Back in June of this year the BBC did a three part series about the Spanish Armada and how (astonishingly) England wasn't conquered by Spain in 1588. It was billed as "part dramatisation, part documentary" so I was a bit concerned in advance that it wouldn't be my cup of tea. But it turned out to be on the right side of the line for my tastes - a selection of set pieces but mostly a straightforward documentary series.
Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities was a series about the history of Byzantium aka Constantinople aka Istanbul presented by Simon Sebag Montefiore that we watched in December last year finishing just before Christmas. Montefiore seems to be specialising in serieses about holy cities - his previous ones have been about Jerusalem (which we watched before I started writing blog posts) and Rome (post).
The fourth & last programme in Dan Snow's series about the British Navy talked about how we got from the total domination of the seas in the aftermath of Trafalgar, to the on or below par situation in the First World War.
The third episode of "Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World" started in the 1770s when the British had just made peace with the French, and went through to the aftermath of the Battle of Trafalgar (when the British again made peace with the French after a couple more wars).
The second episode of "Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World" started with the defeat of the English Navy by the French in 1690 - still one of the most humiliating defeats of the Navy. At this time the French were the dominant sea-going nation, and the programme covered the recovery of the Navy over the following 70 years until in 1759 it really could be said that Britannia ruled the waves.
Started TV night off last week with the first episode in a series we'd recorded back in February - "Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World". The theme of the series is the history of Britain over the last 400 years, seen through the lens of the Royal Navy.