than ever before.
Music


Terry Pratchett - Living with Alzheimer's

Charlie Russell
Bestselling author Terry Pratchett has early onset Alzheimer's disease. And he wants Alzheimer's to be sorry that it ever caught him. In the second of this two-part series, Terry confronts his future living with the disease. He travels to America to witness first-hand how they are coping with the 'tsunami of Alzheimer's', and meets the unlikely doctor who stumbled across a controversial new treatment that he claims produces remarkable results in minutes.
Medical Sciences



The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes - Alexandria : The Greatest City

More 4
Three cities dominated the ancient world: Athens, Rome and a third, now almost forgotten. It lies hidden beneath the waters of the Mediterranean and a sprawling modern metropolis. Alexandria was a city built on a dream; a place with a very modern mindset, where - as with the worldwide web - one man had a vision that all knowledge on earth could be stored in one place. Bettany Hughes goes in search of this lost civilisation, revealing the story of a city founded out of the desert by Alexander the Great in 331 BC to become the world's first global centre of culture, into which wealth and knowledge poured from across the world. Until its decline in the fourth and fifth Centuries AD, Alexandria became a crucible of learning; Hughes uncovers the incredible discoveries and the technical achievements of this culture. The film's cast of characters reads like a list of the greatest figures of ancient times: political figures like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, and intellectuals including female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Hypatia, Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes and Ptolemy. At last, after 1,500 years squashed under a modern metropolis, new clues are emerging from the earth to the real nature of this grand experiment in human civilisation.
Classical World%%%History

The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes - Alexandria : When the Moors Ruled Europe

More 4
Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure light years ahead of anything in England at the time. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; paper; deodorant; and even erection creams. This wasn't the rigid, fundamentalist Islam of some people's imaginations, but a progressive, sensuous and intellectually curious culture. But when the society collapsed, Spain was fanatically re-Christianised; almost every trace of seven centuries of Islamic rule was ruthlessly removed. It is only now, six centuries later, that The Moors' influences on European life and culture are finally beginning to be fully understood.
Classical World%%%History


The Art of Spain - The Dark Heart

BBC
Critic and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon travels from southern to northern Spain to tell the story of some of Europe's most exciting and vital art. He journeys to the country’s scorched centre to explore Spanish art of the 16th and 17th centuries. From the mystical world of El Greco to the tender genius of Velazquez, this was a moment so extraordinary it became known as the Golden Age. But beneath the glittering surface was a dark and savage heart.
Art & Design

The Battle to Beat Polio

BBC
Stephanie Flanders, former BBC economics editor, has a very personal interest in the battle to beat polio. Her father, Michael Flanders, one half of the world-famous singing duo of the 50s and 60s, Flanders and Swann, was paralysed by the infection when he was 21. He used a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and died early at 53 through complications caused by the disease. Stephanie was just six.
Medical Sciences


The Beatles Decade - 01 - Teenage Rebels 1960 - 1961

BBC
The Beatles’ decade began in Liverpool in July 1957 when 16 year old John Lennon and 15 year old Paul McCartney met. This chance encounter produced one of the most important musical partnerships of the 20th Century. They listened to American artists and hung out in the Jacaranda coffee bar. They were part of a new breed of 'teenagers' who benefited from their parents increasing affluence. Fashion was changing too, and Mary Quant designed youthful and colourful dresses. In America, youth was winning too, and Kennedy was elected President.
Music%%%Other

The Beatles Decade - 02 - Sex, Spies and Rock'n'Roll 1962 - 1964

BBC
In Liverpool in 1962 the Beatles caused a sensation at the Cavern Club. They had only one single to their name. But a fateful meeting with Brian Epstein was to help them top the charts. Epstein changed their image from the American biker look and soon realised the sixties was the selling decade. Youth was all the rage and the old Tory Prime Minister Harold McMillan seemed out of step with the times. By the end of 1964 Britain had shifted into a modern age. The Beatles’ success was evidence that a more meritocratic society had arrived and class barriers had fallen.
Music%%%Other

The Beatles Decade - 03 - Swinging Britain 1965 - 1966

BBC
By 1965 the cultural renaissance of Britain was in full swing and the Beatles embodied the feeling of optimism. Having won over the British public the Beatles were ready to take on the world. The new fashion labels like Biba, new faces like Twiggy and hair-dressers like Vidal Sassoon were an important ingredient in the Swinging London explosion. However, the economy was in a terrible state; Harold Wilson had inherited huge debts and done little to stem the problem. And The Beatles’ lives as superstars had turned into a living hell by 1966. Third in series
Music%%%Other

The Beatles Decade - 04 - Street Fighting Years 1967 - 1968

BBC
In April 1967 The Beatles produced the drug fuelled Sgt Peppers, an Album that was to change everything. The Beatles had turned to eastern mysticism and become distant from their mentor, Epstein, who died suddenly. Britain was undergoing a radical transformation from the legalisation of homosexuality and abortion to the relaxation of theatre censorship and introduction of the ‘no contest’ divorce. But soon the social revolution was overtaken by political revolt on the streets against the Vietnam War.
Music%%%Other

The Beatles Decade - 05 - The Party's Over 1969-1970

BBC
As the decade came to an end a more chaotic world was to come. Paul and John’s wives, Linda and Yoko, had one thing in common - they were strong, independent women, but with very different personalities. They typified the changing relationship between men and women which was beginning to emerge in the late sixties. The Beatles split up and Harold Wilson had been gone, the sixties had well and truly ended. By the end of the decade, Britain had genuinely changed. Youth culture had been born. Political protest had taken to the streets; and blind, class deference had gone forever. The Beatles had personified this social revolution - and their split coincided with the return of conservatism.
Music%%%Other