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The Silk Road

Episode Two

Duration: 23 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS AfricaLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS South Asia

In this episode, historian Dr Sam Willis continues to retrace the steps of explorer Zhang Qian to the city of Dunhuang. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Director:
Tim Niel
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History

Episode 2: A World Turned Upside Down

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 5 months

Dr Sam Willis takes the story of shipwrecks into the Georgian age when Britain began to rule the waves and disasters at sea imperilled its trading power. Show more

Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues

Episode 1: Knights of the Road: The Highwayman's Story

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 5 months

Series charting the age of the outlaw begins with the arrival of a new breed of gentleman criminal out of the ashes of the Civil War. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Producer:
Andy Hall
Director:
Andy Hall
Series Producer:
William Naylor
Executive Producer:
Michael Poole
Assistant Producer:
Christopher Boreham
Production Coordinator:
Emily Casstles

Castles: Britain's Fortified History

Episode 3: Defence of the Realm

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 4 months

Sam Willis looks at how castles survived into the Tudor era. But these strategic seats of power had to become palaces to impress monarchs such as Elizabeth I. Show more

Castles: Britain's Fortified History

Episode 1: Instruments of Invasion

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 4 months

Sam Willis shows how the castle arrived as an instrument of invasion with the Normans but became a weapon with which unruly barons challenged the Crown. Show more

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 4 months

Sam Willis looks at urban crime, fraud and corruption in the 18th century, uncovering a fascinating rogues' gallery of charmers, fraudsters and villains. Show more

Castles: Britain's Fortified History

Episode 2: Kingdom of Conquest

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 4 months

Sam Willis tells the story of the English ruler who left the most indelible mark on the castle, Edward I, as he turned it into an instrument of colonisation. Show more

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 5 months

Sam Willis explores the golden age of piracy during the early 18th century and charts the devastating impact pirates had during an age of colonial expansion. Show more

Shipwrecks: Britain's Sunken History

Episode 3: Civilising the Sea

Duration: 60 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 4 months

Dr Sam Willis tells how the Victorians found preventative solutions, from rockets that could fire rescue lines to lifejackets, lifeboats and the Plimsoll Line. Show more

The Silk Road

Episode Three

Duration: 23 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS AfricaLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS Africa

Dr Sam Willis travels west to Central Asia, a part of the Silk Road often overlooked and yet the place of major innovations, big historical characters and a people - the Sogdians. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Director:
Tim Niel
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

The Silk Road

Episode Four

Duration: 23 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS North AmericaLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS South Asia

Dr Sam Willis is in Bukhara where he finds out how goods were sent to the markets of the west, showing how trading methods sparked revolutions all along the Silk Road. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Director:
Tim Niel
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

Invasion! with Sam Willis

Series 1

Episode 1

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Series in which Sam Willis reveals a story of invasion in Britain spanning thousands of years. He fells a tree with a flint axe and gets to grips with Viking boat technology. Show more

Invasion! with Sam Willis

Series 1

Episode 3

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Series in which Sam Willis reveals stories of invasion in Britain. He discovers the French plans to invade Britain by balloon and the subterranean fortress built for troops. Show more

Invasion! with Sam Willis

Series 1

Episode 2

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Series in which Sam Willis reveals stories of invasion in Britain, including the Barbary Corsaire pirates and the tale of King Louis the Lion, who invaded in the 13th century. Show more

The Silk Road

Episode Six

Duration: 23 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS Asia PacificLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS Europe

In the final episode of the series, Dr Sam Willis starts in Istanbul - the ancient city of Byzantium, then his last stop takes him full circle to Venice. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

The Silk Road

Episode One

Duration: 26 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS South AsiaLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS Europe

In the first episode of this series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, historian Dr Sam Willis is in Venice. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Director:
Tim Niel
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

The Silk Road

Episode Five

Duration: 23 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS AfricaLatest broadcast: on BBC WORLD NEWS North America

In this episode Dr Sam Willis continues his journey to Iran. Sam begins in the legendary city of Persepolis - the heart of the first Persian Empire. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Series Producer:
Richard Downes
Assistant Producer:
Jon Morrice
Executive Producer:
Mike Smith

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 9 months

Sam Willis on the history of weapons that have shaped Britain. He charts the impact of gunpowder on the battlefield, from the first cannons to early handheld weapons. Show more

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 9 months

In the final episode, Dr Sam Willis looks at the drive to develop ever more precise weapons on the battlefield, from artillery shells to rifles to the Maxim machine gun. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Director:
Linda Sands
Executive Producer:
John Das
Interviewed Guest:
Jonathan Ferguson
Interviewed Guest:
Peter Johnson
Interviewed Guest:
Mark Murray-Flutter
Interviewed Guest:
Robert Tilney
Interviewed Guest:
Lisa Traynor
Interviewed Guest:
Rob Yuill

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Available for 9 months

Sam Willis traces the history of the weapons that have shaped Britain. He gets a lesson in swordsmanship and finds out what the Bayeux Tapestry reveals about combat. Show more

Contributors

Presenter:
Sam Willis
Producer:
Matt Thomas
Director:
Matt Thomas
Executive Producer:
John Das
Participant:
Hector Cole
Participant:
Jonathan Ferguson
Participant:
Benedict Green
Participant:
Robin Knight
Participant:
Mark Stretton
Participant:
Matthew Strickland
Participant:
Robert Tilney
Participant:
Lisa Traynor