Trending documentaries

Need inspiration for which documentary to watch? See what's on BBC Select, from trending shows about the latest news stories to classic BBC documentaries about history, British royalty, true crime and more. All available to stream in the US and Canada with BBC Select.

Before They Were Royal

Before They Were Royals

What was life like for Prince Philip, Camilla Parker-Bowles and more before they joined the British royal family? This compelling documentary looks at the early lives of various royals before their fame and their acceptance into the monarchy.

Ep 1: Prince Philip: The Bachelor Years

A playboy father and troubled mother led to a difficult childhood for The Queen’s Consort. Prince Philip was constantly by Queen Elizabeth’s side throughout her reign, providing comfort and support. But his life before they were married was rather more colorful. The Queen’s Consort had a playboy father, a troubled mother, and a highly turbulent childhood. But it was during these formative years that he made a connection that would soon blossom into a royal romance.

Ep 2: Camilla: Making of a Mistress

The colorful story of the woman for whom Prince Charles risked everything. She was once one of the most hated women in Britain. Now she is a beloved member of the royal family.The former Camilla Parker Bowles’ journey from royal mistress to Queen Consort has been a dramatic one. Who is the woman for whom Charles risked everything and why did her relationship with the future king mysteriously falter and turn into an affair that sparked frenzied media speculation?

Ep 3: Wallis Simpson: Femme Fatale

She was the woman who made a British King give up the throne, but what was her agenda? In 1931, Wallis Simpson met Edward, the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. At that moment, she was on course to change history. Tw ice divorced, Edward’s subsequent engagement to Wallis led to a constitutional crisis and his abdication of the crown. But was Mrs. Simpson a scheming seductress or a clever, well-meaning woman who was simply unlucky in love?

Ep 4: Princess Alice

The amazing story of the Queen’s mother-in-law who risked her life fighting the Nazis. A great granddaughter to Queen Victoria, and mother to Prince Philip, the extraordinary story of Princess Alice is rarely told. From her struggles with mental illness, to her remarkable humanitarian work, she was a woman who refused to fit in
the royal mold. She was defined by her generosity, risking her life to shelter Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Greece. Why is her story not better known?

Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story

Stream Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story on BBC Select

Ron Jeremy was an adult-film performer who appeared in thousands of films; a porn star who crossed over into the mainstream, rubbing shoulders with movies stars.

But in June 2020, he was charged with numerous counts of rape and sexual assault against 21 women.

Featuring exclusive interviews with the alleged victims, this two-part documentary provides a rare insight into the world of the adult film industry, revealing the inside story of Ron Jeremy’s 40-year career and how his alleged crimes came to light.

Episode 1: Rise to Fame

Ron Jeremy’s rise to fame in the ‘golden age’ of the 1970’s porn industry. This is the story of how a fairly unattractive, unassuming figure became an icon in the adult film industry and the power he was able to exert. The first part of this compelling documentary charts Ron Jeremy’s rise to fame during the ‘golden age of porn’ in the 1970s. Rumors of his sexual crimes were circulating even then, but nothing was said or done. Now his alleged victims tell their story.

Episode 2: Downfall and Disgrace

The past catches up with former porn star Ron Jeremy as his alleged crimes are revealed. Ron Jeremy crossed over from the world of adult entertainment into the mainstream. He was a household name with famous Hollywood friends, a reality TVs how and even his own range of rum. But Jeremy’s former actions were about to catch up with him.

The conclusion of this disturbing documentary reveals how the porn star’s alleged crimes were eventually brought to light and his downfall was assured.

Louis Theroux: Forbidden America

Louis Theroux Forbidden America on BBC Select

Travelling across the United States, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux sees how the internet and social media has impacted some of the most controversial corners of American society. From those promoting far-right ideas, those in a violent and chaotic rap scene and adult film performers claiming victimization by the industry. All use the internet to reach their audience, all push the boundaries of acceptability.

The Six Queens of Henry VIII

Stream The Six Queens of Henry VIII on BBC Select

He wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon to be annulled by the Pope, but the Catholic Church wouldn’t allow it. So Henry VIII embarked on establishing the Church of England in what is now known as the English Reformation.

Henry VIII’s reign was defined by his marriages. Coercion, manipulation and ultimately murder were all employed, as this absorbing BBC Select history documentary reveals.

Wives were selected and discarded for political and religious reasons and in a desperate attempt to sire an heir. This fascinating documentary uncovers the passions that created Henry VIII’s six wives, the obsessions that darkened them and the betrayals that brought them to an end. Dan Jones and Suzannah Lipscomb ask what these turbulent relationships tell us about England’s legendary king.

Rise of the Nazis

Watch the Rise of the Nazis on BBC Select

Stream Rise of the Nazis Season 1 and 2 on BBC Select. This in-depth BBC World War II documentary series examines how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power in 1930s Germany and how they brutally retained control and destroyed democracy.

Rise of the Nazis Season One explores the missed opportunities to stop Hitler prior to World War 2 and takes us inside the minds of those that fought against fascism and the Nazis themselves.

Rise of the Nazis Season Two begins in 1940. Hitler’s plan for world domination appeared to be gaining momentum. Countries have fallen and enemies were vanquished with ease.

But his decision to open an Eastern Front and attack Russia was the beginning of the end for the Nazis and World War 2. Rise of the Nazis explores why Hitler’s plans changed and the disastrous consequences of the Nazi’s actions.

With contributions from historians and experts, Rise of the Nazis BBC docu-drama series provides a fresh perspective on Hitler’s leadership and the crimes committed during his reign.

Rise of the Nazis Season 1:

Episode 1 – Politics

The Nazis used political maneuvering, blatant power grabs, and brute force to realize their evil ends. Hitler knew that only by looking like a legitimate electable party could he begin to destroy Germany’s democracy from within. The nation’s politicians failed to appreciate the diabolical pact they were making with the leader of the Nazis, which would lead to their ultimate destruction.

Episode 2 – The First Six Months in Power

At the start of 1933, Hitler was chancellor of Germany, but he wanted to increase his stranglehold on power. So he set his sights on dismantling the German state from within. As his political maneuvering increased, the building of secret death camps began, designed to silence his critics. As opposition was violently quashed, the SS grew in strength and a dictatorship began to take hold.

Episode 3 – Night of the Long Knives

The brutality of Hitler and his overwhelming lust for power are soon on display as he continues to destroy Germany’s democracy from within. Members of the aristocratic elite are still in positions of power, but soon the Nazis and their violent stormtrooper hordes silence even the slightest criticism. Even those closest to Hitler realize that he cannot be trusted and everyone is expendable.

Rise of the Nazis Season 2:

Episode 1 – Double Cross

In 1941, Hitler’s vision of a Nazi dominated world was coming into focus. He was winning the war and Germany’s forces were rolling across Europe. A pact with Russian leader Stalin appeared to make Hitler invincible. But he soon double-crossed his new allies and prepared to attack, leading to some of the war’s most brutal combat. This documentary investigates why Hitler made this disastrous choice.

Episode 2 – Final Showdown

It’s 1942, and Hitler has just lost the Battle of Moscow. Furious at this defeat, he takes charge of his armed forces. Meanwhile, Stalin plans a huge offensive against the Nazis. He’s warned against such action, and he too dismisses his top military brass. Now both dictators are in sole charge of their own destinies. In Stalin, Hitler had met his match and it was now a fight to the death.

Episode 3 – All is Lost

Hitler attempted to outflank and outthink Stalin, but ultimately lost. Defeated, he retreated from public view as his inner circle vied for power around him. Elsewhere in Germany, the mood also changed. A daring assassination plot nearly killed Hitler, while students attempting to form resistance groups against the Nazis paid a devastating price for their actions.