Bloody Britain

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History Documentary hosted by Rory McGrath, published by Discovery Channel in 2004 - English narration

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Image: Bloody-Britain-Cover.jpg

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When History Was Really Horrible! Rory McGrath presents an entertaining history series that uses animation to shed light on some of the goriest events in Britain's past. Fresh, innovative, entertaining and revelatory, Bloody Britain combines strong historical research and storytelling with hands-on historical experiments (such as building and firing a trebuchet), an entertaining but extremely passionate presenter and atmospheric and innovative animation. Bloody Britain examines key historical events from ground level – looking at the lives and perspectives of all those involved in these events – king and commoner alike. Action and information-packed, each show is a fascinating and at times squeamish journey through some of Britain's most gruesome and awful, but momentous, historical events. In each episode of Bloody Britain Rory McGrath examines a key event from British history. Whether it's battles, rebellions, wars, plagues, social unrest, betrayal, executions, injustice or mass insanity, we'll concentrate on the mad, sad and bad moments from our past. In short, we'll zoom in on when the past was truly horrible and ask why, when and how these events came to be part of our history. From learning the tactics of the siege, through to troop formations and allegiances of the people, Bloody Britain demonstrates that history is always more interesting when it was horrible. Series Producer: Sophie Theunissen ; Directed by Emma Sayce & Jessica Whitehead ; Produced by Outline for Discovery Networks Europe

[edit] The Peasants' Revolt

Rory McGrath finds out why the peasants stormed London in 1381, learning how they would have fought knights and how many people were beheaded.
The Peasants' Revolt of 1381, one of the most significant moments in British history, shows how newly empowered peasants came within an ace of toppling the monarchy. Using expert analysis and reconstruction, he illustrates the political, social and cultural background to the rebellion, and celebrates the roles those men and women played in challenging the status quo for one of the first times in history.

[edit] Jack the Ripper

Rory McGrath investigates the killings of Jack the Ripper, tracking a villain with a bloodhound to find out whether this method could have caught him.
In 1888, London was a divided city. In the west, the rich led comfortable, pampered lives, but for the thousands of poor crammed into the slums of the east end, life was no party. Many shared one room with six or seven other people. Each night, up to 8000 women and children queued for a place in a lodging house. Women were so desperate they would prostitute themselves for a few pennies, or a loaf of bread. Many of the men who paid them for their services were affluent west end gents, slumming it in the dark, stinking streets of 'outcast London'.

[edit] The Vikings

Rory McGrath travels to Northumberland to learn the story of a Viking raider nicknamed 'Hairy Trousers' and finds out how to fight Viking-style.
The Vikings were the scourge of Britain for almost 300 years. They came on raids from Norway, Denmark and Sweden, murdering, kidnapping and pillaging along the coast of Britain. Records for this period in British history are not completely reliable, because many accounts were written 200 years after the event. But we do have evidence from letters and chronicles written by churchmen and from archaeological finds both here and in Scandinavia.

[edit] The Welsh Rebellions

Rory McGrath learns about an attempt to seize Wales from the English in the 1400s, trying out for himself the weapons and techniques used.
English forces annexed Wales in the 12th century and rebellions followed for the next few centuries, the most famous being led by Owain Glyndwr at the start of the 15th century, who won back territories from England for a while. The uprising caused a great upsurge in Welsh identity.

[edit] The Monmouth Rebellion

Investigating the rebellion of 1685, Rory McGrath travels to Dorset, learns how to fire a musket and takes on a horse in a running race.
Monmouth's Rebellion in 1685, also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion, was an abortive attempt to overthrow the newly-crowned English monarch James II (VII of Scotland). To widespread Protestant dismay, the Roman Catholic James had succeeded his brother Charles II in February 1685. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, claimed to be the rightful heir and attempted to foment uprisings in Great Britain, including one led by himself in the South West.

[edit] The Witchfinder General

Rory McGrath finds out about the savage witch-hunts of the 1640s, learning how to test for a witch and how to protect himself from witchcraft.
The largest witch-hunt in English history was held between 1645 and 1647, led by the self-appointed Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins was a failed lawyer with no real legal qualifications, who made it his mission to rid East Anglia of witches. Witch-hunting really took off in England after Henry VIII passed a statute against witchcraft in 1542. Over the next 200 years, around 1000 people, mostly women, were hanged for practising witchcraft. Across the border in Scotland, they were even more witch-hunt crazy, finding 4000 witches guilty. Unlike their English cousins, these unfortunates were burnt at the stake.

[edit] The Siege of Rochester

Rory McGrath finds out how King John was able to burn down Rochester Castle in 1215 using the fat of forty pigs and learns how to fire a crossbow.
Rory McGrath finds out how King John was able to burn down Rochester in 1215 during the First Barons' War (1215–17). This civil war was between a group of rebellious barons, led by Robert Fitzwalter and supported by a French army under the future Louis VIII of France, and King John of England. The war resulted from the king's refusal to accept and abide by the Magna Carta he had sealed (not signed) on 15 June 1215, and from the ambitions of the French prince, who dragged the war on after many of the rebel barons had made peace with John.

[edit] The Bodysnatchers

Rory McGrath investigates body snatching in 19th century London, travelling to graveyards and learning how to get a body out of a coffin.
During the 17th and early 18th centuries, a grim profession emerged. A growing number of anatomists, keen to improve their medical knowledge, needed corpses on which to conduct dissections, which were often done in 'theatres', where members of the public could pay to watch. Bodies were difficult to come by, as it was only legal to perform a dissection on the corpse of a recently executed criminal. So 'body snatchers', also known as 'resurrection men', made money by digging up fresh corpses and selling them to medical schools and hospitals.

[edit] Bloody Mary

Rory McGrath explores Mary Tudor's murderous reign, learning about various Tudor techniques for torture, and finds out how to burn a heretic.
"A horrible and bloody time." That's how the 16th-century Puritan preacher John Foxe described the reign of Mary I. She was the first-ever Queen of England to rule in her own right, but to her critics, Mary I of England has long been known only as "Bloody Mary." This unfortunate nickname was thanks to her persecution of Protestant heretics, whom she burned at the stake in the hundreds. But is this a fair portrayal? Was she the bloodthirsty religious fanatic that posterity has passed on to us?

[edit] The Battle of Trafalgar

Rory McGrath looks back at one of Britain's most famous military victories, the gory and glorious Battle of Trafalgar.
Imagine being crammed into a ship, with dozens of other sailors that you have lived and worked with cheek by jowl for months, even years. The decks have been cleared, the cannons are prepared and the surgeon’s tools laid out below. There is a feeling of excitement and anticipation. Ships of the British navy surround you, with all eyes on the horizon. There is barely a breeze to fill the sails, so you are slowly floating towards the enemy fleet at walking pace. This is the scene for the decisive battle of the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Spain on 21 October 1805.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
Video Bitrate: 1 520 Kbps
Video Resolution: 718x404
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AAC (LC)
Audio Bitrate: 94 kb/s VBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 23 min
Number Of Parts: 10
Part Size: 211 MB - 290 MB
Source: DVD
Encoded by: GHOULS

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