Explore war and peace on DStv this September

Documentaries on the History Channel (DStv 186) and Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) reward our curiosity this spring.

September’s documentaries on History (DStv 186) and the Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) tackle war and peace, life and death.

As well as memorialising the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in the US, the History Channel marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle Of Britain, and in Warrior's Way, the channel weighs up the most feared military organisations around the world, through time.

Meanwhile on Curiosity Channel, the Hidden series uncovers the beauty in wild places around the world, while the Animal Instincts series explores how animals adapt their behaviour to specific environments to survive. And there are shows that celebrate art and culture and even the innocent fun of blowing stuff up, with absolutely nothing at stake but curiosity.


9/11 Inside Air Force One

This 2-hour documentary reveals what was happening inside Air Force One as it took the 9-hour flight across the US from Florida to Washington DC on the day of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. The documentary draws on interviews with former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff Andy Card, the pilot of Air Force One, Secret Service agents, as well as the intelligence and military aides onboard. A previously classified transcript of the conference call between the civilian and military commanders reveals how they came to grips with what happened during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, how they worked out their priorities and which steps to take next. It also exposes all the missteps made and how underprepared the US was dealing with an attack on their own soil.  
Watch on Sunday, 13 September on History (DStv 186) at 20:15

9/11 Escape From The Towers

Survivors of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, who were on the 81st floor of the north tower and the 77th floor of the south tower, just below the floors that the planes crashed into – talk about what they thought and felt during the attack, and how they escaped the building. The people speaking include a small group of co-workers who united to make sure that a pregnant colleague made it down the 65 flights of stairs to safety, as well as 2 men who carried a stranger down the stairs with them. The documentary captures the confusion, devastation and determination of the day. It also explores the luck it took to survive and the feelings the survivors experienced when they saw the tower they had just escaped collapse into rubble and started wondering whether they’d still have jobs the next day.  
Watch on Sunday, 13 September on History (DStv 186) at 22:05

9/11 Pentagon Special

On September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western face of the Pentagon, killing 125 people in one of the highest-security buildings in the US. This documentary interviews survivors to reveal how some of the highest-trained military experts and ordinary office workers in the US reacted to the attack. It puts a human face on the tragedy, and explores the feelings of survivors who lost entire groups of people they worked with every day. And the 53 innocent passengers aboard the plane that was used in the attack are not forgotten.  
Watch on Sunday, 20 September on History (DStv 186) at 20:15

9/11 The Final Minutes Of Flight 93

Despite terrorists’ plans for a coordinated attack on the US on 11 September, 2001, one plane did not strike its intended target, currently thought to be the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. This minute-by-minute documentary reconstructs what happened aboard the flight as passengers fought back amid the chaos and confusion, and tried to reclaim control of the plane. Previously classified evidence including Secret Service documents, air traffic control transmissions, phone records, voicemails, first-person testimony, and a top-secret audio recording explore Flight 93’s final moments before it crashed in a field outside a small rural town.  
Watch on Sunday, 20 September on History (DStv 186) at 21:15

Battle Of Britain 80: Allies In The Air

Aviation author and historian Ian McLachlan explores some of the forgotten stories surrounding the most famous air battles of WWII, including the role played by the women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and the overseas pilots who fought alongside their allies in the air. Czech, Polish and French pilots joined with the RAF and aircrew from all over the Commonwealth to turn the tide as the German Luftwaffe battered the RAF in the skies above Britain. The documentary focuses on pilots and aircraft from both sides of the battles that raged in 1940, claiming the lives of 14,000 British civilians and almost 5,000 aircrew on both sides. One of the show's key attractions is its in-depth approach to the type of aircraft that were hurled into the battle, and the mechanical drawbacks they suffered in a battle situation.  
Watch on Sunday, 27 September on History (DStv 186) at 20:15

Battle Of Britain: The Race For The Radar

British intelligence went into WWII’s Battle Of Britain fully believing that the Germans were aware of and would target their radar installations around the country. Just before the war, a Graf Zeppelin had been seen flying over the radar towers along the British coastline. Fighter Command tracked their progress, which revealed that the Germans were aware of the entire radar defence network. Now a documentary will expose what happened inside German Intelligence that led to this information never being used. 
Watch on Sunday, 27 September on History (DStv 186) at 21:10

Lost Gold Of WWII S2

Profiteering under the chaos of war has seen many high-ranking military officials using their positions to snatch treasures from their enemies and even their own people. Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita supposedly hoarded hundreds of billions of dollars of stolen gold in Southeast Asia. This season, a new treasure-hunting team will be focusing on 3 new possible hiding places: a waterfall, a crater known as Breach 6, and a recently unearthed tunnel. The show will also explore conspiracy theories linking the missing gold to the CIA and world leaders. 
Watch from Friday, 25 September on History (DStv 186) at 20:15

Warriors Way S1

This documentary explores what life was really like for the men in history’s most notorious armed forces. Each episode looks at the warriors’ greatest battlefield victories, reveals the command structures they worked by, and explores strategy and the unique fighting styles that gave them a tactical advantage in the field. The show will also focus on individual master strategists and commanders like Geoffroi de Champagne of the Knights Templar, Roman legionary Julius Ubius, Scots Rebel clansman Fraser Donnachaidh, Celt warrior Drustan, and Timur of the Mongol horde.

PS: viewers who’d like to explore the issue of accuracy in the battle re-enactments and costuming will find an excellent analysis of episode 4, which focuses on Roman tactics here.  
Watch from Monday, 21 September on History (DStv 186) at 20:15


Y’Africa S1

September is Heritage Month in South Africa, and Y’Africa takes the lead in showing how artists around the African continent are reclaiming and celebrating their own cultures, uniting modern and traditional experiences. Each episode profiles three artists, who talk about their influences, education and vision as they show us through their hometown and reveal how it has moulded them.  
Watch from Friday, 4 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 19:00

Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up S1

Movie heroes might walk away from explosions without looking back, but to science-obsessed psychologist Nigel Latta, that’s a waste of an educational experience. In this series, Nigel looks at explosions big and small, and performs attention-grabbing experiments to explore the fundamentals of science. Across the episodes, he guides us through lighting, actual explosions, weather phenomena, collisions, fire, space, sound and gravity. MythBusters fans can hop aboard immediately with the science fun, and inquiring minds will also enjoy Nigel’s VIP pass to great labs around the world, like the University of Canterbury’s High Voltage Laboratory, where Nigel goes to explore lightning. There’s a little touch of mischief, too, as Nigel explores how electric shocks affect the human body and disrupt our ability to perform tasks, for example…using his friend chef Michael Van de Elzen as a guinea pig. 
Watch from Monday, 7 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 20:00

Genius Of The Modern World S1

Historian Bettany Hughes (a specialist in Ancient Greece) turns the TV spotlight on 3 minds that helped shape our modern world: Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. The documentary series uses each man’s working and personal history to show how their ideas grew out of their society and its ills at the time. With all three men being widely studied, the best part of the series is when experts in their lives take us through their field of research. In the episode on Marx, for example, Terrell Carver, Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, reveals what Marx and Engels’ back-and-forth in the manuscript for The German Ideology says about their work process.  
Watch from Monday, 7 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 21:00

Hidden Series

These nature documentaries explore little-known areas of well-known places. From intimidatingly huge Russia, to relatively tiny Japan, there’s always something to explore off the beaten track.

Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, planning an enormous range of climates. Outside its cities there are jungles, ancient forests and volcanos, and the islands are home to over 130 mammals and 600 bird species.  
Watch Hidden Japan on Wednesday, 2 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 21:00

Russia is the biggest country on Earth, and it stretches from the subtropics into the frozen Arctic Circle, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, marshes to mountains. Russia is home to exotic and exciting animal species, from the polar bear to the Siberian tiger, the Eurasian lynx to the Amur leopard. Much of the country is still wilderness, making it a treat for nature lovers.  
Watch Hidden Russia on Wednesday, 9 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 21:00

There’s more to Spain than its rich architecture and history. Its animals are spectacular, too. In its snowy Northern regions, Iberian wolves still chase the deer. There are wild boars and bears in the forests, and Ibex and Cantabrian Chamois picking their way across the mountains. 
Watch Hidden Spain on Wednesday, 16 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 21:00

Australian wildlife is a byword on the internet for being almost universally lethal. But it’s so much more than that. Viewers who love bizarre creatures should take note as this episode looks at everything from honeypot ants, to echidna and the platypuses, koalas and kangaroos. And there are all sorts of ecological niches to explore – everything from rainforests, to snowy mountains, wetlands, desert and tropical reefs in the sea.  
Watch Hidden Australia on Wednesday, 23 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 21:00

Animal Instincts: Lions – Power of The Pride

East Africa’s savannah is a lion paradise. But it’s still a place where they must fight to survive. From the moment that they are born, cubs are protected and taught by their pride. They learn to hunt, find water and strengthen their bonds within the family group. This documentary explores how lions have adapted to their home in the grasslands.  
Watch on Wednesday, 9 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 20:00

Animal Instincts: Rainforest Home

The rainforest belt that stretches around the globe between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer is home to some of those most curiously adapted animals on Earth. The sloth’s cautious movement and moss growing in its coat make it almost invisible to predators, the Toucan’s strong, heavy bill allows it to crack open fruits that other animals can’t touch, and brightly coloured poisonous frogs get their poison by consuming insects, especially ants, that are laden with toxins. There’s so much to eat in the jungle, but if you want to hold your own, you have to be able to do or eat what others can’t.  
Watch on Wednesday, 16 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 20:00

Jungle Guardian

Jungles concentrate a massive variety of species into a tiny space. This documentary looks at life in the tropics, across central Africa, South America and Asia, and revels in the beauty of the colourful plant and animal species that make the jungles their home.  
Watch Jungle Guardian on Wednesday, 23 September on Curiosity Channel (DStv 185) at 20:00

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