The Best Episodes Directed by Charles Colville
#1 - Curing Alzheimer's
Horizon Season 2016 - Episode 9
Horizon investigates a new era of Alzheimer's research, which is bringing hope to millions of sufferers across the world. New scanning and gene technology is allowing scientists to identify the disease at its earliest stages, often 15 years before symptoms appear and the brain cells are destroyed. A series of new drugs trials in Colombia, the USA and Europe are showing startling success in reducing beta amyloid, the protein which is a hallmark of the disease. It is also becoming clear that changes in lifestyle can prevent the development of the disease. A new system inside the brain has been discovered which clears amyloid when we are in deep sleep, but allows it to accumulate if we don't sleep well. The programme reveals that for sufferers in the early stages of the disease, brain connections, or synapses, can be strengthened and even replaced by absorbing enough of the right nutrients. A UK-wide trail helps sufferers in the early stages to concentrate on improving everyday tasks, and in the process not only make their lives easier, but helps to reactivate the planning and organisational parts of the brain. In an ageing world, where the biggest risk of developing Alzheimer's is old age, the scientific breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease are bringing hope where once there was despair.
#2 - Fire
How Earth Made Us Season 1 - Episode 4
Professor Iain Stewart continues his epic exploration of how the planet has shaped human history. Iain explores man's relationship with fire. He begins by embarking on an extraordinary encounter with this terrifying force of nature - a walk right through the heart of a raging fire. Fire has long been our main source of energy and Iain shows how this meant that the planet played a crucial role in Britain's industrial revolution, whilst holding China's development back. Along the way he dives in a mysterious lake in Oregon, climbs a glacier of salt, crawls through an extraordinary cave in Iran and takes a therapeutic bath in crude oil.
#3 - Spin
Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey Season 1 - Episode 2
In this second episode we travel from January to the March equinox. Kate Humble gets closer to the Sun than she has ever been before, whilst Helen Czerski visits a place that gets some of the biggest and fastest snowstorms on Earth.
#4 - Roundhead or Cavalier: Which One Are You?
BBC Documentaries Season 2012 - Episode 99
In the middle of the 17th century, Britain was devastated by a civil war that divided the nation into two tribes - the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. In this programme, celebrities and historians reveal that modern Britain is still defined by the battle between the two tribes. The Cavaliers represent a Britain of panache, pleasure and individuality. They are confronted by the Roundheads, who stand for modesty, discipline, equality and state intervention.
#5 - Henry VIII's Enforcer: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell
BBC Documentaries Season 2013 - Episode 103
Thomas Cromwell has gone down in history as one of the most corrupt and manipulative ruffians ever to hold power in England. A chief minister who used his position to smash the Roman Catholic church in England and loot the monasteries for his own gain. A man who used torture to bring about the execution of the woman who had once been his friend and supporter - Anne Boleyn. Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, reveals a very different image of Cromwell. The award-winning novels of Hilary Mantel began the revival of Cromwell's reputation, and now Professor MacCulloch presents Henry VIII's chief minister as a principled and pioneering statesman who was driven by radical evangelism.