Dan Snow explores the murky histories of London, Paris and New York from the bottom up.
Do you have to dodge the contents of bedpans or step over rotting filth on your way to work? This was once a daily, dirty, occurrence in the great cities of the world.
Watch Filthy Cities and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.
Filthy Cities on BBC Select
Historian Dan Snow delves into the murky past of London, Paris and New York and excavates their grimy secrets in truly gruesome detail. Using state-of-the-art CGI, all the dirt, mess and unpleasantness are revoltingly revealed.
More documentaries you might like...
The story of Napoleon
Explore the story behind the biggest seaborne invasion in history.
Armada: The Untold Story
The fierce naval conflict between England and Spain that changed the face of Europe.
Hitler: A Life In Pictures
Photos and film reveal the public and private life of Germany's infamous dictator.
Rebellion: The Stuarts In Exile
How much threat did the deposed Stuart dynasty pose to the developing British state?
The Ottomans: Europe's Muslim Emperors
The story of the mighty Ottoman Empire and its role in shaping Europe and the wider world.
Last Battle Of The Vikings
How did the Norsemen and their presence shape the identity and culture of Scotland?
The Catacomb Mystery
Can the discovery of thousands of skeletons help unlock the secrets of the Roman Empire?
The Last Days Of Anne Boleyn
What led to the dramatic downfall and violent execution of Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536?
The atrocities committed by a rogue French officer in Africa are still being felt today.
The Most Dangerous Man In Tudor England
The dramatic story of William Tyndale and his mission to translate the Bible into English.
The World's Biggest Bomb
Why did American then Soviet scientists race to explode the biggest bomb of all time?
Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell
Was Thomas Cromwell a corrupt, ambitious politician or has history unfairly maligned him?
How three great explorers unlocked the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians.
Jesus' Family Tree
The traditional view of Jesus and his family is far from an accurate representation.
The Bible: A History
What history's bestselling book can tell us about ourselves and our modern-day beliefs.
What treasures will be found as antique experts appraise the public’s heirlooms?
Christmas Carols with Lucy Worsley
From pagan fertility rituals to World War I, the story of Christmas carols is surprising.
An insight into a secluded royal retreat in the Scottish Highlands.
Who Killed The Princes in the Tower?
Did King Richard III murder two princes to ruthlessly gain the crown of England?
100 Years of BBC News
How has BBC News and the world changed over 100 years?
WWI: The Final Hours
The secret negotiations that ended World War I and changed history
War's Secret Shame: Shell Shock
Using previously unseen archives the hidden story of WWI soldiers is told.
The Quintinshill Rail Disaster
Reinvestigating the deadliest rail crash in British history that killed over 200 people
How the extraordinary ambition of the Normans transformed the history of Europe.
Return of the Black Death
Could 25 medieval skeletons help to eradicate the Bubonic plague?
The Pity of War
Britain's decision to enter the First World War might have been a tragic miscalculation.
David Starkey explores the origins of the Magna Carta
Jack the Ripper - The Case Reopened
Casting a new light on the Jack the Ripper case
Rome's Invisible City
Venture beneath the streets of Rome to explore a hidden city seen by very few
The Hector: Canada's Mayflower
The horrific story of migrants who left Scotland in 1773 to settle in Nova Scotia
A Life In Ten Pictures: Muhammad Ali
Ten photographs show a different side of boxer Muhammad Ali
Relive the drama and danger of the mission to the moon in this thrilling documentary
The Industrial Revolution
Unraveling the mysteries behind the Industrial Revolution in 19th century Britain
Death Camp Treblinka
Those who survived the Treblinka Nazi extermination camp tell their story
Italy's Invisible Cities
The hidden history of Venice, Naples and Florence
Hiroshima: The Real History
It ended World War II, but at what cost? Hiroshima unraveled.
BBC at War
This enthralling series asks, how much did World War II shape the personality of the BBC?
1945: The Savage Peace
Cruelty towards Germans began to escalate after World War II.
100 Days to Victory
How did the Allies turn the tide and win the First World War?
Who Were The Greeks?
Explore the brutal, brilliant and still influential Ancient Greeks
Nature And Us: A History Through Art
In the age of climate crisis, what can art teach us about our relationship with nature?
The Bible's Buried Secrets
Can contemporary historical evidence confirm stories from the Bible?
Treasures of the Indus
Ancient treasures are used to chart the fascinating history of India and Pakistan.
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
Could the Nuremberg trials help shed light on the motivations of leading Nazis?
Edward VIII: Britain's Traitor King
The amazing story of the former British King who may have had Nazi sympathies during WWII.
The Art of Gothic
Why were Brits in the 19th-century obsessed with art that was horrific, macabre and weird?
The Body Beautiful: Ancient Greeks, Good Looks and Glamour
Why were the Ancient Greeks so preoccupied with images concerning the naked human form?
The Silk Road
The world's first superhighway that carried goods and ideas between Europe and China.
The remarkable story of a great thinker who helped to form a nation and shape the world.
The Wild West
What is the truth behind the iconic figures of the Wild West – and what is pure myth?
The High Art of the Low Countries
Size doesn’t matter. How one small region spawned the greatest artists of all time.
Simon Schama's Shakespeare and Us
A Bard’s tale. How Shakespeare united the intellectual and populist like no one else.
Travel on an epic quest through the birth of civilization and the development of humanity.
Ancient Treasures with Bettany Hughes
How did our ancient ancestors, and the amazing treasures they left behind, shape the modern world?
Why were the Crusaders willing to endure pain, death and starvation in the name of God?
Countdown to War
The story of the 3 days between the Nazis invading Poland and the beginning of World War II.
The Six Queens of Henry VIII
Rediscover the Queens who shaped a King & his legacy in The Six Queens of Henry VIII, BBC's new look at the King's infamous wives.
History of Mother Earth: Gaia Uncovered
In space, you can hear the Earth scream... History of Mother Earth: Gaia Uncovered
Nixon in the Den
Was President Nixon a visionary on China? Davin Reynolds investigates in Nixon in the Den
Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley
Hitler's Terrifying Battle of Britain Bombing. Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley, BBC's leading historian
Africa and Britain: A Forgotten History
From slavery to settlement, award-winning historian David Olusoga explores the history of black Britain.
Harry Potter - A History of Magic
They’re the fastest-selling books in history. But what inspired the enchanting world of Harry Potter?
Rome: Empire Without Limit with Mary Beard
World renowned historian, Mary Beard, is back to shatter myths about the Roman Empire.
Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution
Three men rise from obscurity to unleash a bloody revolution that changed history forever.
The Persians: A History of Iran
How was the world's first empire born and what led to its ultimate destruction?
How much can the artistic history of a great city tell us about its character?
Racism: A History
Where did the notion of racism come from and how did such an abhorrent idea develop?
Queen Victoria and her Nine Children
How Queen Victoria's grief changed her as a mother and a monarch
Archaeology: A Secret History
Better living through archeology. How can our past make sense of our present?
Simon Schama's Power of Art
Eight masterpieces. Eight big names who changed the world. An electrifying feast of art.
Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream
The rise of one of the great cities and how it offers a window into power, faith and war.
The Birth of Empire: The East India Company
The world’s first megacorp. How Britain’s East India Company grew into an imperial power.
Royal Cousins at War
It makes The Crown look like Sesame Street. The bitter regal rivalries that led to war.
Genius of the Ancient World
The original free thinkers. The stories of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates.
Genius of the Modern World
Emigres, recluses, enemies of the state. How Marx, Nietzsche and Freud changed the world.
American History's Biggest Fibs
American history is fake, fact? Historian Lucy Worlsey delves deeper into US mythology.
The violence, valor and sacrifices made by the women fighting for their right to vote.
Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners
People as property: historian David Olusoga on the untold stories of British slavery.