Secret History (TV series)

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Secret History is a long-running British television documentary series. Shown on Channel 4, the Secret History brandname is still used as a banner title in the UK, but many of the individual documentaries can still be found on US cable channels without the branding. It can be seen as Channel 4's answer to the BBC's Timewatch. The series returned to Channel 4 on 10 November 2013 after a nine-year break.


According to Channel 4, Secret History is the home of single, hour-long history documentaries that shed new light on some of the most intriguing stories from the past. New evidence from excavation, research, and investigation reveal strange, forgotten stories and shed new light on the events we thought we knew well.[1] The programmes challenge accepted views of key events in history. Sometimes concealed, sometimes manipulated by the media, the truth has been submerged behind the headlines and the propaganda. From Roman legions to Nazi television, the series re-examined contemporary evidence, focusing on often shocking first-hand accounts and the ground-breaking views of leading experts.[2]

In 1992, the show won the Royal Television Society award for Best Documentary Series.[3]

Episode guide[edit]

Titles are linked to the main subject of each programme, where possible.

Series 1[edit]

Series 2[edit]

Series 3[edit]


Series 4[edit]

Series 5[edit]

Specials – Indian Summer season

Series 6[edit]

Series 7[edit]


Series 8[edit]

Series 9[edit]

Series 10[edit]

First World War sub-series:

  • "The Crucified Soldier" (4 July 2002)
  • "The War That Made the Nazis" (11 July 2002)
  • "Horror on the Home Front" (18 July 2002)
  • "Dogfight – The Mystery of The Red Baron" (25 July 2002)

Series 11[edit]


Series 12[edit]

Series 13[edit]

  • "The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy" (10 November 2013)
  • "Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser" (17 November 2013)
  • "Finding Babylon's Hanging Garden" (24 November 2013)
  • "New Secrets of the Terracotta Warriors" (8 December 2013)
  • "The Dambusters' Great Escape" (30 March 2014)
  • "Return of the Black Death" (6 April 2014)

Series 14[edit]

  • "The Real Noah's Ark" (14 September 2014)
  • "Hitler's Hidden Drug Habit" (19 October 2014)
  • "WW1's Forgotten Heroes" (2 November 2014)
  • "The Great Wall of China – The Hidden Story" (30 November 2014)

Series 15[edit]

Series 16[edit]

Series 17[edit]

Series 18[edit]

Home video releases[edit]

The Whitechapel Murders was released on PAL VHS by Channel 4 Video in 1996,[8] and later re-issued as part of the Marshall Cavendish part-work Murder in Mind. The Dambusters Raid was released as a region-free NTSC DVD by Delta Music in 2002, and reissued several times subsequently. Prince Philip – the Plot to Make a King was released on DVD by IMC Vision in 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Secret History Retrieved 29 August 2009
  2. ^ Secret History Retrieved 29 August 2009
  3. ^ Secret History Summary Retrieved 29 August 2009
  4. ^ First UK screening of the 1987 documentary written and directed by Graham Shirley. [1]
  5. ^ Originally scheduled for 18 July (the day after the crash of TWA Flight 800) which was replaced with repeat of The Soviet Wives Affair.
  6. ^ Later re-edited for Nova on US PBS as "Faster Than Sound", 14 October 1997, with narration by Stacey Keach rather than Veronika Hyks. "Faster Than Sound." NOVA Transcripts, PBS, air date: 14 October 1997. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  7. ^ "The Secret History of China's Female Emperor". 11 July 2016. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  8. ^ "THE WHITECHAPEL MURDERS | British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved 11 October 2019.