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"I knew there was an element of danger, but the job had to be done."

Inside Chernobyl Sarcophagus (1996). Deep inside the sarcophagus, a remarkable group of Soviet physicists is at work in levels of radiation that would be considered almost suicidal in the West. [more inside]
posted by Monsters on Oct 4, 2009 - 42 comments

'The Human Animal,' by Desmond Morris

The Human Animal - a brilliant BBC mini-series documentary by zoologist Desmond Morris that takes an extended look at the curious creatures known as Homo sapiens. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Google videos. Beautiful and fascinating.
posted by grillcover on Sep 19, 2009 - 38 comments

Cobra Mk 3

This month marks the 25th aniversary of Elite, the groundbreaking 3D space trading game. The making of Elite. More on the making of Elite from The Backroom Boys. Emulate the original BBC Micro version. The Dark Wheel.
posted by Artw on Sep 19, 2009 - 29 comments

Somalia's refugee camps

Inside Somalia. Mike Thomson of the BBC makes a rare visit to the refugee camps in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 18, 2009 - 11 comments

Goodbye Gastronaut

Keith Floyd, the original Celebrity chef and the most flamboyant of gastronauts, has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 65. Floyd was known not just for enjoying a drink while he cooked, but also for making TV real. [more inside]
posted by Elmore on Sep 15, 2009 - 41 comments

"Oh God, I could do better than that..."

Bored kid on a Friday night in 1974 in the States? The Midnight Special. Bored kid on a Friday night in the UK? The Old Grey Whistle Test! Wha… huh? On a shoestring budget of just £500 an episode, for 16 years the BBC2s OGWT played host to live performances* from some of the most influential musicians of the time at their artistic peaks. Like who? Well, there's… [more inside]
posted by Civil_Disobedient on Sep 9, 2009 - 56 comments

Giants and Spiders and Frogs, Oh My!

As many as 40 new species may have been discovered near the crater of a volcano in New Guinea. Not to alarm anyone but Fearless Giant Rats, Caterpillars that look like Snakes and Fanged Frogs have been spotted and are said to be at large. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Sep 6, 2009 - 49 comments

Murdoch v. the BBC

"If you think you can get fucking angry, I can get fucking angry." [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Sep 1, 2009 - 43 comments

Written by you, for you, for free, for money, for us.

Bigipedia--it's like listening to Wikipedia on the radio--is also available on the web (for those of you whose radios do not support multiple-voice broadcasts).
posted by not_on_display on Aug 11, 2009 - 15 comments

People Like Us -- the documentary series about people, like us.

In 1999 and 2000, and again from 1995 to 1997, the BBC's Roy Mallard travelled across Britain documenting the everyday lives of ordinary citizens--people like us--for a documentary series with the odd title People Like Us, to show that these everyday peoples' ordinary lives are indeed just like ours, or us, and we, like theirs, or them.
Sample episodes in the series: Actors 1234 / a Vicar 123 / Freelance Photographer 123 / The Pilot Episode, which turned out to be the final episode 123 / [Wikipedia] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Aug 9, 2009 - 20 comments

Iran and the West

Three part BBC documentary analyzes and documents the revolution and the long struggle of Iran and the West to come together ever since the revolution. The documentary shows interviews with a wide range of world leaders who reveal the inner dealings of all governing adminstrations from the past thirty years, both from within Iran’s own adminstration and from the Western counterparts.
posted by semmi on Aug 5, 2009 - 8 comments

I'll huff and I'll puff and ...

Vortex Cannon : SLYT "Jem Stansfield builds a vortex cannon to pick up where the big bad wolf failed to blow over a house of brick." More details at the BBC.
posted by bwg on Aug 2, 2009 - 43 comments

BBC4 Documentary: Factory - Manchester from Joy Division to Happy Mondays

'This is the story of how Factory pioneered Briton's independent pop culture, imagined a new Manchester, and blew a shedload of money:

Factory - Manchester from Joy Division to Happy Mondays'
posted by item on Aug 1, 2009 - 33 comments

Senese Challenge From the BBC

Challenge Your Senses
posted by blue_beetle on Jul 31, 2009 - 24 comments

Word is still out on whether or not he could create a corndog too big for him to eat.

Could Jesus Walk on Custard?
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jul 16, 2009 - 44 comments

Beeb Mac

"Working in art film or commercial cinema is like dancing through a mine field, and every broadcaster is now racing down market in a desperate attempt to survive. But what is happening at the BBC is the real scandal: it is bigger than all the rest combined, it is free from direct commercial pressure and its public service obligations carry cultural responsibilities. There are no excuses." Veteran producer Tony Garnett, has launched a blistering attack on the current process of drama commissioning at the BBC
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 15, 2009 - 17 comments

What Musick is there that compar'd may be To well-tun'd Bells enchanting melody!

A thousand echos: Bells on Sunday from BBC Radio 4. Campanology is a dying art, despite having loyal devotees. Evan Davis learns how it's done. Here's a modern introduction to bell ringing; here's something a bit older. [more inside]
posted by Helga-woo on Jul 5, 2009 - 8 comments

Doctor Who and the Terrence Dicks Novelisation of the Earth!

On The Outside It Looked Like An Old- Fashioned Police Box - Mark Gatiss presents a Radio 4 documentary on the Target novelisations of Doctor Who stories. Free Doctor Who eBooks.
posted by Artw on Jun 23, 2009 - 14 comments

North Ustire, South Ustire, Rockall, Malin

Don't want to wait until bedtime (UK bedtime that is) to drift off to Sailing By (one of Jarvis Cocker's Desert Island Discs)? Well thanks to permanent bedtime you can listen to the BBC shipping forecast all day. Oh? What's that? It's no use because it's from months ago? Okay, here's the Met Office current data, and the listen again page on the beeb. Or test yourself: can you name all the weather areas?
posted by itsjustanalias on Jun 19, 2009 - 21 comments

You'd never guess you're an actor, Brian.

Brian Blessed presents Have I Got News For You. [more inside]
posted by permafrost on Jun 12, 2009 - 42 comments

You might as well have said you were going to fly to the moon

The English town of Doncaster has a new mayor. English Democrat Peter Davies was elected on the 8th of June 2009. His first engagement in his new role was an interview with the local BBC Radio station. Listen here (MP3 link) with a transcript here.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jun 11, 2009 - 39 comments

The One O'Clock News from the BBC in 1986

A bad day in the news gallery? Talkback recording of everything going wrong during The One O'Clock News from the BBC in 1986: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. Unless of course, this was a typical day ... "I haven't got any scripts Mike! How am I supposed to run a show?" "Animate quantel or whatever you want to do..." [via]
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 9, 2009 - 12 comments

Mi Vida Loca

Courtesy of the BBC, an award-winning mystery masquerading as a language education program. [more inside]
posted by skoosh on May 25, 2009 - 15 comments

Have You Heard The Hum?

"For decades, hundreds of people worldwide have been plagued by an elusive buzzing noise known as "the Hum". "
posted by Aetius Romulous on May 24, 2009 - 52 comments

Jimmy Smith on the BBC

If you're in the mood for some of that juicy, satisfying, blues-inflected and soulful-as-hell organ jazz served up Jimmy Smith-style, check out these 1964 BBC TV appearances from Smith and his trio: The Sermon, Wagon Wheels, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Uptempo Blues and Theme from Mondo Cane. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 29, 2009 - 16 comments

Stringer and McNulty are coming home!

Blatantly jumping on the opportunity to create yet another thread on The Wire, I'd like to remind you that starting tonight, BBC 2 will air the entire series start to finish, an episode every weekday. First episode starts in a moment, at 11:20 PM UK time. Watch! [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 30, 2009 - 64 comments

He'll have to scrub it off when he gets back...

60-foot penis painted on roof Sorry. I tried to resist posting this, I really did. But you don't see that headline every day. And then I discovered it was not the first. And then I stopped laughing when I read what this "Christian" blogger thought about it. Then I read the subsequent comments and also this page and felt better again. And as a headline it beats all of these.
posted by magpie68 on Mar 25, 2009 - 69 comments

Iron Curtain, Ribbon of Life

When communism crumbled in 1989 it created an opportunity for wildlife. The Iron Curtain that divided communist Eastern Europe from the capitalist West had created a no-man's-land protected by barbed wire and minefields - a last haven for many rare animals and plants.
posted by nam3d on Mar 14, 2009 - 19 comments

The Alchemists of Sound

The Alchemists of Sound: 2003 documentary on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. 1::2::3::4::5::6
posted by vronsky on Mar 5, 2009 - 16 comments

Voyage Of Discovery

30 years ago the BBC celebrated the anniversary of Charles Darwin with the drama series The Voyage of Charles Darwin depicting his life. The whole thing is now on Youtube. ) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 12, 2009 - 7 comments

Beyond Platitudes

Thought For The World is an alternative to the BBC's much mocked Thought For The Day. [more inside]
posted by ninebelow on Feb 12, 2009 - 4 comments

Introversy

Introversy - 2 Many DJs (Soulwax) mixes the intros of 420 songs in 60 minutes. Ad-tastic direct mp3 download link.
posted by empath on Feb 3, 2009 - 31 comments

Can the BBC survive?

A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 29, 2009 - 50 comments

Wobble board, wobble board, I'm so flipping bored

Australia song - Adam Buxton of the Adam and Joe show gives musical tribute to the epically long Baz Luhrmann movie. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2009 - 20 comments

Fair and Balanced

The Disasters' Emergency Committee is an umbrella organisation of 13 major British humanitarian NGOs: ActionAid, the British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tear Fund and World Vision. It was created to coordinate a rapid response to major disasters and to launch common appeals for donations to be broadcast in the British media. Since 1963, the DEC has previously successfully run appeals for the victims of a.o. the Asian Tsunami, the Darfur and Chad Crisis, the Congo Crisis, or the Burma and Bangladesh Cyclones. However, their latest appeal has been refused by the BBC. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jan 25, 2009 - 25 comments

Welcome to Katanga

General Laurent Nkunda is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga who was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post. The BBC believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd has come to his defense, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside]
posted by Pseudology on Jan 11, 2009 - 8 comments

On The Origin of Darwin

2009 marks not only the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species* but the 200th anniversary of his birth as well. To celebrate, BBC Radio 4 presents a special series of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time exploring Darwin's life and work: Episode 1 explores Darwin's unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest, episode 2 focuses on Darwin's round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back, episode 3 looks at the publication of Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred, and episode 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Jan 8, 2009 - 14 comments

glimpses of the African Rock n' Roll Years

Clips from the BBC documentary, The African Rock n' Roll Years - Part 1 l Part 2 l Part 3 l Part 4 l Part 5 l Part 6 - a six-part series mixing interviews with key artists, concert footage and news archives, the series examines and explains the "styles that make up the continent's music, and the political and social pressures that led to their development." BBC documentary details. Found in YouTube member, Duncanzibar's, good collection of mostly African music videos. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 30, 2008 - 9 comments

Neat BBC video color recovery research

Unscrambling an army of colours, reports The Guardian on the BBC's forthcoming screening of a colour-restored episode of the WWII sitcom Dad's Army. Not seen for 40 years and lost in its original PAL video colour format, it existed only as an archive on 16mm b&w film. However, the Colour Recovery Working Group found a way to recover the colour information from "chroma dots": pattern artefacts on the b&w representing unfiltered colour signal. Techie details here and here.
posted by raygirvan on Dec 11, 2008 - 7 comments

Critter Christmas! Forget Lipstick on a Pig!

Move over Alvin & the Chipmunks. The BBC has "been out talking to animals all over the UK to discover exactly what they'd like for Christmas...find out what they had to say here!" [more inside]
posted by ericb on Dec 9, 2008 - 10 comments

Emily loved him...

Oliver Postgate has died. The voice of millions of British childhoods, creator of Bagpuss, The Clangers and Noggin the Nog passed away yesterday after a long illness. I always kind of hoped that God spoke in that voice.
posted by Grangousier on Dec 9, 2008 - 48 comments

Daily Dose.

Concise, bite-size summaries of the wisdom of the BBC's pure and godly Platitude of the Day presenters. With original text and speech.
posted by gman on Dec 5, 2008 - 12 comments

History, Humanity, Philosophy

Human, All Too Human
posted by cthuljew on Dec 3, 2008 - 26 comments

One Pair of Eyes

Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 1, 2008 - 2 comments

Iraqi Clink.

The BBC was given the first look by foreign media inside Baghdad's Rusafa prison.
posted by gman on Nov 26, 2008 - 5 comments

Dufaycolour, Technicolor and Kodachrome

The Thirties in Colour is a four-part series using rare colour film and photographs to give poignant and surprising insights into the 1930s. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 26, 2008 - 15 comments

The Outsider

The Outsider: The story of Harry Partch. BBC Documentary. "...a documentary about the composer Harry Partch who invented his own compositional method using a 43-tone scale and many instruments that he built by hand."
posted by vronsky on Nov 20, 2008 - 15 comments

The Genesis of Doctor Who

"A frail old man lost in space and time. They give him this name because they don't know who he is. He seems not to remember where he has come from; he is suspicious and capable of sudden malignance; he seems to have some undefined energy; he is searching for something as well as fleeing from something. He has a 'machine' which enables them to travel together through time, through space, and through matter." The Genesis of Doctor Who.
posted by Knappster on Nov 19, 2008 - 49 comments

Trouble at' Mill

A Matter of Loaf and Death is the new BBC Christmas short from Nick Park and Aardman. In the mock murder mystery, Wallace and Gromit start a new bakery business, Top Bun. The short, Park's first since 1995, will introduce a new love interest for Wallace, Piella Bakewell, a bread enthusiast.
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 18, 2008 - 33 comments

Not suitable for children, or those of you who may have a nervous disposition

The Kneale Tapes (1, 2, 3, 4) documentary about British science fiction screenwriter Nigel Kneale. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 16, 2008 - 8 comments

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