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The Real Casanova

   2024    History
Giacomo Casanova has long been hailed as a lustful beast who romped his way around Europe bedding as many women as he could. He lived a life of adventure, comedy and drama and raised questions about human relationships and sexuality that are still relevant today. How has our view of him changed in these modern times? Although this reputation is well-deserved, it doesn't tell the whole story. Casanova was also a talented and charming cheat who consorted with figures across the social spectrum - from prostitutes and pimps, to kings.

Hoist the Black Flag

   2021    History
In this documentary series we will see how the real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder, stealing and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic. The historical drama portrays the rise and fall of the eponymous early-18th century pirate republic based in Nassau, Bahamas.
The series begins in 1715, shortly after the close of the War of the Spanish Succession, which pitted England against Spain. England had waged the war on the cheap, resorting to the use of privateers rather than incurring the expense of fully funding the Royal Navy. The ending of this war leaved thousands of Caribbean privateers unemployed, when the wreck of a treasure fleet creates new opportunities.
Series: The Lost Pirate Kingdom

Magellan Crossing

   2021    History
Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano set sail to gain control of the global spice trade, but end up becoming the first expedition to circumnavigate the earth. The yearslong voyage—along with the suffering, the violence and the loss of life and property—were all in pursuit of a shorter route to the so-called Spice Islands (now the Maluku Islands) and their much-coveted aromatics.
The film puts in perspective the 16th century—the Age of Exploration, the Age of Discovery and the Age, problematically, of Colonialism. It also was an age of heroes. As the documentary insists, the journeys undertaken by the men whose names we learned in grade school and whose exploits straddled the 1400s and 1500s—including Ponce de Leon, Vasco da Gama, Lope de Aguirre and even Columbus—were about money, sometimes trade, sometimes plunder. But just as advances in medicine have often been propelled by war, knowledge about the world has been a byproduct of profit-seeking. Likewise, heroism.

Secrets of Spanish Florida

   2017    History
A Chapter of forgotten history. The first permanent European settlement in the United States was founded in 1565–two generations before the settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth–not by English Protestants, but by the Spanish and a melting pot of people they brought with them from Africa, Italy, Germany, Ireland and even converted Jews, who integrated almost immediately with the indigenous tribes.
The film uncovers one story of America’s past that never made it into textbooks. Follow some of America’s leading archaeologists, maritime scientists, and historians as they share the story of Florida’s earliest settlers. It’s a story that has taken more than 450 years to reveal.
Series: Secrets of the Dead

Reinventing Russia

   2017    History
Lucy Worsley travels to Russia to tell the extraordinary story of the dynasty that ruled the country for more than three centuries. It's an epic tale that includes giant figures such as Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, the devastating struggle against Napoleon in 1812, and the political murders of Nicholas II and his family in 1918 which brought the dynasty to a brutal end.
In this first episode, Lucy investigates the beginning of the Romanovs' 300-year reign in Russia. In 1613, when Russia was leaderless, 16-year-old Mikhail Romanov was plucked from obscurity and offered the crown of Russia. Lucy also charts the story of Peter the Great, the ruthless and ambitious tsar who was determined to modernise Russia at the end of the 17th century.
Series: Empire of the Tsars

Samurai Sword

   2014    History
The film is the inside track on the World's most influential weapon. For over a thousand years this weapon dominated the battlefields of Japan, instilled fear and terror into every enemy it faced, and created a new spiritual way of life that lasts through to the present day. The Samurai sword – a weapon so technologically perfect in structure, so formidable in strength and so beautiful in creation. For the first time unique access has been granted and we travel into the core of the ancient foundries, sword-smiths and fighting schools to reveal what makes the so-called perfect sword. This is a no holds barred look at one of the most iconic man-made objects ever forged.