Engineer Jem Stansfield looks back through the Horizon archives to find out how scientists have come to understand and manipulate the materials that built the modern world. Whether it's uncovering new materials or finding fresh uses for those we've known about for centuries, each breakthrough offers a tantalising glimpse of the holy grail of materials science - a substance that's cheap to produce and has the potential to change our world. Jem explores how a series of extraordinary advances have done just that - from superconductors to the silicon revolution.
Brianna Barnes and Jonathan Atherton travel to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. They start by exploring the compact city centre, built around a network of beautiful canals overlooked by the gabled mansions of 17th century merchants. Whilst Jonathan looks around using the locals' favourite means of transport, the bicycle, Brianna takes a tour of the waterways with the free-spirited Saint Nicolaas Boat Club. Amsterdam is renowned as one of the world's most liberal cities, and en route they check out the city's famously tolerant attitude to soft drugs like marijuana, and the nefarious goings-on in the city's infamous Red Light District.
Nearly 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and yet little is known about how the illness manifests itself in our brains. Ride the Tiger tells the stories of accomplished individuals who have been diagnosed with bipolar, and explores treatment options.
Are sea monsters real, or do they only exist in our imagination? Scientists examine the limits of whale sharks to see how big they can really grow.
"In a world that seems to be cracking at the edges, how do we ensure our survival? How do we ensure we can provide for our children and how do we face the possibility of a global economic meltdown, a world where all the conveniences of modern day are gone including the necessities of survival? Dowsing is an ancient practice whose origins are lost in long-forgotten history thought to date back more than 8,000 years. Reliefs from China and Egypt illustrate ancient people engaging in dowsing by using forked tools, rods and instruments. Dowsing was mentioned in the Bible when Moses and Aaron used a ""rod"" to locate water.
Professor Saul David uses the BBC archive to chart the history of the world's most destructive war, by chronicling how the story of the battle has changed. As new information has come to light, and forgotten stories are remembered, the history of World War Two evolves. The BBC has followed that evolution, and this programme examines the most important stories, and how our understanding of them has been re-defined since the war ended over 70 years ago.
This is a story played out in an era of unprecedented technical change in which new scientific advances have given us the tools to confront some of nature's greatest threats and where shifting national rivalries have shaped their implementation. It is also a story of the television age where each new wave of disease reflects the change in nature of reporting. Science's battle with pandemic disease is an ongoing power struggle and since its advent television has been there for every success and failure.
Vanessa Collingridge examines the life of Elizabeth Tudor, with particular interest in how documentary television and the BBC has examined her legacy and interrogated her reign. Using Timewatch and other BBC archive stretching back over 60 years, Vanessa looks at her upbringing, her conflicts with her enemies including Mary, Queen of Scots, and her greatest victory against the Spanish Armada. The programme seeks to understand how Elizabeth I created a legacy that we still live with today, and examines how that legacy has changed over the centuries.
Historian Dr Thomas Asbridge explores the BBC's archive to reveal how television's telling of the Crusades has changed over the last 60 years. Using footage from Crusade documentaries shot during the Vietnam era, the Palestinian Crisis, the First Gulf War and the more recent War on Terror, he reveals how our interpretation of this medieval story has been influenced by modern political and social change. Thomas highlights the alternative Arabic perspectives on the Crusades, and asks whether this 1,000-year-old story really does cast its long shadow over the modern world, as so many have claimed.