7.4
31 votes
Secrets of the Dead

Secrets of the Dead

PBS 2000

Sometimes the truth gets carried to the grave. The techniques of modern forensic science are used to investigate a historical mystery to find proof of what really happened.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Secrets of the Dead

Secrets of the Dead - S17E1

#1 - Scanning the Pyramids

8.38

Season 17 - Episode 1

The only one of the seven wonders of the world still standing, the Great Pyramid of Khufu has fascinated people for centuries. Tracing the origin of the legends of secret chambers hidden in the heart of the pyramid, Scanning the Pyramids will show what lies within, solving a 4,500-year-old mystery, by following the first scientific mission in 30 years to be authorized by the Egyptian government to examine the pyramids of Egypt.

The episode was rated from 29 votes.

Secrets of the Dead - S18E1

#2 - Galileo’s Moon

8.20

Season 18 - Episode 1

When it was published in 1610, Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger) set in motion a scientific revolution. Using observations he made of both the earth’s moon and Jupiter’s moons, Galileo proved earth is not the center of the universe. Five hundred and fifty copies of the original treatise were originally printed and roughly 150 are known to exist today. When an original copy with Galileo’s signature and seemingly original watercolor paintings of the phases of the moon believed to be done by Galileo himself came on the market in 2005, Sidereus Nuncius caused a worldwide sensation 400 years after its creation… and again in 2012 when it was proved a fake.

The episode was rated from 15 votes.

Secrets of the Dead - S17E4

#3 - Egypt’s Darkest Hour

8.00

Season 17 - Episode 4

The discovery of a rare mass grave with the bones of nearly 60 people outside Luxor sends archaeologists on a quest to find out who the remains belong to, why they were buried the way they were and what was happening in ancient Egypt that would have led to a mass burial. Could the collapse of the empire’s Old Kingdom provide any clues?

The episode was rated from 15 votes.

Secrets of the Dead - S17E5

#4 - World War Speed

8.00

Season 17 - Episode 5

Stories about drug use by Hitler and German forces during World War II have been widely told. What’s less well known is the Allied commanders’ embraced pharmacological “force enhancers” as well. By 1941, rumors about Nazi soldiers using a “super-drug” identified as the methamphetamine Pervitin were confirmed, and Allied commanders launched their own classified program to find the perfect war-fighting drug. During the war, one in three Allied soldiers were incapacitated without a physical scratch on them. Modern weapons and warfare proved so terrifying that almost as many men were shredded by combat fatigue and shell shock — now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — as by bullets and shrapnel. Allied commanders believed Benzedrine, an amphetamine similar to Pervitin, was the answer, hoping the amphetamine would defeat not just the need for sleep, but anxiety and fear among troops. How this drug affected the course of World War II is an ongoing controversy.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.

Secrets of the Dead - S18E3

#5 - Building Notre Dame

8.00

Season 18 - Episode 3

People often assume they're simply decorative but the gargoyles are vital to the structure of Notre Dame, serving as part of the water drainage system. Still in use today, when the drainage system was built in the Middle Ages, it led to significant architectural advancements for the cathedral.

The episode was rated from 10 votes.

Secrets of the Dead - S16E4
#6 - Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science
7.88
Season 16 - Episode 4

Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. New evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks-some even 1,700 years before him! Of these “inventions” Leonardo never affirmed that his projects came from his original ideas. The film features drawings of his most famous ideas and inventions some of which trace their original creation to ancient Greece while others were a product of the scientific inventions of golden age of Islamic learning. This knowledge seemed to be lost in Europe during the Dark Ages until the Renaissance when Leonardo recovered it.

The episode was rated from 25 votes.
Secrets of the Dead - S12E6
#7 - The Man Who Saved the World
7.82
Season 12 - Episode 6

In October 1962, the world held its breath. On the edge of the Caribbean Sea, just a few miles from the Florida coast, the two great superpowers were at a stand-off. Surrounded by twelve US destroyers, which were depth-charging his submarine to drive it to the surface, Captain Vitali Grigorievitch Savitsky panicked. Unable to contact Moscow and fearing war had begun, he ordered the launch of his submarine’s nuclear torpedoes. As the two sides inched perilously close to nuclear war—far closer than we ever knew before–just one man stood between Captain Savitsky’s order and mutually assured destruction. Set over four hours on October 27, 1962, the tensest moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this program tells the powerful but forgotten story of Vasili Arkhipov and Soviet submarine B-59. With most of the action set in a claustrophobic submarine running out of air, “The Man Who Saved the World” combines tense drama with eyewitness accounts and expert testimony about some of the most critical events in the Cold War.

The episode was rated from 17 votes.
Secrets of the Dead - S16E2
#8 - Van Gogh's Ear
7.72
Season 16 - Episode 2

The night when Vincent van Gogh cut his own ear defines his turbulent life and art. Generations have theorized about what really happened on December 23, 1888, in the French town of Arles, but no one has been clear on the details-until now.

The episode was rated from 43 votes.
Secrets of the Dead - S18E2
#9 - Bombing Auschwitz
7.70
Season 18 - Episode 2

On December 3, 1944, The Washington Post published an editorial on the atrocities in Auschwitz with the headline “Genocide,” marking the first time the word appeared in a national newspaper.

The episode was rated from 20 votes.
Secrets of the Dead - S10E1
#10 - The Silver Pharaoh
7.67
Season 10 - Episode 1

Tanis, Egypt, circa 1939. On the brink of World War II, an excavation team led by French archaeologist Pierre Montet unearthed an intact royal burial chamber containing treasures that rival the riches found in Tutankhamun’s tomb almost two decades before. But while the Tut discovery created an international sensation, the opening of the tomb in Tanis made barely a ripple in a world focused on impending war.

The episode was rated from 18 votes.

Last updated: jan 12, 2022

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