January 23, 1991 12:00 am
Two-part documentary looking at the history of the native American Indians, and particularly the effects of white colonisation of the continent, and the near extinction of their peoples and culture. The first part considers the lifestyles and philosophy of the Indians and their first encounters with white settlers, which led to their falling prey to both disease and violence. The newcomers' attitude towards the Indians, and the catalogue of deceit, broken treaties and massacres are also explored.
January 30, 1991 12:00 am
Second part of a documentary film looking at the history of the native American Indians and particularly the effects of white colonisation of the continent and the near extinction of their peoples and culture. This looks at the continued clash between European and Native American cultures in the 100 years after the massacre at Wounded Knee, and the disastrous attempts of the government to assimilate the Indians. Indians describe what life was like on the reservations and of the attempts to obliterate their language, culture and ways.
February 13, 1991 12:00 am
Looks at the story of Dr Gerald Bull, the artillery designer who designed the world's best howitzers and who was working on his lifetime ambition, the supergun, when he was assassinated last year.
February 27, 1991 12:00 am
Looks at the story of Robert Robinson, a black American, who inadvertently ended up living and working in the Soviet Union for over 40 years, until his escape in 1974. Born in Cuba and brought up in America, he went to work for the Soviet Union that was crying out for industrial technicians, in the 1930s, disillusioned with the poverty and racism endemic in the US. Whilst there, he was elected to the Moscow Soviet without his consent, and automatically lost his US citizenship. He describes meeting Stalin and living through the hunger, cold and suspicion of the Second World War and the Cold War, and of how he eventually got out of the country.
March 13, 1991 12:00 am
Looks at the character and learned works of the Medieval scholar Roger Bacon, with readings and comments on some of his writings and ideas and the vast, universality of the subject matters he covered.
March 27, 1991 12:00 am
Documentary programme looking back at the first Palestinian Intifada uprisings between 1936 and 1939, and into the forties, against the British, revealing the strong hold guerilla forces had over a large area, and the formulation of forces, courts and a new leadership based on the peasant villages emerging in what was, to all intents and purposes, an independent Palestine. It follows how this uprising was overshadowed by the post-war Jewish one, and considers the ways in which British decisions at the time contributed to factors in the present Israeli conflict.
April 10, 1991 12:00 am
Looks at the history of the Cold War, and how it began even whilst the USSR and Britain and America were allies in the last stages of World War II. The origins of mutual distrust are examined, plus attitudes, plans and actions over the past forty-plus years, as well as how recent events in the USSR may have altered Cold War attitudes, or only temporarily put them on hold.
September 18, 1991 12:00 am
Documentary investigating Britain's clandestine support for the Nationalists and General Franco during the Spanish Civil War, through fear of the democratically elected left-wing Republican government becoming revolutionary in nature and being backed by the Soviet Union, and through fear for British business interests in the country. It shows how Britain caused major problems for the Republican side through economic and diplomatic cunning, and effectually aided the Republicans' downfall and Franco's success, although in a less obvious way than the German and Italian armed aid.
October 2, 1991 12:00 am
Documentary looking at Charles Darwin and the reason why he waited so long to publish his controversial discoveries and views on evolution, considering his personality and some of the historical, political and social factors that influenced his decision. In particular, his fear of being totally ostracised by both society and his colleagues, and of possibly being seen to add to the cause of foment and radicalism much in the air at that time. It also considers the grave effect this worry and conflict over whether to publish his findings or express his views on his health.
October 16, 1991 12:00 am
Documentary questioning whether Christopher Columbus was really the first to discover America, putting forward the theory that Columbus not only knew exactly where he was going, but also what he would find in the New World. A Spanish ship's officer and a journalist recreate the momentous voyage to test this theory.
October 30, 1991 12:00 am
First part of a documentary film about the First World War following German writer Ludwig Harig, as he travels to the Somme to try and learn and understand why his father was unable to speak about the war. Archive film of the German army in camps, on the Front and scenes of life of France under their occupation are shown, with interviews with surviving villagers from the Somme area, who talk about their experiences and what life was like at that time close to the front, and under German occupation.
November 6, 1991 12:00 am
Second part of a documentary film about the First World War which centres around extracts from the letters between military surgeon Georges Duhamel and his wife Blanche, who moved to the frontline capitial at Amiens in order to be closer to her husband. They corresponded regularly for 4 years, and extracts from some of their letters are read over film footage, much of it previously unseen, of the front and of how business and pleasure continued alongside scenes of suffering as British, French and colonial troops came and went from the city. Most of the footage is of French troops.
November 20, 1991 12:00 am
December 18, 1991 12:00 am
A report on the art treasures taken by the Nazis during the second world war, including a collection of French Impressionist paintings built up by the industrialist Carl Siemens. The programme attempts to trace the missing paintings.