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Empire, New 5-Part Series

In this five-part documentary series, viewers will travel to India, the Middle East, Canada, Africa, the Caribbean and the Far East to trace the rise and fall of the once-vast British Empire. Empire reveals the extraordinary characters, burning ambitions and surprising principles which created an empire four times the size of Ancient Rome’s. Examine how the Age of Empire continues to affect political, technological and social developments in the modern world. 

Empire premieres Sunday, April 26 at 7pm. 

Episode #101 – "A Taste for Power"
The premiere of Empire examines the ways in which Britain took and held power in the Empire: from naval might and the use of local troops to a calculated display of imperial pageantry and the cult of monarchy. See how such a small country got such a big head, and how a tiny "island" in the North Atlantic came to rule over a quarter of the world's population. 

Episode #102 – "Making Ourselves at Home"
In this episode, look at how the British created a particular idea of "home" wherever they conquered and settled. Discover how many of the millions affected by imperial expansion learned to see Britain as their home. Journey to India, where early British traders wore Indian costume and took Indian wives; to Singapore, venturing into a club where British colonials gathered; to Canada, with a town whose inhabitants are still fiercely proud of the traditions of their Scottish ancestors; and , to Kenya, where the descendants of the first white settlers - men whose presence came to be bitterly resented as pressure for African independence grew.

Episode #103 – "Playing the Game"
This third installment describes the growth of a peculiarly British type of hero – adventurer, gentleman, amateur, sportsman – and, a peculiarly British type of obsession: sport. Britain spread the gospel of sport throughout the Empire, particularly through its public schools. This "gospel" created the foundation for nearly all of todays' major sports. Plus, travel to East Africa in the footsteps of Victorian explorers in search of the source of the Nile; to Khartoum in Sudan to tell the story of General Gordon - a half-crazed visionary who 'played the game' to the hilt; to Hong Kong, where the British indulged their passion for horse racing by building a spectacular race course; and, to Jamaica, where the greatest imperial game of all - cricket - became a battleground for racial equality.

Episode #104 – "Making a Fortune"
Discover how the Empire began as a pirates' treasure hunt, grew into an informal Empire based on trade, and, ultimately, developed into a global financial network. Travel from Jamaica, where sugar made plantation owners rich on the backs of African slaves and to Calcutta, where British traders became the new princes of India. Then head to Hong Kong, where British-supplied opium threatened to turn the Chinese into a nation of drug addicts, leading to the brutal opium wars, in which Britain triumphed and took the island of Hong Kong as booty. Plus, learn how unfair trading helped spark the independence movement in India, led by Mahatma Gandhi. 

Episode #105 – "Doing Good"
The final episode of Empire tells the story of how a desire for conquest became a mission to improve the rest of mankind, especially in "darkest" Africa, and how that mission shaded into an unquestioning belief that Britain could — and should — rule the world. In Central Africa, travel the footsteps of David Livingstone who, though a failure as a missionary, became a legendary patron saint of the Empire, launching a flood of missionaries to the so-called 'Dark Continent.' In South Africa, learn of the story of Cecil Rhodes, a man with a different sort of mission. Rhodes believed in the white man's right to rule the world, laying the foundation for apartheid. The journey ends in Kenya, where conflict between white settlers and the African population led to bloodshed, torture and eventual withdrawal.

Watch the trailer:


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It seems so much of the fun to visit India. it is an incredible country with so much good for the people.

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I have been watching it every week and it is a superb program. Thank you so much.