High in the Tatra mountains of Slovakia, Michael skins a pig, and learns how to make sausages. He then departs to Brno to visit Tibor Turba's famous mime school, where he is asked to mime a cockerel. Travelling in a DC3, used during the Berlin airlift, he visits the island of Rugen, built by Hitler for his KDF ('Strength through Joy') programme.
Michael travels from Transdniester, a breakaway state from the Republic of Moldova, to the Vaser Valley in Romania, where he joins 80 lumberjacks as they board a wood-fired steam train. He finally ends up at Bran Castle in Transylvania, the ancestral home of Vlad the Impaler and alleged home of Bram Stoker's Dracula
Michael Wood journeys through the subcontinent, tracing the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes. Through ancient manuscripts and oral tales Michael charts the first human migrations out of Africa. He travels from the tropical backwaters of South India through lost ancient cities in Pakistan to the vibrant landscapes of the Ganges plain.
Michael Wood's epic series moves on to the revolutionary years after 500BC - the Age of the Buddha. Travelling by rail to the ancient cities of the Ganges plain, by army convoy through northern Iraq and on down the Khyber Pass, he shows how Alexander the Great's invasion of India inspired her first empire.
Michael Wood traces India in the days of the Roman Empire. In Kerala the spice trade opened India to the world, whilst gold and silk bazaars in the ancient city of Madurai were a delight for visiting Greek traders. From the deserts of Turkmenistan, Michael travels down the Khyber Pass to Pakistan to discover a forgotten Indian Empire that opened up the Silk Road and at Peshawar built a lost Wonder of the World.
Reaching the time of the Fall of Rome in the West, Michael Wood seeks out the amazing achievements of India's golden age. We learn how India discovered zero, calculated the circumference of the earth and wrote the world's first sex guide, the Kama Sutra.
Michael Wood charts the coming of Islam to the subcontinent and one of the greatest ages of world civilisation: the Mughals. Michael visits Sufi shrines in Old Delhi, desert fortresses in Rajasthan and the cities of Lahore and Agra, where he offers a new theory on the design of the Taj Mahal.
The final episode examines the British Raj and India's freedom struggle. In South India, Michael sees how a global corporation, the East India Company, came to control much of the subcontinent. He visits the magical culture of Lucknow and discovers the enigmatic Briton, 'the rebel in the Raj' who helped found the freedom movement.
With the help of the residents, he charts events in the village leading to the people\'s involvement in the Civil War of Simon de Montfort. Intertwining the local and national narratives, this is a moving and informative picture of one local community through time.
The tale reaches the dramatic events of Henry VIII\'s Reformation and the battles of the English Civil War. We track Kibworth\'s 17th century dissenters, travel on the Grand Union Canal and meet an 18th century feminist writer from Kibworth who was a pioneer of children\'s books.
Wood\'s gripping tale moves on to dramatic battles of conscience in the time of the Hundred Years\' War. Amazing finds in the school archive help trace peasant education back to the 14th century and we see how the people themselves set up the first school for their children.
Groundbreaking series in which Michael Wood tells the story of one place throughout the whole of English history. Michael uncovers the lost history of the first thousand years of the village, featuring a Roman villa, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and graphic evidence of life on the eve of the Norman Conquest.
Wood\'s fascinating tale reaches the catastrophic 14th century. Kibworth goes through the worst famine in European history, and then, as revealed in the astonishing village archive in Merton College Oxford, two thirds of the people die in the Black Death.
In this final episode, Michael uncovers the secret history of a Victorian village more colourful than even Dickens could have imagined. Visiting World War I battlefields with the school and recalling the Home Guard, local land girls and the bombing of the village in 1940, the series finally moves into the brave new world of 'homes for heroes' and the villagers come together to leave a reminder of their world for future generations.
Documentary looking at the wildlife of the most stunning mountain range in the world, home to snow leopards, Himalayan wolves and Tibetan bears.
Snow leopards stalk their prey among the highest peaks. Concealed by snowfall, the chase is watched by golden eagles circling above. On the harsh plains of the Tibetan plateau live extraordinary bears and square-faced foxes hunting small rodents to survive. In the alpine forests, dancing pheasants have even influenced rival border guards in their ritualistic displays. Valleys carved by glacial waters lead to hillsides covered by paddy fields containing the lifeline to the East, rice. In this world of extremes, the Himalayas reveal not only snow-capped mountains and fascinating animals but also a vital lifeline for humanity.
Jonathan Scott narrates the extraordinary story of the leopard - the one big cat that still survives across half the world while tigers, cheetahs and lions are all struggling.
By following the lives of leopard mothers and their cubs in East Africa, the film investigates what it is about the natural history of these cats that makes them born survivors.
Perhaps the most extraordinary revelation is that leopards are living undercover on farms and even in cities across Africa and Asia.
In the flooded forests of the Peruvian Amazon lives one of the world\'s rarest and most mysterious primates, the red-faced uakari monkey. Local people call them English monkeys because of their resemblance to sunburnt visitors.
Now there is a new Englishman on the scene, Mark Bowler, a young biologist who battles through the forest in his quest to understand the monkeys\' secret lives. The film shows the first footage of these extraordinary animals in the wild and reveals why ice cream could be the greatest threat to their survival.
The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a beautiful wetland. Elephant mothers guide their families on an epic trek across the harsh Kalahari Desert towards it, siphoning fresh water from stagnant pools and facing hungry lions. Hippos battle for territory, as the magical water draws in thousands of buffalo and birds, and vast clouds of dragonflies. Will the young elephant calves survive to reach this grassland paradise?
The experienced mother elephants time their arrival at the delta to coincide with the lush grass produced by the great flood. In a TV first, the programme shows the way they use their trunks to siphon clean water from the surface layers of a stagnant pool, while avoiding stirring up the muddy sediment on the bottom with their feet.
Bull hippos also converge on prime territories formed by the rising flood water. Two big bulls do bloody battle, at times being lifted out of the water by their rival.
Lechwe swamp deer, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles and numerous fish and thousands of birds arrive in the delta. And, in a phenomenon never before filmed in the Okavango, thousands of dragonflies appear - seemingly from nowhere - within minutes of the flood arrival, mating and laying eggs.
As the flood finally reaches its peak, elephants and buffalo, near the end of their epic trek across the desert, face the final gauntlet of a hungry pride of lions.
In a heart-wrenching sequence, a baby elephant is brought down by a lion in broad daylight.
Monterey Bay on California's coast is one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, its giant kelp forest bursting with life, from microscopic plankton to visiting ocean giants. The secret key to success in such a busy microworld is balance. Steve Backshall guides us through the unique geography of the bay and introduces some of its key characters in a quest to find the one species that keeps life in the kelp forest in check.
Steve Backshall tries to discover just what makes it possible for a river to stop in the middle of a desert. The Okavango is the world's largest inland delta and home to a one of Africa's greatest congregations of wildlife, and in asking the difficult questions Steve reveals the astounding secret to its existence.
In a revelatory look at Svalbard, the most northerly region in the series, Steve Backshall leaves no stone unturned as he unravels the secrets that lie covered in ice for most of each year. Svalbard is cold, dark and foreboding, yet it is home to the world's largest land predator and the most northerly population.
Steve Backshall looks at the Scottish Highlands, home to some of the most iconic wildlife in the British Isles. The two contrasting landscapes of open moor and Caledonian forest are both crucially important to their wild inhabitants and yet the history of the Highlands show that they shouldn't exist side by side.
The team embarks on an expedition to explore the profound effect that man is having on the Mediterranean Sea. Western civilisation developed around its shores, but now human activity is threatening to destroy it.