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BBC Documentaries

Season 2001 2001

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  • 2001-01-01T21:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • 2 days, 22 hours, 0 mins (70 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest
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Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.

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72 episodes

2001x01 Top of the Pops - The True Story

  • Season Premiere

    2001-01-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Jamie Theakston presents the history of Britain's best-loved music show, spanning four decades of great music and including archive footage of classic performances and backstage antics. As well as interviews with former presenters, such as Jimmy Savile and John Peel, there are also contributions from artists who have appeared on the show, including Pan's People, Robin Gibb, Noddy Holder, Blondie, Holly Johnson, Suggs, Noel Gallagher, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams.

2001x02 Marilyn on Marilyn

  • 2001-12-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary on Marilyn's life told by herself from the taped interviews she gave to Life magazine and French Marie Claire less than a month before she died accompanied by rare and previously unseen footage.

Feature-length documentary recounting the making of Cleopatra, which starred Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. The 20th Century Fox's 1963 epic film has been called the most expensive film of all time, the biggest ever flop and the film that nearly bankrupted a Hollywood studio, while the scandal of the on-set romance between its two stars caused a media storm. Featuring rare footage, the film's original uncut trailer and interviews with those involved. A Prometheus Entertainment production.

Filmed over two years in India and the USA, Mark Kidel's award-winning documentary brings together archive footage spanning seven decades of Ravi Shankar's performing life, and provides a definitive account of the late sitar maestro's unique musical career.

2001x05 The Soviet Union's Last Stand

  • 2001-12-30T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary looking at the events leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union with interviews from the people who were involved, some speaking for the first time.

Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Visage, Marilyn, Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran, ABC... At the dawn of the 80s, a whole host of strangely dressed men in make-up burst forth onto the music scene brandishing synthesisers and kicking against the visual ugliness of punk.
They came mainly from the London club scene, led by gender-bending host Steve Strange and pioneering electronic DJ Rusty Egan, and conquered the charts with classic tracks such as Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, To Cut a Long Story Short, Kings of the Wild Frontier, Planet Earth, Fade to Grey, Calling Your Name and Poison Arrow.
Magenta Devine narrates this gay and colourful behind-the-scene documentary of sex & drugs & frocks & hair-rollers, which includes interviews with Boy George, Gary Kemp, Adam Ant, Nick Rhodes, Steve Strange, Rusty Egan, Marilyn, Jonathan Ross, Caryn Franklin, Fiona Bruce and Robert Elms.

Jonathan Meades explores the architectural legacy of Queen Victoria's reign.

Coinciding with the parole hearing of James Bulger's killers, this program offers a personal account of the murder from the perspective of Albert Kirby, the senior investigating officer. He returns to the crime scene, talks with James' mother Denise, visits a secure unit and talks about the wisdom of releasing the murderers.

A look at the expedition leading to the location of the sunken warship HMS Hood. One of the greatest sea battles of World War II ended in the destruction of two of the world's mighty warships and the loss of almost 3500 lives. Sixty years later, an expedition was launched to find Great Britain's HMS Hood and Germany's Bismarck. The Bismarck was discovered on July 9, 2001, 150 miles west of Brest in northern France, and ten days later, the Hood was located in the Denmark Strait in the North Atlantic.

2001x10 Surreal Film: Jonathan Meades

  • 2001-09-29T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary tracing the development of Surrealism, the origins of which Meades believes lie in the human impulse to express the content of dreams.

A documentary chronicling the extremely demanding voyage of yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur who, at the age of only 24, became the fastest woman ever to singlehandedly circumnavigate the world.

2001x12 Through the Eyes of the Old

  • 2001-04-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

This feature-length documentary follows men and women in their daily lives aged from their early 60s to over 90.
Those featured include active friends Connie and Joy and Chelsea Pensioner Archie.

2001x13 Mine Seekers

  • 2001-04-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

United Nations statistics show that there are at least 60-70
! million landmines around the world, and that 25,000 people are killed or maimed by mines every year. This documentary follows the making and trials of a radar-equipped airship which, its makers hope, will revolutionise the international fight against this scourge, and shows how its crew go about their work. Narrated by Robert Lindsay.

2001x14 When Boxing Ruled the World

  • 2001-04-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

This documentary looks back on the golden era of the sport's heavyweight division, which at the dawn of global television broadcasts was dominated by Muhammad Ali. It recalls how Ali's charisma won over the British public, hears from his challengers, and-with Lennox Lewis 's first fight as world heavyweight champion going out live on BBC1 early on Sunday morning- shows how British boxing has developed since his reign.

2001x15 Football's Dream Factory

  • 2001-04-24T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Alan Hansen reveals how Britain's most talented footballers are discovered and groomed for a career that promises instant wealth and fame for the lucky few who succeed.

2001x16 Get Real ... Casualty

  • 2001-04-28T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Four regular Casualty cast members assume their TV roles for real in this one-off programme which sees Ian - Kelsey (Patrick), Sandra Huggett (Holly), Catherine Shipton (Duffy), and Ian Bleasdale (Josh) thrown in at the deep end of the Royal London hospital's A&E department.

2001x17 Hollywood Knives

  • 2001-05-02T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The' Secret History of Tinseltown under the Scalpel. The myth behind Hollywood glamour, including interviews with those who were responsible for the surgical makeovers of movie stars including Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne.

Documentary account of the colourful career of the London-born Scottish pop singer, with contributions from family, colleagues and admirers.

2001x19 Annie Goes to Hollywood

  • 2001-05-09T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary following Anne Robinson 's progress as she goes from BBC Watchdog presenter to quiz show host on The Weakest Link, a programme which has also taken America by storm. Exclusive backstage access reveals how Anne Robinson became part of the Hollywood system.

Documentary following Brigadier Alex "Birtie" Birtwhistle, a few days away from retirement, as he embarks on one last mission - to sort out the chaos of the foot and mouth crisis in the country's worst affected area, Cumbria.

On the eve of Liverpool's bid to win a major European trophy for the first time in 17 years, this documentary looks back
- on the period during the seventies and eighties when the Reds were arguably Europe's top club side.

2001x22 The Oklahoma Bomber

  • 2001-05-16T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

It was the worst domestic terrorist attack in US history - a bomb in Oklahoma six years ago that killed 168 people and injured 500 more. Timothy McVeigh , found guilty of planting the device, was due to be executed earlier today. Donal Maclntyre introduces this documentary about a tragedy that - literally and emotionally - ripped a city apart.

2001x23 Volcano Man

  • 2001-05-31T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary about Welshman Mark Davies who works in some of the most inhospitable and dangerous places on earth -the volcanos of Montserrat and Nevada Del Ruiz.

Donald Campbell died when his boat crashed at 300mph on Lake Coniston, Cumbria. For 34 years the crash remained shrouded in mystery, as the wreck of Bluebird lay submerged in the depths of the lake. This documentary follows diver Bill Smith 's four-year quest to find the remains.

With almost one billion messages sent each month in Britain, this documentary explores both the amusing and serious sides of the text phenomenon.

2001x26 When Tennis Ruled the World

  • 2001-07-02T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A nostalgic look back at tennis in the seventies, a period many see as the sport's golden age when Borg, McEnroe, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King lit up Wimbledon with their bewitching brand of showmanship, spirit and sex appeal.

2001x27 There's Only One Madonna

  • 2001-07-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

As Madonna's first world tour since 1993 arrives in London tonight, this film examines her love affair with Great Britain. Friends and contemporaries, including Jean Paul Gaultier , Mel C , Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Hearsay, discuss her influence on British art, fashion and gender politics.

2001x28 The Stalker

  • 2001-07-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

The phenomenon of stalking is tackled in this one-off documentary, which records the meeting between one young mother and the man she says is pursuing her. It also follows other stalking cases, observing how victims attempt unsuccessfully to shrug off their tormentors.

2001x29 Summer Sensations

  • 2001-07-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A one-off documentary celebrating summer-themed pop records from the past 40 years. Contributors include the Beach Boys, Alice Cooper , Martha Reeves , Hank Marvin , John Sebastian and John Peel.

2001x30 Through the Eyes of the Young

  • 2001-08-01T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Following on from the acclaimed Through the Eyes of the Old, director/cameraman Christopher Terrill now turns his attention to the 18-30s who are tackling the world head on. Some are excited, anxious or frightened, but most are determined and still convinced they are immortal. This documentary helps to provide new perspectives on music, sport, drugs, education, love and cyberspace.

2001x31 Real Life Weakest Links

  • 2001-08-22T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Disasters in sport, in space, at sea and in everyday life illustrate that even the briefest moments of madness can have far-reaching, and potentially disastrous, consequences. Paul Merton narrates this wry compendium of tales of human error.

2001x32 A Cruel Inheritance

  • 2001-09-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Huntingdon's disease is the commonest inherited brain disease. Left untreated symptoms involve losing control of mind and body. This documentary follows the fate of two people who volunteer to undergo a brain operation which for the first time offers the chance of a cure.

2001x33 Cheer for Charlie

  • 2001-10-04T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary following gardening makeover expert Charlie Dimmock as she swaps water features for the circus ring to transform herself into a flying trapeze artist for a night. But with only a matter of months to learn her new skills from scratch, and a sell-out performance in front of family and friends looming, will Charlie cut the mustard?

A one-off documentary in which survival expert Ray Mears offers actor Ewan McGregor the chance to go on a trek of a lifetime. The star of Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge rises to the challenge and joins Mears on a trip deep into the Honduran jungle, accompanied also by explorer
Dr Chris Begley of the University of Kentucky. After just a few basic lessons in survival, the team set off in search of a lost civilisation. How will McGregor cope with all that the Central American rainforest throws at him?

2001x35 Paul Daniels in a Black Hole

  • 2001-10-11T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

One-off documentary in which Britain's best-known magician tries to hit the big time in the United States. Beginning in Illinois, Daniels must rely on the skills acquired during 30 years of performing to build a new career in just four weeks.

2001x36 Lions - Spy in the Den

  • 2001-10-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A one-off special documentary following the cubs of a pride of lions on the African plains. Using "bouldercam" - a remote camera disguised as a rock - the film follows the cubs as they make their journey from infancy to adulthood. Narrated by David Attenborough.

2001x37 The Walton Girls Come of Age

  • 2001-11-14T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In November 1983. at odds of 104 billion to one, Janet and Graham Walton gave birth to the only surviving all-girl
' sextuplets in the world. As Hannah, Lucy, Ruth, Sarah, Kate and Jenny approach their 18th birthday, they talk about their hopes for the future and their memories of the past.

2001x38 Big Families

  • 2001-11-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A one-off documentary featuring one summer in the lives of three large families. Featured are the Langleys, who already had ten children and needed a vasectomy reversal for number 11. In the Wells household Grace is expecting her 12th babay, while the third family are juggle to put six of their nine children through private school.

2001x39 Kids behind Bars

  • 2001-11-26T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

From petty criminals serving heavy sentences to convicts who have hardened at a tender age, this documentary on children in prison around the world examines their lives and whether they are likely to benefit from their incarceration.

The EastEnders actress and dolphin-lover trades Walford for the sunnier climes of the Bahamas and Florida in this documentary where she comes face to face with the mammals in the wild.

2001x41 Bigamy

  • 2001-12-12T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

With the help of candid interviews, this documentary helps shed light on the shady world of marriages based on deceit and duplicity, including the case of a bigamous union that lasted for decades.

2001x42 Threads of Life

  • 2001-12-16T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

The human genome contains the secret of human life, recording our evolution and holding the key to our future. In this one-off documentary, Robert Winston shows how the genome demonstrates how to build and run a person, thereby offering us the potential to interfere with fate.

2001x43 My Little Pony

  • 2001-01-01T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

In a documentary exploring the bond between a child and its pony, eight children talk about their feelings for their equine pets.

2001x44 Challenger

  • 2001-01-23T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary recalling the events of 28 January 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded soon after its launch killing the crew of seven outright. The programme includes expert opinion and interviews with Nasa's senior manager at the time, Jud Lovingood , engineer Roger Boisjoly , and Grace Corrigan , mother of school teacher turned-astronaut Christa McAuliffe.

Documentary tribute to the singer-songwriter who died in a freak boating accident last year. The daughter of choreographer Jean Newlove and folk singer Ewan MacColl , she will be best remembered as the foil to a drunken Shane
MacGowan on the Pogues Christmas hit Fairytale of New York. Contributions come from her partner James Knight , her mother and brother, and a host of music industry stars, including Bono, Billy Bragg , Johnny Marr and Janice Long.

2001x46 Fertility Tourists

  • 2001-03-06T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary following a small but growing band of would-be parents who, in their pursuit of the child they desire, refuse to be bound by their country's laws, rendering fertility an international business. Alan and Louise Masterton hope to use a controversial technique which can predetermine the sex of a child after losing their young daughter in an accident, while sixtysomething Jenny is seeking help abroad to become pregnant after being refused fertility treatment in the UK.

There is a new generation of pre-teen girls who possess the confidence, sense of style, and to some degree, the emotional complexities of a teenager, but who are aged between 7 and 11 years old. The marketing industry, who has recognised their spending power, coined the term "tweenagers" to describe them. This documentary follows three sets of best friends of this age group, from diverging backgrounds, through an average day.

2001x48 Positive Women

  • 2001-04-10T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

There are now more new cases of HIV infection among heterosexuals each year than among homosexual men, and most of the 10,000 HIV-positive heterosexuals in Britain are women. In this moving documentary, three infected women talk openly about their experience of, and ways of living with, the virus.

A profile of one of the most exciting players that the game of snooker has ever produced, recalling the career of the twice world champion and crowd favourite and examining his turbulent life off the table.

2001x50 Magic - Art of Darkness

  • 2001-04-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary which shows that arcane wizardry is not just the preserve of horror films and Harry Potter novels. For accounts assistant Andrew Stockall , it is a serious pursuit. Over the years he has taught a band of magicians for whom casting spells, conjuring up demons and putting curses on people are all part and parcel of everyday life.

Fifty years ago this weekend, a heroic last stand was fought against the Chinese Army by British troops serving with the UN in Korea. Veterans of the Battle of the Imjin river recall the event and the cruel aftermath in PoW camps.

2001x52 Are You Captain Corelli?

  • 2001-05-19T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

As the biggest British film of the year opens in London, this documentary recalls the shocking wartime events that inspired the original novel, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. On the Greek island of Cephalonia, 90-year-oid Amos Pampaloni , who like the fictional Captain Corelli survived the worst military massacre of the Second World War, recalls how German reprisals left 9,000 of his fellow Italians dead.
He also talks candidly about his relationship with a young Greek girl. The programme includes contributions from the novel's author, Louis de Bernieres , and the film's director John Madden. Narrated by Sean Pertwee.

A profile of celebrated film-maker Ken Burns, showing as a prelude to the first episode of his epic musical series "Jazz". At his home in the New Hampshire town of Walpole, the man who has been hailed as America's greatest documentary maker talks about his formative influences, his fascination with history and his previous award-winning series, "Baseball" and "The Civil War".

2001x54 A Pocketful of Posies

  • 2001-07-13T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary in which some of Britain's older citizens recall the circumstances of their childhoods early last century in a series of moving stories accompanied by rare archive film, stills and dramatic reconstructions.

Documentary following several British pilgrims astheyjoin three million Muslims from around the world to perform the Hajj -the annual pilgrimage to the sacred shrine at Mecca. The Islamic faith decrees that every Muslim who has the means should make this epic journey at least once in their lifetime and, this year, more than 20,000 travelled from various parts of Britain to Saudi Arabia for the event.

2001x56 The Mosque

  • 2001-08-14T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

For the first time a British mosque - Birmingham Central - has opened its doors to cameras. The result is a documentary that offers a unique insight into the life of Britain's Islamic community and reveals the increasing struggles of women for reform.

2001x57 Hack the Planet

  • 2001-08-18T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Documentary on the hackers who wrote a programme capable of hijacking million computers.

As an antidote to England's 2001 Ashes defeat, a celebration of the 20th anniversary of cricketing all-rounder Ian Botham 's triumph in the 1981 Third Ashes Test. It offers a profile of one of Britain's most entertaining and best-loved sporting stars, but also reveals how his volatile personality ensured that he was rarely out of the public eye.

Documentary charting the fascinating life and work of Lee Miller , a model for Vogue in 1920s New York who became the only female photojournalist to cover the Second World War. Having given up photography in later life and virtually disowned her own work, Miller's extraordinary archive of 40,000 negatives was only rediscovered after her death.
George Melly , David Hare , friends, colleagues and her only son, Tony Penrose , trace the story of her unconventional life through her own remarkable pictures and photographs, as well as rarely seen archive footage.

2001x60 Frank Lloyd Wright

  • 2001-08-27T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Ken Burns 's documentary on the visionary American architect. The film examines Wright's legacy, as well as the problems he faced reconciling his creative genius with more mundane matters such as his finances and his family.

The murder of Gianni Versace in July 1997 on the steps of his Miami mansion sent shockwaves around the fashion world. Versace's name had become associated with the best in designer fashion, and he was the couturier of choice for celebrities including Diana, Princess of Wales, Madonna and Elton John. This film, from the documentary strand Storyville, tells the strange story of his life and death.

2001x62 The Concorde Story

  • 2001-09-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

In July 2000 a Concorde crash in France killed many people, bringing its unparalleled safety record in civil
- aviation to a shocking end. This documentary tells the story of British Airways' flagship aircraft, showing how it gained its reputation as the last word in luxury air travel, and examines both the human tragedy of the crash and the war of words between the English and French as the accident's causes began to emerge.

2001x63 The Show Must Go On

  • 2001-09-06T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

A documentary follows Baz Luhrmann , the director of Strictly Ballroom and William Shakespeare 's Romeo and Juliet, as he travels round the world on a six-month promotional tour for his new film, which opens here tomorrow. A colourful reinvention of the film musical, Moulin Rouge stars Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman , contributors to this travelogue which culminates in the opening weekend in America.

2001x64 Deep Trouble

  • 2001-10-28T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A one-off documentary, showing as a companion to the series The Blue Planet, assessing the state of the world's oceans and the impact that humans have had on them. Presented by marine biologist Martha Holmes.

2001x65 Cabinet Confidential

  • 2001-11-17T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

A revealing one-off documentary that provides an inside view of how Tony Blair and former prime ministers - including Harold Wilson , Margaret Thatcher and John Major - have run their cabinet, the highest decision-making body in the land. Through candid interviews, rare archive footage and filming inside No 10, presenter Michael Cockerell opens the door to the Government's own chamber of secrets as he seeks the answer to the question: is the notion of cabinet government an obsolete concept?

2001x66 Police 2001

  • 2001-11-25T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Nearly 20 years on from his series Police, criminologist and film-maker Roger Graef pays a return visit to Thames Valley Police to see how the service has evolved against the backdrop of social change. New problems have emerged over the years but, as this documentary shows, the service has responded with initiatives of its own to tackle them.

The men on whom Band of Brothers was based recall the reality of conflict in the Second World War. With Richard Winters , Fred "Moose" Heyliger, JB Stokes , Darrell "Shifty" Powers, Edward "Babe" Heffron, William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, Carwood Lipton , Robert "Popeye" Lynn, Lester "Leo" Hashey, Robert Strayer , Antonio Garcia and Donald Malarkey.

2001x68 Constant Craving

  • 2001-12-21T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Drug addiction takes many forms and is shrouded in misinformation. This documentary explodes many of the myths, and reveals radical new measures to prevent smoking and cocaine addiction.

2001x69 Pevsner Revisited

  • 2001-07-12T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Jonathan Meades investigates the life of the architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner, and the writing of his largest work, The Buildings of England.

2001x70 Cold Turkey

  • no air date — 60 mins

Leo Regan follows his friend, photographer Lanre Fehintola, as he tries to go cold turkey (detox) from heroin in his council flat and without medication.

Tom Cruise narrates a penetrating documentary, which explores the many sides to Stanley Kubrick - film director, producer, writer, photographer, husband and father.

In this documentary, originally screened on BBC Knowledge, author Philip Pullman explores Oxford, where he was a student in the 1960s. The city provided the inspiration for the fictional Jordan College in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The writer explains how his childhood and student days have fed into the imagined worlds of his books. Critics and literary experts also contribute, sharing their own insights into Pullman's work, including I Was a Rat! and the Sally Lockhart adventures.

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