History documentaries

History genre page header
BBC Select is the place to discover so much more about history. Stream a range of compelling BBC history documentaries that explore the people, places and events of the past that shaped our world. Whether it’s the Roman Empire, Nelson and Napoleon, Black history, the story of the Titanic or the Tudors, BBC Select brings acclaimed and award-winning history shows, and featuring experts including Bettany Hughes, Lucy Worsley, Simon Schama and David Olusoga.

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

It’s known by some as the ‘Centre of the World’. Simon Sebag Montefiore charts the rise of Istanbul from pagan trading post to capital of three empires and two religions. This one metropolis has been held by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Each left its mark in its architecture, traditions and in the communities who still populate this vast modern conurbation of 14 million people.

The Boy Who Would Be King

The Boy Who Would be King

Charles II became known as the ‘Merry Monarch’. But was he a sex-obsessed hedonist with no principles, or a brilliant political strategist with a common touch, who saved the British monarchy? This adventure packed dramatized documentary attempts to find the real Charles, who he was, and what shaped him during his 21 years prior to becoming king of England in 1660.

Paradise Soldiers

Paradise Soldiers

As far back as World War One, through Vietnam and up to the present day, young Cook Islanders have served and sacrificed alongside New Zealand in military conflicts and combat. But their stories are largely untold. This fascinating documentary celebrates their contribution to various conflicts, acknowledges their sacrifice in battle and shares their personal stories of bravery and valor.

Union with David Olusoga

Union with David Olusoga

National identity, social class, inequality. The modern fault lines dividing the UK can be found in the nation’s formation many centuries ago. Renowned historian David Olusoga reveals the human stories behind one of the world’s most influential but fragile unions: the United Kingdom. How does the fractured way that the nation formed reflect the issues that the UK faces today?

The Royals: A History of Scandals

The Royals: A History of Scandals

In the last few years, the British Royal Family has been plagued by scandal. But, as Professor Suzannah Lipscomb reveals in this fascinating history documentary, the UK monarchy has always been mired in gossip and intrigue. The role that the media, government and the public have played in generating outrage and spreading scandalous royal rumors is delved into and regal secrets are shared.