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Self-Access Centre - English - TV Documentaries


The British at Work - The Age of Uncertainty: 1995 - Now

BBC
In the final episode of the series, Kirsty Young looks at how work has changed from the late 90s to the present. Using comedy, drama and archive from the period, she examines how work has crept into the very centre of our lives. Kirsty confronts her own troubles with her work/life balance and hears from ordinary people trying to cope with the relentless demands of 21st-century work. She also explores the curious and often hilarious attempts by managers to make us adopt corporate values by being not just our bosses but also our mates.
History%%%Politics & Public Policy




The Camera that Changed the World

BBC 4
The Camera that Changed the World tells the story of the filmmakers and ingenious engineers who led this revolution by building the first hand-held cameras that followed real life as it happened.
History

The Cell - Episode 02: The Chemistry of Life

BBC
In a three-part series, Dr Adam Rutherford tells the extraordinary story of the scientific quest to discover the secrets of the cell and of life itself. Every living thing is made of cells, microscopic building blocks of almost unimaginable power and complexity. This episode explores how scientists delved ever deeper into the world of the cell, seeking to reveal the magic ingredient that can spark a bundle of chemicals into life. Their discoveries have brought us to the brink of being able to create life for ourselves.
Biology

The Cell - Episode 03: The Spark of Life

BBC
In a three-part series, Dr Adam Rutherford tells the extraordinary story of the scientific quest to discover the secrets of the cell and of life itself. Every living thing is made of cells, microscopic building blocks of almost unimaginable power and complexity. The final part reveals how our knowledge of cells has brought us to the brink of one of the most important moments in history. Scientists are close to repeating what has happened only once in four billion years - the creation of a new life form.
Biology

The Century that Wrote Itself - 01 : The Written Self

Adam Nicolson
Author Adam Nicolson takes an intimate look at the 17th century's diarists and letter writers and how they produced the first great age of self-depiction.He traces our modern sense of self back to the time when ordinary people first took up the quill. At a time of great upheaval, writing was both a means of escape and of fighting for what you believed.
History

The Century that Wrote Itself - 02 : The Rewritten Universe

Adam Nicolson
Adam Nicolson explores the 17th century's contradictory attitudes towards the nature of reality. While a puritan struggled to accept God's will, an early naturalist accepted nothing without testing it first. How did God work? How did the world work?
History


The Challenger

William Hurt
When the space shuttle Challenger blew up in 1986, it was the most shocking event in the history of American spaceflight. The deaths of seven astronauts, including the first teacher in space Christa McAuliffe, were watched live on television by millions of viewers. But what was more shocking was that the cause of the disaster might never be uncovered. The Challenger is the story of how Richard Feynman, one of America's most famous scientists, helped to discover the cause of a tragedy that stunned America.
Engineering

The Children Who Built Victorian Britain

BBC
The catalyst to Britain's Industrial Revolution was the slave labour of orphans and destitute children. In this shocking and moving account of their exploitation and eventual emancipation, Professor Jane Humphries uses the actual words of these child workers.
History

The Chinese Are Coming Part 01

BBC 2
Travelling across three continents, Justin Rowlatt investigates the spread of Chinese influence around the planet and asks what the world will be like if China overtakes America as the world's economic superpower. In the first of two films, he embarks on a journey across Southern Africa to chart the extraordinary phenomenon of Chinese migration to Africa, and the huge influence of China on the development of the continent. While many in the West view Africa as a land of poverty, to the Chinese it is seen as an almost limitless business opportunity. From Angola to Tanzania, Justin meets the fearless Chinese entrepreneurs who have travelled thousands of miles to set up businesses.
Economics & Finance

The Chinese Are Coming Part 02

BBC 2
Justin Rowlatt crosses Brazil and the United States on an epic journey as he continues to investigate the spread of Chinese influence around the planet. In Rio, local industries, including bikini factories, are threatened by cheap Chinese imports, and in the Amazon, Justin witnesses the phenomenal impact of the Chinese hunger for resources on the indigenous people and the environment. In the US, from California to the rust belt, Justin encounters the rising undercurrent of American fury over their own decline in the face of competition from China.
Economics & Finance

The Code - Episode 01 - Numbers

BBC 2
Marcus du Sautoy reveals a hidden numerical code that underpins all nature. A code that has the power to explain everything, from the numbers and shapes we see all around us to the rules that govern our own lives. In this first episode, Marcus reveals how significant numbers apear throughout the natural world. They're part of a hidden mathematical world that contains the rules that govern everything on our planet and beyond.
  • English subtitles
  • 60

The Code - Episode 02: Shapes

BBC 2
Marcus du Sautoy uncovers the patterns that explain the shape of the world around us. Starting at the hexagonal columns of Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway, he discovers the code underpinning the extraordinary order found in nature - from rock formations to honeycomb and from salt crystals to soap bubbles. Marcus also reveals the mysterious code that governs the apparent randomness of mountains, clouds and trees and explores how this not only could be the key to Jackson Pollock's success, but has also helped breathe life into hugely successful movie animations.
  • English subtitles
  • 60

The Code - Episode 03: Prediction

BBC 2
Marcus du Sautoy continues his exploration of the hidden numerical code that underpins all nature. This time it's the strange world of what happens next. Professor du Sautoy's odyssey starts with the lunar eclipse - once thought supernatural, now routinely predicted through the power of the code. But more intriguing is what the code can say about our future. Along the path to enlightenment, Marcus overturns the lemming's suicidal reputation, avoids being crushed to death, reveals how to catch a serial killer and discovers that the answer to life the universe and everything isn't 42 after all - it's 1.15.
  • English subtitles
  • 60


The Crusades - Episode 01: Holy War

BBC
In this new three-part series for BBC Two, Dr Thomas Asbridge presents his revelatory account of the Crusades, the 200-year war between Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Land
History

The Crusades - Episode 02: The Clash of Titans

BBC
In the second episode of this three-part series, Dr Thomas Asbridge offers a piercing examination of the Third Crusade and the two renowned figures who have come to embody Crusader war: Richard the Lionheart, king of England, and the mighty Muslim sultan Saladin, unifier of Islam.
History


The Culture Show -Maxine Peake - Performance, Protest and Peterloo

BBC
Manchester's International Festival is a collection of world class talent, theatrical premieres, ground breaking musical performances and global stars from the contemporary art scene. Amongst these gems will be Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy, performed by Maxine Peake, one of the most gifted actors of her generation.
Other

The Eiger Wall of Death

BBC 4
A history of one of the world's most challenging mountains, the Eiger, and its infamous north face. The film gets to the heart of one of Europe's most notorious peaks, exploring its character and its impact on the people who climb it and live in its awesome shadow.
Geography%%%Geology



The Essential Michael Jackson

BBC
A profile of musical legend Michael Jackson, the King of Pop who began his career at the tender age of four as lead singer with the Jackson 5 and went on to release Thriller, the best-selling album of all time.
Music

The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith

BBC
A profile of one of England's truly unique and underrated bands, The Fall. One of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years, The Fall are led by the belligerent and poetic Mark E Smith and grew out of the fringe of the Manchester punk scene
Music%%%Other


The First Black Britons

Sukhdev Sandhu
Black people have lived in Britain for centuries - although their circumstances have varied greatly. Some have been enslaved and exploited, while others have enjoyed privilege and status. Trace their story to discover more about the attitudes and conditions they encountered.
History

The First Olympians

UKTV
Can the remains of a Greek athlete tell us about the world of ancient sports? "The First Olympians" uses forensics, special effects and reconstructions to bring us back in time to the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Find out everything about the sports and lifestyles of athletes in Ancient Greece.
Classical World%%%Sport