Reference source of past TV
Rebels and Redcoats
The American Revolutionary War
A four-part Series
Last part shown Tuesday 29 July 2003 on BBC 2 at 9.00pm
Friday (July 4) was American Independence Day (1776)
Read a background article "Was the
(The British occupation has provided a rich source for American
Historian Professor Richard Holmes sheds new light, in this four-part series, on the
American War of
The war for independence is often regarded as a people's
struggle for liberty in the face of colonial oppression - however, the
truth is that many men and women remained loyal to the British crown,
and chose sides simply to lay claim to their neighbours' land.
Reconstructions illustrate how the rebels' advanced military tactics
sparked a conflict that raged beyond the control of the idealists
behind the uprising: Boston brewer Sam Adams, silversmith Paul Revere
and merchant smuggler John Hancock.
By 1781, the war had become a brutal struggle in
which neither side had the upper hand. Richard Holmes looks at the
series of British mistakes made that year that would transform
America's destiny, and the reputation of British commander Colonel Banastre Tarleton,
vilified in the Hollywood film, The Patriot.
Rebels and Redcoats
website for further information
(On Tuesday's and Sunday's)
Started on BBC 2, Tuesday 13 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Sunday 18 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Tuesday 20 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Sunday 25 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Tuesday 27 July at 9.00pm
on BBC 2, Sunday 1 August at 9.00pm
"Midlands and East"
on BBC 2, Tuesday 3 August at 9.00pm
On BBC 2, Friday 6 August at 10.00pm
The Grand Finale
on BBC 2, Sunday 8 August at 9.00pm
Nation - see below for details
RESTORATION 2004 - Was a brand new series, with
another 21 properties in dire need of restoration. Check out the
and their campaign diaries as it all heated up. The 2004
Winner, Old Grammar School, Birmingham, was announced during the
Grand Finale programme on Sunday 8 August 2004.
A preview programme for the Series
"The story continues"
was shown on BBC 2, Saturday 8 May at 9.30pm
Across the UK thousands of historic buildings are in danger of being lost to the
This disturbing fact is a sad reflection on the state of the
nationís heritage, but there are people out there attempting to reverse this
trend and rescue our most treasured architectural and historic landmarks from
Restoration Nation website.
A series of 1 hour programmes on
immediately follows each episode of Restoration on
and is similar to the format for
which accompanied Series I.
A 10 minute programme shown on
BBC TWO each week (Saturday) profiles
local Regional restoration issues. Catch up on the campaigns the supporters of Restoration buildings are running
in your area to win your vote.
(Check the schedules for programme
Restoration website for
Information about the new
Series II. Also there you will find details about last year's Regional
Finalists and the
2003 Winning Project.
The ten-part Series I was shown on Friday's and Tuesday's,
starting on BBC 2, Friday 8 August 2003 at 9.00pm. The ultimate
Victoria Baths, Manchester, being announced in a special programme on Sunday 14 September 2003
This was a 10-part series for
BBC FOUR that immediately followed each episode of
2003 (Series 1) on
Each programme concentrated on the region already featured in that
evening's Restoration, offering a more detailed profile of that
particular part of the British Isles. The series focused on restored
properties around the country which are normally closed to the public
but can be visited during
Heritage Open Days. It also
showcase the best of the BBC's archive of programmes on architecture,
restoration and historic buildings.
Resurrecting the Mammoth
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 11 December 2000 at 8.00pm
The mammoth has been extinct for thousands of years but Professor
Kazufumi Goto aims to bring it back to life by injecting a dead
mammoth's sperm into the egg of a living female elephant. If he's
successful in his controversial venture it will be the
scientific scoop of the decade.
TO THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 20 November 2000 at 8.00pm
the first time in three quarters of a century a
member of the Carnarvon family returns to the
site of Tutankhamun's tomb. Weeks after
discovering the tomb in 1922, the fifth Earl of
Carnarvon died from a deadly mosquito bite and
his family became associated with a curse which
has haunted them for three generations. Lord
Porchester, great grandson of the fifth Earl,
defies the hex and returns to supervise an
excavation in Thebes by family archaeologist
(Fact or Fiction)
Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 20 November at 7.00pm
Tony Robinson looks behind the legend that is Richard III. Did he really murder his two
nephews - the Princes in the Tower? In fact, what he does discover is that much of the so-called historical
fact was mistaken, and almost fabricated as it passed through generations. But what the story reveals is
information which calls into question the legitimacy of the last 500 years of British royalty.
Also visit Britain's Real
Movers & shakers
in the Medieval
Guide for more information
(Fact or Fiction with Tony Robinson)
Shown on Channel 4, Saturday 18 October at 8.00pm
Fact or Fiction: Robin Hood
Tony Robinson tries to get the truth behind the legend of Robin Hood. Did he
really exist? And if so, was he really the folk hero as portrayed by the myth?
Tony, who appeared in a children's TV series about Robin, travels all over
England looking at historical records and talking to experts.
Visit Channel 4
History for initial programme details
Secret History: Funny Money
Shown on Channel 4, Thursday 17 August, 2000 at 9.00pm
traces Britain's tortuous transition from the
Imperial 'LSD' system to a decimal currency. What
became known as Decimal Day, or D-Day, is a tale
of politics and high finance, of beleaguered
housewives and 'decimal dollies', dogged
resistance, and for some the end of civilisation
as they knew it.
Secret History : Natural Born Americans
Shown on Channel 4, Thursday 14 September, 2000 at 9.00pm
Indians have played many roles: the passive
pastoralist, the scalping savages, the adversary
in cowboy movies. More recently Indians have been
held up as icons by environmentalists, portrayed
as the guardians of nature, conserving everything
and wasting nothing. But is this latest image any
truer than the rest?
From the earliest contacts between Indians and
Europeans to the present day, Natural Born
Americans separates myth from reality.
Here are some other sites
that maybe of interest
on Native American spirituality
|NATIVE AMERICAN SITES Maintained
by Lisa Mitten, a mixed-blood Mohawk
urban Indian, formally a librarian at the
University of Pittsburgh, now the Social
Sciences Subject Editor for anthropology,
history, and sociology of a Magazine
Secrets of the Ancients
A five-part Series
Last part shown on BBC 2, Saturday 16 December 2000 at 8.10pm
programme shown in 2002
series which unlocked the mysteries of ancient
people by recreating their extraordinary
BBC 2, Saturday 18
November, 2000 at 8.10pm
Voyage: First in
the series. In this edition, an international
crew headed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston accepts
the challenge of sailing a Viking replica ship
across the North Sea with only a primitive
sun-compass to help them navigate.
BBC 2, Saturday 25
November, 2000 at 8.10pm
claimed his troops built a huge timber bridge
across the Rhine. Was he bragging? In this
programme, engineer Chris Wise tests Julius
Caesar's claim to have built a sturdy wooden
bridge in just ten days over which he marched an
army. Using Caesar's own account in his history
of the Gallic Wars, Wise attempts to recreate
Caesar's engineering feat working on the North
BBC 2, Saturday 2
December , 2000 at 8.10pm
Claw: was a
war machine invented by the genius mathematician
Archimedes. Can engineer Jo da Silva recreate
this legendary weapon and use it to sink a
Sicilian fishing boat?
BBC 2, Saturday 9
December, 2000 at 7.20pm (3.03.2002)
oldest and most mysterious of all ancient
civilisations in the Americas carved colossal
stone heads, but no one knows how the Olmec moved
these huge stones.
BBC 2, Saturday 16
December, 2000 at 8.10pm
Hanging Gardens of Babylon: One
of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon symbolise power and wealth.
But these legendary gardens are shrouded by
mystery. Experts meet in Jordanian desert to try
to discover some of the facts and to solve how
the gardens were irrigated.
Secrets of the Ancients
website for further information
of the Dead
A six-part Series
Secrets of the Incas
A two-part special
|Channel 4, Thursday 28 June 2001 at
Could the stars hold the secret to the downfall
of one of history's greatest empires? From
Ecuador to central Chile, the Inca Empire was
once powerful, knowledgeable and wealthy, but in
the face of just 170 invading Spanish
conquistadors, their vast society mysteriously
collapsed in the mid 16th century.
Thursday 5 July 2001 at 8.00pm
Concluding this fascinating To the Ends of the
Earth special, this documentary follows historian
Dr. William Sullivan as he unlocks the mysteries
of the lost world of the Incas. In the Spanish
chronicles of the conquest of Peru, he has
uncovered a code that links the Incas to such
great civilisations as the Egyptians and the
Visit Secrets of the
Incas for more
information about the programmes
Part of the To the Ends of the Earth
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
(A Drama-documentary series)
Last in Series
Shown on BBC 2, Thursday 16 October 2003 at 9.00pm
A (Daily) series repeat over Xmas 2004
A Drama-documentary series recreating epic moments in the
The Great Ship
(4.09.03): In the 1850s, the world's most brilliant engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel,
dreamed of creating the largest ship ever seen. The Great Eastern would come to
destroy him and all who were associated with it, leading some to believe it was
The Brooklyn Bridge
(11.09.03): In the mid-19th century, a seemingly impossible scheme
was devised to unite Manhattan with Brooklyn with the longest
suspension bridge ever built. The ambitious dream of engineer John
Roebling fast turned into a nightmare dogged by gross political
The Bell Rock Lighthouse
(18.09.03): The deadly Bell Rock Reef, eleven miles off the east coast of Scotland,
terrorised seamen for centuries. Robert Stevenson's plans to build a lighthouse
on the almost permanently submerged rocks was widely ridiculed, but against all
odds, he succeeded, and it continues to save lives.
The Line (Transcontinental Railway)
(25.09.03): (6.04.04) In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act
authorising the construction of 1800 miles of track. Two corporate giants were pitched against each other in a race
to join the East and West coasts of America: to shrink the continent and change the whole world.
The Sewer King
(2.10.03): Joseph Bazalgette's ambitious scheme in the mid-19th century to create a network
of sewers under a London where outbreaks of disease, caused by dirty water and
unsanitary conditions, killed thousands. His vision required extraordinary and
novel engineering solutions involving watertight tunnels and vast steam pumping engines.
The Panama Canal
(9.10.03): French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps was hailed as a national hero on finishing the Suez Canal in 1869.
Thousands raced to invest in his next plan, a canal across Panama that would link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Work started in 1880. It was completed in 1914 after 35 years of struggle, rocked by financial scandal, and the deaths
of at least 20,000 men, including its designer 20 years earlier. Theodore Roosevelt and his engineer John Stevens
finished the job just before World War One broke out, in which the canal played an important strategic role.
The Hoover Dam
(16.10.03): The Colorado River was once one of the world's most dangerous and unpredictable
waterways to cross. But in 1902, engineer Arthur Powell-Davis dreamed of
creating the largest dam ever and taming the wild river. With electricity and
irrigation, the deserts of the West would bloom and the face of America would change forever.
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
website for more information
An eight-part Series
Last in series
Shown on Channel 4, Monday 10 November at 8.00pm
A Series on the history of speed and the rivalry between ships,
planes, cars and trains in their bid to be the fastest.
(22.09.03): The opening programme revisits the 1930s, a golden era for ocean liners
and a competitive period for British and French shipyards as they built
extravagant ships - namely the Queen Mary and the Normandie - with the hope
of winning the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing.
(29.09.03): They came to the fore in the 1930s and were a luxurious way to travel -
the Empire, for example, was a British classic which could carry 24 passengers.
This programme looks at the competition between Pan American and Britain's
Imperial Airways to establish the first trans-Atlantic commercial airline
(6.10.03): In the 1930s, the east and west coast railway companies in Britain were competing to
provide the fastest services from London to Scotland. The Coronation Scot and A4 Pacifics were the fastest trains
in the world and the competitive market pushed the machines to new extremes.
The Speed Boat Kings
(13.10.03): In the 1920s and 30s Britain and the US would go head-to-head in the Harmsworth Challenge,
a kind of America's Cup for the power-boating world. The rivalry was intense with the Brits relying on
technical ingenuity to counter the USA's powerful aircraft engine-powered boats.
Breaking the Sound
(20.10.03): The race to break the sound barrier began in World War II when the British uncovered German plans for a
1,000 mph aircraft. When the Messerschmitt 262 was launched, the British responded with the M52 and the
DH108 Swallow, and by the end of the war, the Americans entered the race with the Bell X1.
Cutty Sark and the Great
(27.10.03): In the mid-19th century, cargo ships known as clippers dominated world trade routes. Tea was a popular
commodity in Victorian times, resulting in competitive races on the 15,000-mile journey from China. The Great Tea
Race of 1866 inspired the design of super-fast clippers, including the Cutty Sark.
Bentley v Mercedes
(3.11.03): The evolution of high-performancecars during the 1920s and 1930s, focusing on the rivalry between Bentley
and Mercedes, and the part played by Hitler in the battle for superiority. Bentley and Mercedes played a key role in
the evolution of sports cars and motor racing the 1920s and '30s. Three successive victories at Le Mans ensured
Bentley's status, but a new challenger - Mercedes - was about to emerge from Germany
Land Speed Record
(10.11.03): The last in the series centres on the battle between Malcolm Campbell and Henry Segrave in the 1920s
and 1930s to break the land speed record. For these former fighter pilots, speed was everything - so much so that they
each risked their lives to become the fastest man on earth. The final programme explores the battle for the land speed
record between Malcolm Campbell, who drove the famed Bluebird into the record books, and Henry Segrave, the man who
earned a knighthood for setting a record in 1929 but lost his life while attempting the same feat on water.
Visit Channel 4
Science and the
Speed Machines websites for further information