A recent deal has seen Foxtel’s The History channel acquire over 66 hours of factual content from BBC Worldwide. The package includes a number of titles which will have their Australian premiere on the channel, along with a raft of WW1 programming to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War.
The Australian premiere titles in the package include Royal Cousins at War, a two part series that looks at the role played by the three monarchs, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and King George V of England. The Greatest Knight, tells the fascinating story of William Marshal, the world’s greatest Knight. In a career that spanned half a century, this English soldier and statesman served some of Christendom's greatest leaders. Plantagenets, explores one of Europe’s most dysfunctional yet longest ruling global dynasties. With wicked uncles and duplicitous queens, the history of the Plantagenet dynasty is one of a powerful, yet feuding family. Finally, Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber is a shocking documentary that tells the story of Richard Paul Pavlick, a man who came within seconds of killing JFK three years prior to his assassination, in an attempt that could also have killed everyone else within 400 meters.
Some of the exceptional history programs in the package which examine the First World War include: Churchill’s First World War, a docu-drama focusing on the darkest hours of one of the 20th century’s most remarkable heroes, combining re-evaluation of the experiences of Winston Churchill in the First World War, and his contributions as Britain’s greatest warlord; World War One’s Tunnels of Death – The Big Dig, uncovering the secrets buried in Messines, the most iconic and dramatic battlefields of World War One, and unearthing the fighting trenches, unexploded bombs and grenades and even the bodies of the men and horses who fought and died there; Last Day of World War One, sees Michael Palin investigate what happened on the last day of World War One, travelling to the Battlefields in France and Belgium and visiting the places where Americans, British, French, Canadian and German troops were fighting as the war came to an end; and First World War from Above, which offers a unique perspective on the scale of the First World War with aerial footage shot from an airship in the summer of 1919, capturing the trenches and battlefields of Europe, revealing the damage and destruction inflicted on towns, villages and the countryside, from the coast of Belgium to the border of Switzerland.
Annette Kollek from BBC Worldwide said ‘As we approach the anniversary of one of history’s most significant events, this package offers The History Channel viewers an exceptional range of programming on the First World War, and highlights Foxtel’s commitment to bringing its audience quality international factual content.’
Jim Buchan, Foxtel’s General Manager, Factual Channels said ‘Once again this is an excellent collection of high quality content from the BBC. It provides a perfect compliment to our own local commissions, activity and commitment to commemorating the centenary of World War One on History.’