Archive footage charts how the film and newsreel company chronicled life in Britain and around the world during the 20th century, from lavish state occasions to global conflicts and major social issues. The series begins by examining the work of Pathe's cameramen, and reveals the techniques they employed are still in use today.
The newsreel company's coverage of the Second World War, which featured footage of the Blitz as well as practical advice for families on the home front. The programme discovers how the distinctive commentary style of announcer Bob Danvers-Walker became synonymous with the war effort, and why some came to regard Pathe's films as embodying the values and spirit of Britain.
An insight into Pathe's popular cinemagazines, which played in cinemas across the nation, and were initially conceived as a way to improve public morale following the end of the First World War. The programme examines the many strands of the initiative, including Pathe Pictoral and Eve's Film Review, which were designed to appeal to women, and the 1930s production of Pathetone - a format that took advantage of the arrival of synchronised sound to examine the various dimensions of life.
The company's travelogues and anthropological films, which helped shape British views of life overseas in the years before package holidays made foreign tourism accessible to the majority of the population. The programme also examines what Pathe newsreels reveal about the experiences of British holiday-makers in the 1950s, and looks back at the company's coverage of royal visits to Commonwealth countries.