Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.
Profile of architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Scottish comedian Billy Connolly thought Glasgow was cold, until he encountered the Arctic Circle. Armed only with the most basic survival techniques and his banjo, Billy spends 10 days there, recording his experiences and emotions on a videocamera. Billy often jokes about his early days in Glasgow, but it left him tough, adaptable and used to the cold which should stand him in good stead when facing hunger and temperatures of minus 40 degrees Centigrade. But even this Scot will need expert guidance to survive Baffin Island in High Arctic Canada. An Eskimo ranger gives him a crash course in some of the tricks of the trade: how to build and repair an igloo, how to make water, how to catch and cook fish, how to spot crevasses and the wrong kind of snow, how to prevent sunblindness, how to ski pulling a pulk (sledge), how to walk on snowshoes, skidooing, kayaking, how to spot the onset of frostbite and how to deal with polar bears. An SAS Army expert is also on hand to give Billy basic survival tips, especially the rules of keeping warm. With great good humour, Billy fortifies himself for the real challenge which is to come: two days completely on his own. Only his self-operated video camera holds the secret of his hours of solitude long, lonely evenings and nights with no crew and no one to call on the phone. Hours during which he is contemplative, melancholy, miserable, witty and plain freezing cold. There are some beautiful shots of the majestic frozen scenery, some useful tips on keeping warm in the cold, and some entertaining moments, but the really fascinating thing about this programme are the insights into Billy's complex personality.
Documentary covering the history of the American television science fiction series STAR TREK, founded by Gene Roddenberry in 1966, with interviews including actors Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Nichelle Nichols. The programme considers STAR TREK's founding during the height of the Cold War, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, with its multicultural crew working together on the `Enterprise', and considers its cultural impact over 30 years and into the future.
This rare and revealing documentary from 1996 about artist Sarah Lucas is being shown to coincide with Lucas's retrospective at London's Whitechapel Gallery. Made by acclaimed director Vanessa Engle, the film shadows Lucas over four months as she makes her witty and provocative sculptures, often using everyday objects. With candid and often hilarious contributions from Angus Fairhurst, Gary Hume, Damien Hirst and Barbara Gladstone.
A 30-minute documentary broadcast on BBC2 in 1995, Ian Hislop delves into the story of the little known Roman satirist Juvenal, a man of whom his quotations are much more widely known than is anything about the man himself. Presented by Ian Hislop, starring Stephen Fry as Juvenal with comments from Auberon Waugh.
It’s 221 BC, and the veil of history is lifted to reveal life in the Qin Dynasty, under China’s first emperor, Shihuangdi. Noted historians, archaeologists, and other experts extrapolate from discoveries made in the ruler’s tomb, as they examine the political, intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and religious structure of Chinese society of the first dynasty. Sophisticated computer animation re-creates both the outer and inner structure of Shihuangdi’s tomb, complete with rivers rippling with mercury; decorative period artifacts; food larders; mummified concubines awaiting their master’s pleasure; and the now-famous 8,000-man terra-cotta army of statues standing guard to protect the dead emperor from his enemies in the afterlife.
Docudrama about the matrimonial disaster that took place 200 years ago between George, Prince of Wales and his wife Caroline of Brunswick.
The scientists on an expedition into the feared depths of the Bermuda Triangle, a region of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami (Florida) and Puerto Rico where a number of aircraft, ships and surface vessels are reported to have mysteriously disappeared. Laden with sonar’s and satellite surveys, the divers attempt to investigate the Bermuda Triangle from the bottom up, and they make some startling discoveries along the way.
Dusty Springfield narrates a documentary profile of the songwriter who won an Oscar for the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid score, enjoyed stage success with Promises, Promises and whose classic songs continue to influence modern music. Featuring interviews with Dionne Warwick, Noel Gallager, Hal David, Herb Alpert, Elvis Costello, Cilla Black, Richard Carpenter, Carol Bayer Sager and Gillian Lynne.
Special documentary made after opening of the Second Severn Crossing in 1996, replacing the old suspension bridge as the primary link between England and Wales The program focuses on the design and construction techniques required to build the UK's longest bridge across an estuary with the second highest tidal range in the world.
Ever since the starship Enterprise first whisked across television screens in 1966, Star Trek has inspired audiences with its portrayal of a future, space-faring humanity boldly going where no one has gone before. Science: The Final Frontier takes a look at the science featured in the Star Trek shows and films and discusses whether any of it is possible. Part of Star Trek Night on BBC Two. Featuring Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Lawrence Krauss (author of The Physics of Star Trek) and Andre Bormanis (science adviser to Star Trek).
An investigation into the unearthing of the supposedly lost lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt- which was regarded as the seventh wonder of the ancient world. The 1995 expedition was led by the archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur.