Nat Geo Reaches For The Stars

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

In this four-part documentary series Reach For The Stars (Friday 10th, 9pm), National Geographic shows the journey of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to date. This includes delving into the motivations behind their satellite launches and the inception of their mammoth Mars ambitions.

The series will combine multiple story threads, from education on astrophysics, space science technologies and engineering, to training and development of the current team (and the teams of the future), global-scale knowledge transference, and an in-depth look at the outcome and implications of the missions.

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Ken Burns’ Civil War On PBS

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

It was the bloody war that changed America. Between 1861 and 1865, brother fought brother as a bitter dispute over Union and State’s Rights exploded into violent conflict. By the time it was over, 620,000 soldiers had lost their lives.

Employing archive photographs, paintings and newspaper images, award-winning documentary maker Ken Burns brings this terrible period in American history to life. Actors read contemporary quotes from historical figures, breathing new life into the words of Stonewall Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and the ordinary soldiers and their loved ones caught up in the fighting. First shown in 1990, and with over 40 major awards to its name, The Civil War (Monday 13th, 7.45pm) remains as compelling and as relevant today as it ever was.

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Sony Movies Classic Marries A Millionaire

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

In How To Marry A Millionaire (Friday 10th at 9pm) , three fashion models use a Manhattan penthouse apartment as their HQ in their mission to meet wealthy men.

This ensemble comedy is powered by three of the mid-twentieth century’s biggest stars: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall.

The three women, who are tired of cheap men and a lack of money, intend to use all their talents to trap and marry three eligible millionaires, but inadvertently end up finding true love into the bargain.

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Smithsonian Meets The Royals

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

The three-part series Private Lives Of The Windsors (starting Monday 13th at 8pm) reveals inner secrets and startling stories behind three pivotal figures in the Royal Family: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Lord Mountbatten. The first episode looks at Lord Mountbatten, who became a World War II hero, whisperer to two kings, and ultimately the last Viceroy of India, who oversaw the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Much of his and his family’s life was captured on film, including home movies of him with famous figures ranging from Charlie Chaplin to Jahawahal Nehru – some of them never broadcast before.

Paired with interviews that Mountbatten gave on camera, personal letters, and military archive, Private Lives Of The Windsors paints a portrait of his unusual relationship with a philandering wife, his mentorship of Prince Charles, and his friendship with Winston Churchill. Lord Louis Mountbatten was a man whose life spanned the end of empire. It would end in an IRA bomb blast in a boat off the coast of Ireland in August 1979.

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SYFY’s Bad Boys

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

It’s one of the definitive action films of the noughties, not just in its own right but for its influence on Edgar Wright’s affectionate rural pastiche Hot Fuzz. Yes, it’s Bad Boys II (Sunday 5th, 9pm)! When detectives Burnett and Lowrey investigate potent new drugs flooding Miami, they end up in the fight of their lives.

Michael Bay’s love of outlandish action has never been displayed to better effect, and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s rapport would have sufficed to carry even a far quieter film. Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle and Joe Pantoliano also feature.

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Nat Geo Asks Where Our Food Comes From

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Behind each bag of chips, can of beer, bar of chocolate, and loaf of bread is a mega-industrial production line that brings that product to the masses. Food Factory (Thursday 2nd July, 8pm) is a mesmerising behind-the-scenes peek into the weird and wonderful processes that produce everyone’s favourite foods.

From fresh ingredients to finished products, Food Factory reveals in awe-inspiring detail just how mass-produced favourites are really made. Put on a hard hat and get ready to meet the food! In the first episode, discover just how much cream it takes to make premium toffee, and what the connection is between ice rocket lollipops and Canadian birch trees.

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An Affair To Remember On Sony Movies Classic

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

A shipboard romance blooms between a handsome playboy and a nightclub singer who are both on their way to meet their lovers in this timeless classic starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, An Affair To Remember, showing on Saturday 4th at 9pm.

Although each is engaged to someone else, Nickie (Grant) and Terry (Kerr) meet aboard an ocean liner and fall deeply in love. They agree to rendezvous six months later at the top of the Empire State Building, but tragedy strikes and the lovers’ future takes an emotional and uncertain turn.

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Stories From Beyond The Grave In The Smithsonian Vaults

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 different museums, 9 research centres, and even a research centre on an island in Panama. But like the British Museum and museums all over the world, it is bursting at the seams and can’t display all its collection. In the Smithsonian’s case it has an estimated 156 million artefacts, works of art and specimens. So, what’s hiding behind the scenes?

Canadian comedian and actor Tom Cavanagh (‘The Flash’, Golden Globe nominee for ‘Ed’) gives an offbeat tour of the Smithsonian’s labyrinthine vaults and cutting-edge labs, revealing some of the amazing artefacts and treasures that visitors seldom see in Stories From The Vaults. From visiting the National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum, to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Tom explores the stories behind some amazing and surprising artefacts – and, in ‘Life After Death’ (Thursday 2nd, 8.30pm), looks at items relating to the afterlife.

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PBS In The Dust Bowl With Ken Burns

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

Acclaimed documentary maker Ken Burns chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the wheat boom of the ‘great plow-up’, followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s, turned parts of eight plains states into a wasteland, and nearly destroyed America’s breadbasket.

Featuring compelling interviews with twenty-six survivors of those terrible times, dramatic photographs and seldom seen film footage, The Dust Bowl (Monday 6th to Thursday 9th, 7.30pm) brings to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. Less than a century since America’s heartland bore witness to barely-imaginable destruction, this powerful documentary highlights our relationship to the land that sustains us, and begs the question: could the same disaster occur all over again?

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Beneath The Waves On Sony Movies Classic

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Das Boot (Tuesday 23rd, 9pm) is set in 1942, during World War II, and follows German U-boat U-96 and its crew, as they set out on a hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic, bent on harassing and destroying British shipping.

German U-boats have begun to take heavy losses and the film examines how these submariners maintained their professionalism and attempted to accomplish impossible missions, all the while attempting to understand and obey the ideology of the government under which they served. It depicts both the excitement of battle and the monotony of a failed hunt for the enemy. Wolfgang Petersen directs, with actors including Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann.

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PBS Meets The Quakers

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Playing an influential role in the religious, social and political life of America, Quakers have been prominent in anti-slavery, civil rights and women’s rights movements, and have also been strong advocates for world peace.

America’s long list of Quaker activists includes William Penn, Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony, among many others. Despite the significance of their social role, members of this denomination have largely remained out of the spotlight – although two presidents, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, came from quaker backgrounds. Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries (Thursday 25th, 8.30pm) charts the rich history of Quakerism, from its founding in 17th century England as the Religious Society of Friends, to its spread to America and beyond, and examines its past, present and future.

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Arnie Back On SYFY

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

1993’s underrated The Last Action Hero (Saturday 13th, 10pm) sees Arnold Schwarzenegger sending up his own screen persona as Jack Slater, a fictional all-action cop whose films are the favourite escape of young Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien). Danny thinks it’s a dream come true when a magical cinema ticket takes him inside the latest Jack Slater film – a hilarious world stuffed with clever nods to all the most ridiculous aspects of the era’s blockbusters.

But the portal works both ways, and soon the sinister assassin Benedict (Charles Dance) has escaped into the real world, where violence has real consequences. Can Danny and Jack save the world when that’s a world without Slater’s usual narrative invulnerability? As well as Slater, Arnie also gets to play himself as the actor who plays Slater in what’s probably the most successful of his occasional forays into comedy.

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PBS Does WWI

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

From 1914-18 the first World War raged. Brutal and bloody, many millions fought and died before Germany surrendered.  Drawing on the first-hand testimonies, interviews, letters and audio recordings of the soldiers themselves, three-part scripted drama series Our World War (Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th. 9.40pm) reveals with eye-witness immediacy their often hidden and disturbing front-line experiences throughout the duration of the war.

From the riflemen and machine gunners of the 4th Battalion The Royal Fusiliers, to the young volunteers fighting alongside workmates and friends in a pals regiment, and a tank commander and crew fighting their way across enemy territory, Our World War captures the terrible reality of combat, bringing the conflict to vivid life and capturing history as seen through the soldiers’ eyes.

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Two Goslings On Sony Movies

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

On Tuesday 16th, Sony Movies brings you a Ryan Gosling double-bill, with the award-winning Drive (9pm), followed by gritty crime drama Only God Forgives (11.05). The Driver (Gosling) is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Though he projects an icy exterior, lately he’s been warming up to a pretty neighbour named Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, Benicio. When Irene’s husband gets out of jail, he enlists Driver’s help in a million-dollar heist. The job goes horribly wrong, and Driver must risk his life to protect Irene and Benicio from the vengeful masterminds behind the robbery.

In Only God Forgives, Julian (Gosling) is a respected member of the Thai criminal underworld, having set up a boxing club which acts as a front for a drugs operation. When Julian’s brother Billy murders an underage prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang – the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, but everyone is in danger when Julian and Billy’s mother turns up to find out what happened to her son. Also starring Kristin Scott Thomas.

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Meet Mr Tornado On PBS

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Twister. Whirlwind. Cyclone. Tornadoes can be known by many names, but they all have one thing in common – they can be deadly. The Super Outbreak of 1974 was the most intense tornado outbreak on record, as 148 tornadoes from Ontario to Alabama damaged thousands of homes, killing more than 300.

Meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore ‘Ted’ Fujita spent ten months studying the aftermath. Extensive aerial tornado study, detailed mapping and leaps of scientific imagination led to a series of meteorological breakthroughs, and revealed such phenomena as ‘microbursts’, sudden high wind patterns that could cause airplanes to drop from the sky without warning. Mr Tornado (June 9th, 8.25pm) on PBS  is the story of the man whose groundbreaking work saved thousands of lives, helping to protect us all from dangerous weather phenomena.

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Sony Movies Gets Groovy With Austin Powers

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Austin Powers, a 1960s secret agent who had been cryogenically frozen, is brought out of his cryofreeze and into the 1990s in Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (June 9th, 9pm) on Sony Movies.

His greatest enemy Dr. Evil, who had also been cryogenically frozen, wakes up in Nevada and steals a nuclear weapon. After realising he’s now living in the ’90s, Dr Evil holds the world hostage for 100 billion dollars. Austin Powers joins up with Vanessa Kensington, his ex-partner’s daughter, and goes to Vegas to look for Evil, stop his plan and save the world.

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Smithsonian Investigates The End Of Mammoths

Friday, June 5th, 2020

In Mystery Of The Ice Age Giants (June 10th, 8pm), world-famous mammoth expert Dick Mol traces the extraordinary history of woolly mammoths from their origins in southern Africa to their extinction 3,700 years ago. Mammoths expanded their territory over the millennia and theirs is a story of one of nature’s greatest adaptations from tropical warmth to extreme cold. But as they specialised in surviving the ice ages, they limited their chances of survival in the greenhouse conditions of a changing climate.

Professor Mol traces this path of evolution and extinction, from the Namibian desert, to the Canadian permafrost, to the ancient steppe of what is today the bottom of the North Sea. Did humans cause a mass extinction, or did these giants fall victim to the rise in temperature? It appears that climate change and the arrival of mankind might have been the deadly combination for the giants, who were not able to adapt to the changing environment in time.

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Triple Peter Sellers On Sony Movies Classic

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Peter Sellers stars in three roles in The Mouse That Roared, (Saturday 31st, 1.05pm) a hilarious war satire about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, who inadvertently stumble across a weapon that could destroy the Earth. The scheming Prime Minister (Sellers), plots with the Grand Duchess (Sellers), to declare war on the USA, lose the war and get that foreign aid.

Unfortunately, they forget to tell Tully Bascombe, commander of their medieval army (Sellers again). Through a series of unbelievable circumstances, this man does his best and wins the war, much to the Duchy’s dismay. Roles not taken by Sellers include appearances for Jean Seberg and William Hartnell.

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67 Squadron On Smithsonian

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Ahead of the 76th anniversary of D-Day, historian and author John Nichol, the former RAF navigator who was shot down and tortured during the 1991 Iraq War, reveals how the most famous bomber squadron of WWII, 617 Squadron, fooled Nazi Germany into believing the Allied invasion was going to be at Calais, rather than Normandy, by creating a fake fleet with their Lancasters.

Using once-classified secret documents and log books, D-Day And The Dambusters (June 1st, 9pm) also chronicles the precision bombing missions that 617 Squadron carried out after they attacked and breached the dams in the heart of Germany that created their legend. These include destroying most of Adolf Hitler’s super weapons: the giant battleship, the Tirpitz, in Norway; a V2 ‘vengeance’ rocket site in France; an underground ‘super gun’ silo, which would have rained huge explosive shells into the heart of London; and a massive ‘mega’ U-Boat facility in northern Germany, which would have produced three submarines every week.

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PBS Explores America’s Housing Failures

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Created in 1970 and bulldozed in the mid-1990s, over the 25 years of its existence Atlanta’s East Lake Meadows was home to thousands of mostly African-American, low-income residents. Soon, however, shoddy construction and a lack of funding had made it nearly uninhabitable.

Drawing upon former residents’ stories, this documentary explores their lives and the struggle to overcome violence and neglect, raise a family, and find work and happiness in such a challenging environment, as public housing in America became increasingly stigmatised and a crack epidemic overwhelmed the area. giving a voice to some of American society’s most marginalised citizens, East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (May 29th, 8.35pm) raises a series of critical questions – and demands answers.

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PBS Versus Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Affecting the minds and quality of life of millions worldwide, Alzheimer’s disease remains among the greatest of medical mysteries. Can its progress be slowed, or its onset prevented completely? In Can Alzheimder’s Be Stopped? (Friday May 22nd, 8.35pm), investigators gather clues in an effort to reconstruct the molecular chain of events that ultimately result in dementia, and we follow the work of key researchers in the field who have helped to develop the leading theories of the disease.

Individuals from all walks of life, including members of a family with a strong genetic predisposition toward Alzheimer’s, describe what it’s like to struggle with the symptoms, while the potential of drug therapies that may help win the war against this cruelly debilitating disease are also examined.

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Sony Movies Classic Sends In The Wrecking Crew

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Secret agent Matt Helm (Dean Martin) is called in to stop a plan to steal over one billion dollars in gold. With the help of the fumbling female agent Freya (Sharon Tate), the two race against time to stop the devious plan of Count Contini (Nigel Green) and his henchmen. The Count is aided by a bevy of women (Nancy Kwan, Tina Louise and Elke Sommer) who attempt to throw the world economy into chaos with the heist. Comedy, action, drama, fights, murders and martial arts dominate the action.

Screening on Thursday 21st at 6.50pm, the film makes a fascinating complement to Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, which was set around the release of The Wrecking Crew.

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Smithsonian Revisits The Pandemic’s Beginning

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

In January 2020, a deadly new coronavirus was spreading quickly through central China. Soon British advertising creative and filmmaker, Yu Kung and his wife, Crystal Liu, found themselves losing their income and locked down in their apartment block in Shanghai. They decided to use their skills to capture the impact of the epidemic and sudden confinement on the lives of their neighbours. The powerful and moving one-hour documentary COVID: Our Lockdown In Shanghai offers a rare glimpse into the lives of a diverse group of people grappling with the same unprecedented situation. It premieres Monday, May 25 at 9 p.m. on Smithsonian Channel.

COVID: Our Lockdown In Shanghai reveals the challenges, tensions and sometimes life-affirming moments among the residents. Scenes of handling stress and developing coping mechanisms turn to surprising moments of affirmation and joy. From the first moments of lockdown to the relief several weeks later, viewers will witness the journey to life after lockdown as they begin to regain a semblance of normality and reunite with loved ones.

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The Babadook chills on Syfy

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

A sinister children’s book haunts a mother and her son in the thriller The Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent on Syfy on Friday 8th May at 9pm.

A widow and her son find life becomes even tougher when they are plagued by a sinister children’s book.

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Alexander Conquers Sony Movies

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

This epic historical drama film based on the life of the Macedonian Greek general and king Alexander the Great is directed by Oliver Stone and boasts an all-star cast including Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto and Rosario Dawson. It screens at 9pm on Saturday 9th.

After defeating the Persian Empire, King Alexander of Macedonia leads his army across the continent, venturing further than any person from his country has ever gone.The story chronicles Alexander’s path to becoming a living legend, from a youth fuelled by dreams of myth, glory and adventure to his lonely death as a ruler of a vast Empire. Alexander is the incredible story of a life that united the Known World and proved if nothing else, fortune favours the bold.

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PBS Unveils WWII Deception

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Allied deception tactics played an important role in the war against the Nazis, and fascinating film The Ghost Army (Friday 8th, 5.50pm) focuses on a group of American GIs whose mission was to conjure up phantom forces to keep Hitler and his generals in the dark.

By means of inflatable dummy tanks, the creative use of sound and various other forms of trickery, this top-secret squad travelled across Europe, creating a stream of disinformation to distract and confuse their adversaries. For decades after the war the work of these men, among them many talented young artists, was kept secret. Now their extraordinary story can be told, with the aid of archive footage, photographs, paintings and sketches, plus interviews with veterans of this very special unit.

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Zazie Beetz, Seth Rogen Enter The Twilight Zone On SYFY

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Have you been watching the reboot of classic anthology series The Twilight Zone, with Get Out and Us director Jordan Peele taking over from creator Rod Serling as showrunner and narrator? Well, the great thing about an anthology show is there’s no arc to follow, no plots wrapping up, so you can still dive in for one of the series’ highlights, the closing Blurryman (Tuesday 28th at 9pm).

Atlanta, Deadpool 2 and Joker star Zazie Beetz plays a screenwriter working on… Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reboot. But suddenly her episode, starring Seth Rogen (who appears as himself appearing in The Twilight Zone) is about her. And who is the mysterious blurred figure appearing in footage from every episode? It’s a tense, metafictional rollercoaster ride to stand alongside the classics from the original run.

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Sam Raimi’s Cult Superhero Film On Sony Movies Saturday

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Doctor Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is attempting to clone body but is disturbed when his laboratory is torched by a gang of thugs, leaving him for dead. Horribly disfigured, he uses his equipment to survive, reinventing himself as Darkman (Saturday 25th, 9pm).

Obsessed with avenging himself on sadistic gang leader Robert G. Durant (Larry Drake), Darkman is torn by his love for former girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand), and struggles to reconcile the two warring sides of his personality.

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Mammals Rise On PBS

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

Some sixty-six million years ago our planet was struck by an asteroid, ending the age of the dinosaurs. In the aftermath, the much smaller organisms that survived this mass extinction – mammals – flourished. An enormous number of mammal species now populate the world, from bats to bears, wolves to whales. How exactly did all these creatures develop from their distant, diminutive ancestors?

Rise Of The Mammals (Friday 24th, 730pm) explains how recently- discovered fossil evidence has increased our understanding of this evolutionary process. In Colorado, fossils concealed within seemingly ordinary rocks provide fascinating insights into how plants and animals evolved in tandem, and offer valuable clues as to how life on earth withstood the most violent of upheavals.

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PBS Scrutinises Jeff Bezos

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Described as ‘the richest man in modern history’, Jeff Bezos is best known as the CEO of Amazon, the company he founded in his garage in 1994. But as well as being phenomenally wealthy, Bezos has built a business empire without precedent in the history of American capitalism, one with the power to shape work, commerce and technology on this planet – and perhaps beyond.

As politicians and regulators worldwide start to consider Amazon’s global impact and how to curb Bezos’ power, Amazon Empire: The Rise And Reign Of Jeff Bezos (Friday 6th March, 8.35pm) interviews current and former insiders, critics and others, uncovering how Amazon came into existence, and raising important questions about Bezos and the empire he built.

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Sony Movies Calls The Expendables

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Barney Ross leads a group of elite mercenaries, including knife enthusiast Lee Christmas, martial arts expert Yin Yang, heavy weapons specialist Hale Caesar, demolitionist Toll Road and loose-cannon sniper Gunner Jensen, in this film which brings together classic action stars from Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren to Jason Statham and Jet Li. 

The group of ‘Expendables’ are commissioned by the elusive Mr. Church with the mission to overthrow and assassinate the merciless and corrupt dictator General Garza of a small island in the Gulf of Mexico. They soon discover the corrupt dictator to be a mere puppet controlled by a ruthless former CIA  agent. It airs at 9pm on Saturday March 7th, with Expendables 2 at the same time on Sunday.

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Smithsonian Channel Now on My5

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Channel 5’s video-on-demand service My5 has had an infusion of quality documentaries with the arrival of Smithsonian Channel’s content on the platform – their first move into British streaming services. Following their recent move up the Freeview EPG, this provides another outlet through which viewers can find hit shows such as Mystic Britain and Black in Space: Breaking the Colour Barrier.

“We are thrilled to deepen our footprint in the UK as it’s been truly inspiring to see Smithsonian Channel’s programming resonate so strongly with international audiences,” said Smithsonian Networks president Tom Hayden. “We remain committed to sharing our powerful storytelling capabilities through premium content across traditional and emerging platforms globally. I am proud that Smithsonian Channel is a pre-eminent voice that viewers can trust around the world.”

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PBS explores AI

Friday, February 21st, 2020

In the last century, the United States and the Soviet Union fought a ‘Space Race’. These days, the battleground is artificial intelligence, and the US is taking on China. At stake is technology with the potential power to change everything.

The development of AI has been compared to the Industrial Revolution – and its impact on our world could be just as dramatic. From how we work and play to how our democracy functions, artificial intelligence has the potential to completely reshape the world that we live in. Documentary In The Age Of AI (25th & 26th February, 8.40pm) traces the rivalry between America and China, and uncovers the potential benefits and pitfalls of this ascendant technology. From problem solving to threats to privacy and democracy, learn how AI could transform our world.

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The French Lieutenant’s Woman On Sony Movies Classic

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Two romantic timelines collide in the classic film based on the John Fowle’s novel of the same name, airing on Sunday 23rd at 9pm. Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons are two actors playing the lead roles in a film exploring a Victorian love affair, but the lines between their real and on-screen lives begin to blur when they embark upon a passionate affair themselves.

A study in the differences between the time periods and an examination of illicit love, this stylish movie set in the dramatic seafront landscape of Lyme Regis was nominated for five Academy Awards and won three BAFTAs and a Golden Globe.

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Smithsonian Looks At How Race Played Into The Space Race

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Smithsonian Channel lifts the lid on one of the great untold stories of the 20th century, a story which casts a radical new light on the Cold War, the Space Race and the battle for racial equality. Black In Space: Breaking The Colour Barrier (February 27th, 9pm) examines the competition between two superpowers to put the first black man in space. 1942 was a crucial year in the Space Race and the Cold War. It was also a crucial year in the history of race relations. It was the year in which two men who would become fighter pilots and later astronauts were born – Guion Bluford in Philadelphia and Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez in Guantanamo, Cuba.

They would be competitors to be the first black man in space and their story is a window into alleged racism in American institutions, the Russian genius for humiliating their Cold War opponents, US relations with Cuba, and the story of man’s experience in space. The film is directed by Laurens Grant, a threetime Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker whose The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution premiered at the Sundance Festival and was named one of the top five documentaries of 2015 by the National Board of Review.

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Sony Movies Classic Goes Stir Crazy

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

After being imprisoned for a bank robbery they didn’t commit, unemployed film writer Skip Donahue (Gene Wilder) and actor Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor) rack their brains to figure out an escape plan.

Fortuitously, one of them discovers an unexpected talent as a rodeo rider, and an escape plan begins to take shape at the annual prisoners’ rodeo. Stir Crazy (Sunday 16th, 9pm) reunited Wilder and Pryor, who had appeared previously in the 1976 comedy thriller film Silver Streak.

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David Starkey’s Valentine To Magna Carta

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Encapsulating the concept of personal freedom, suggesting that political authority requires the consent of the governed, and seeking to balance the rights of the citizen with the needs of the crown, David Starkey’s Magna Carta (PBS Friday 14th, 8.30pm) looks at what remains a document of enormous historical significance.

Paving the way for America’s Declaration of Independence and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was invoked in 1215 to curb the excesses of royal power, as exercised by the profligate King John. Historian David Starkey examines the part played by Magna Carta in bringing everyone – the monarch included – under the rule of law, and how its influence spread far beyond these shores as a universal symbol of individual freedom against state tyranny.

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Smithsonian Visits Jaguarland

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Jaguarland (Wednesday 12th, 8pm) focuses on the largest contiguous wetland in the world, delving into the beautiful mosaic of grasslands, woodlands, rivers and lakes that some of Brazil’s iconic species call home: jaguars, tapirs, caiman, capybara and a stunning array of birds, alongside an astonishing 30 million cows.

The film follows the lives of several jaguars who live within a relatively small area of the Pantanal known as Jaguarland, which contains the highest density of jaguars in the world. Here, these elusive predators hunt caiman and capybara in the lush wetlands and are up to twice the average weight of jaguars elsewhere. The big cats are a major draw for tourists, and whereas they were once considered a threat, the jaguars are now seen by many as a valuable asset enabling ecotourism. Jaguarland is directed by Bristol’s Steve Cole.

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The Hunger Games Come To Sony Movies

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Based on the best-selling literary phenomenon, this is the first film in the globally successful series of movies starring Jennifer Lawrence as the inspiring Katniss Everdeen. Set in a dystopian future where hunger reigns and young lives are used for entertainment, brave Katniss volunteers to replace her sister in a deadly tournament, where the participants must kill their counterparts in order to progress and Katniss must use all of her skills to survive.

Thrilling and chilling, The Hunger Games is a devastating spectacle not to be missed. Also starring Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth and Stanley Tucci. It screens at 9pm on Saturday February 8th.

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One Animal’s Remarkable Story On PBS

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

A newborn wildebeest calf is seized by a lioness. But instead of tearing it to pieces, the lioness bonds with it, sparing its life and later letting it go. This is only the beginning of an epic adventure, and the story of one extraordinary calf’s breathtaking survival.

Separated from its mother, the chances of the calf surviving are slim. But miraculously its cries are answered – and mother and calf are reunited. Together they join the million-strong herd for the great migration in search of greener pastures. But there are hungry predators and many pitfalls ahead. Featuring incredible footage and gripping drama, Survivor (Friday 7th, 7.15pm) invites you to join the world’s greatest land migration, and see nature’s biggest drama through new eyes.

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FX Reunites True Detective’s Pizzolato And McConaughey

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

True Detective creator Nic Pizzolato has signed a production deal with Fox 21 Productions and FX Productions. The latter has also done a first-look deal with Matthew McConaughey, who starred in the anthology series’ first run. And tying all of that in a neat bow, the pair will be working together on a new FX series.

Redeemer, based on Patrick Coleman’s novel The Churchgoer, will star McConaughey as a Texan minister turned security guard, and one far less saintly than his former career might suggest. As with True Detective, the story begins with a missing woman and sees past and present collide and corruption’s tendrils everywhere.

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Fox Orders Sharon Horgan Animal Animation With Lisa Kudrow

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Lisa Kudrow – best known as Phoebe from Friends, and more recently seen in The Good Place – will be among the voice talent of forthcoming Fox animation Housebroken, formerly known as Therapy Dog, which has been ordered to series.

Catastrophe’s Sharon Horgan will write, produce and voice one of the characters in this comedy looking at human dysfunction through the lens of neighbourhood animals. Other voice talent includes American Horror Story’s Clea Duvall, who will also write, as well as Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine Nine) and Bresha Webb (Truth Be Told).

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PBS Goes To Secret Agent School

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

World War Two saw numerous recruits pass through North America’s first training school for espionage operatives, and the skills they were taught would contribute substantially to the defeat of the Axis powers.

James Bond author Ian Fleming claimed to have been among Camp X’s many attendees, and its training manual was penned, ironically enough, by Kim Philby, subsequently revealed to be a double agent working for the Soviets. Other, similar spy schools were to follow, turning out thousands of trained field agents. Observing an archaeological dig at the site where it once stood, Secret Agent School: Camp X (Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th, 8.55pm) offers fascinating insights into the role it played in the emergence of the CIA, and dramatises some of the exploits of its graduates.

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Sony Movies Classic Will Never Forget What’s‘isname

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Continuing the theme of the Best of British film, Sony Movies Classic brings you another channel premiere to enjoy at 9pm this Sunday evening (2 February 2020), with Michael Winner’s I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname.

With a stellar cast, including Orson Welles, Oliver Reed, Carol White, Marianne Faithfull and Wendy Craig, I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname narrates the romantic misadventures of a successful ad exec in 1960s swinging London.

Bored of his charmed life, advertising golden boy Andrew Quint sensationally quits his job, leaves his wife and ditches three mistresses, to try living a simpler existence writing for a small literary magazine. But Andrew discovers leaving the past behind isn’t as easy as he hoped, as the party life keeps trying to seek him out.

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Sony Struts Its Stuff With Magic Mike

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Get ready for some hot moves, some hot music and some hot guys at 9 this Saturday night on Sony Movies!

By day, Mike (Channing Tatum) makes ends meet any way he can, but by night he’s the headliner in an all-male strip group. Mike sees potential in a 19-year-old he dubs the Kid (Alex Pettyfer), takes the teen under his wing, and instructs him in the tricks of the trade. But Mike and the Kid discover there’s a downside to the stripper lifestyle when their lives and romance are affected.

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PBS Revisit D-Day

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Allied invasion of Europe on the 6th of June 1944 has often been described as a triumph of logistics. This bold attempt to gain a foothold in Nazi-occupied France was the culmination of two years of painstaking, meticulous planning.

Utilising data gathered through forensic laser scanning, 3D computer modelling and eyewitness accounts, and focusing on the battle for a vital stretch of Omaha Beach, documentary D-Day 360 (Monday 27th, 8.30pm) vividly brings home the sheer daunting scale of the undertaking. Not even the most carefully laid plans could have guaranteed success. Yet without such painstaking preparation, the Allies’ ability to handle setbacks would have been greatly reduced and the scope for disaster enormously increased. Now, cutting-edge technology enables this incredible story to be told with unprecedented immediacy.

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Sony Movies Becomes Sony Momoa On Monday

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

When a logging company owner takes his family away to their secluded mountain cabin to recover after a tragedy he certainly doesn’t expect more problems. But what awaits them on their wilderness retreat is much worse… Their holiday hideaway has been used by dangerous drug dealers to hide their stash and they don’t take kindly to the family turning up.

Monday 27th at 9pm is the first free-to-air  showing of meaty new action thriller Braven, starring Game of Thrones and Aquaman’s Jason Momoa.

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Classic Comedy With Sony On Saturday 18th

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Tune in to Sony Movies Classic for a day of classic comedy and guaranteed laughs from 8.35am! Films include one of the Marx Brothers’ finest feasts of nonsense, Duck Soup, at 10.20. That’s followed at 11.45 by another great comedy about a fictitious European nation: Peter Sellers stars – thrice! – in The Mouse That Roared, a hilarious war satire about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, whose forces inadvertently stumbles across a weapon that could destroy the Earth. The scheming Prime Minister (Sellers) plots with the Grand Duchess (also Sellers) to declare war on the USA, lose the war, and get that foreign aid. Unfortunately, they forget to tell Tully Bascombe (Sellers again), commander of their medieval army. Through a series of unbelievable circumstances, this man does his best and wins the war, much to the Duchy’s dismay.

Then Peter Potter Jnr. (Bob Hope) heads out West to claim the inheritance left to him by his father, only to discover he has been left nothing but debts in Son of Paleface (3.20pm). The day wraps up with the 1971 film version of Dad’s Army at 5.15pm.

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Smithsonian Tours Stately Homes

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Through the eyes of host Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, viewers will receive an all-access pass to the amazing architecture, aristocratic inhabitants, priceless treasures and best-kept secrets of some of the United Kingdom’s most impressive estates. An all-American girl from Illinois, Julie Montagu moved to London for work, where she met her future husband, Luke. Three months into their relationship, she learned that he was the heir to the Earldom of Sandwich, and upon their marriage, she became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke.

An American Aristocrat’s Guide To Great Estates, starting at 8pm on Tuesday 21st, will follow Viscountess Hinchingbrooke as she visits these lavish homes – from Gloucestershire’s Sudeley Castle to Scotland’s Inveraray Castle to her husband’s own historic family estate in Dorset, Mapperton. Montagu will go beneath the skin of these finely crafted buildings as she discovers the lifestyles of the current owners, staff and craftspeople responsible for maintaining every exquisite detail, revealing what it really takes to maintain such storied estates for future generations.

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