Crusades hosted by Terry Jones (Monty Python) is a 1995 British television series, which examined European Christians’ efforts to take Jerusalem and other cities in the Holy Land from the Muslim Turks. In four episodes, Jones provides a basic understanding of the motivations both European Christians and the Muslim Turks. Its use of dark humor to deal with many of the unpleasant episodes of the Crusades makes the series useful in the classroom. Jones brings all his skills to the presentation of the series: trained historian, writer; comedian all can be seen in his presentation. Additionally, he holds the students attention. Below is the list of links to the programs in the series.
One of my favorite series, it is my go to program on this topic. As a historian myself, I fully understand that the historiography of any event needs to be examined from as many aspects as possible in order to obtain complete understanding of it.
The Day the Universe Changed is a 1985 BBC television series, which aired in the United States on PBS. Written and presented by James Burke, the series postulates a very simple; yet very powerful idea that when what a society knows changes, for them the universe changes. Thirty-five years on, the main theme and its presentation hold up. Burke walks through the advancement of Science and Technology throughout Western Civilization, starting with the Greeks and ending with what was then the present. Along the way, he highlights the main theme, and concludes that increasingly we live in a world in which change occurs quicker than our ability to understand it and is the only constant.
Burke’s argument is one of the main reasons I became a historian. Viewing the series on PBS when it originally aired in the United States, the argument and its presentation made it lasting impression, which is why it has importance today. Available for free at archive.org, the series has had the impact that James Burke intended.