Big thinking documentaries

From modern-day conspiracies to ancient philosophy, BBC Select covers the topics that will get your gray matter fired up. If you live in the US or Canada, you can sign up for BBC Select and watch a collection of mind blowing BBC documentaries.

Magic Numbers

Stream Magic Numbers on BBC Select

Math – love it or loathe it, the universe couldn’t function without it.

In this fascinating BBC science documentary series, acclaimed mathematician Dr. Hannah Fry explores the mystery of math and the wonder of numbers.

She asks if math was discovered, or invented, by mankind. Where does math come from, why is it so important to the modern world and where exactly does infinity start and end?

21st Century Mythologies

Watch 21st Century Mythologies on BBC Select

Hidden meanings. Disinformation. Conspiracies.

Questioning the truth surrounding what we encounter feels like a 21st Century obsession. But Roland Barthes was asking the same questions in the 1950s and his seminal book Mythologies tried to expose mistruths in popular culture.

Historian Richard Clay takes the Barthes approach and applies it to modern phenomena such as money, Wi-fi and the Madonna in this thought-provoking documentary.


Stream Confucius on BBC Select

Over 2,500 years ago, one man devised a way of thinking that still shapes the most powerful and populous nation on earth.

He was Confucius, one of history’s most influential men. But who was he and why do billions of people still follow his teachings?

This stunning documentary explores the life and times of Confucius and demystifies his ideas. We all want to understand China and through Confucius we can.

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms

Stream Secrets of Living: Algorithm on BBC Select

I always knew that math was out to get me.

Algorithms now run everything from search engines to satnavs and security data. They help us travel the world, find love and save lives.

In this groundbreaking documentary mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy tries to demystify the world of algorithms, revealing where these 2,000-year-old problem-solvers came from, how they work, and how they are now so advanced they can even program themselves.

The Joy of Winning

Watch The Joy of Winning on BBC Select

It might not have been your favorite subject at school, but what if math is the secret to your success?

Mathematician Dr Hannah Fry unlocks the essential strategies you need to get what you want.

From the small (how to bag a bargain dinner) to the big (avoiding nuclear annihilation or tackling climate change). How can you game game theory and statistically guarantee yourself a better life?