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SECRETS 2 Seasons 2013

Join us on a quest to uncover some of history's greatest secrets using today's latest research and techniques.

Original air date:
September 1, 2013

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

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1. The Turin Shroud

The Shroud of Turin: is it Jesus' burial cloth, the oldest photograph ever taken, or a hoax? You be the judge.

CC TV-PG August 4, 2013 47 minutes
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2. The Sphinx

Join Egyptian historians and archeological experts on a mission to decode the mysteries of Egypt's Great Sphinx.

CC TV-PG August 11, 2013 47 minutes
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3. Golden Raft of El Dorado

A 10-inch golden raft may help scientists decode the 500-year mystery of El Dorado and the Lost City of Gold.

CC TV-PG August 18, 2013 46 minutes
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5. Richard III Revealed

Watch as archeologists, scientists, and historians unearth the secrets of England's most notorious ruler, Richard III.

CC TV-PG August 25, 2013 49 minutes
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6. A Viking Map?

Join the investigation of a map that, if authentic, will completely rewrite the history of the Western world.

CC TV-PG September 1, 2013 47 minutes
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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Season year 2013
Network Smithsonian Channel
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Secrets is silly. The information may be first class, but the producers have given us something that's hard to take seriously. First of all, the voice-over is portentious; the most minute discovery is greeted with awe. The word 'centuries' is repeated like an incantation. Oh yeah, this series was made for American audiences and is packed with all the power and drama of Geraldo Rivera's opening Al Capone's airshaft. They manage to make the discovery of Richard III's skeleton seem like the work of a bunch of screwballs. And to be fair, they're probably not all that wrong.

The Hunt For The Tomb was spearheaded by The Richard the III Society, an organization that is run by and composed of two extraordinarily dedicated people: Philippa Langley and Simon Farnaby. Miss Langley is a nervous-looking blonde lady. She calls herself a screenwriter but has yet to write anything and seems to have a lot of time on her hands. Mr. Farnaby is a television actor who has not been over-utilized by the media, let's just say.

Obviously "Secrets" must be paying for some of the uncovering because every expense is spared. This is not a show that throws money around. In addition to plenty of stock footage, they throw caution to the winds when it comes to digging up the remains, utilizing bulldozers to gouge out this archeological rarity. It's only when the earthmover uncovers some human legs that we get the dozers out and the diggers in.

Real investigators take over and carry out chores like carbon dating, DNA testing, and such. Preliminary exams reveal that our skeleton does indeed have a spinal deformity. This is big news because scholars who defend Richard III say that his famous hunchback was just Tudor propaganda.
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This fascinating episode tells the story of the discovery of infamous medieval king Richard III's bones beneath a parking lot in Leicester, UK, in 2012. It appeals to a broad audience--I teach college-level Shakespeare, so obviously appreciated it, but my 10- year old daughter loved it too. It's an effective way to interest children in history, archeology, and science. Two of the most exciting moments are when a historian discovers a Canadian descendant of Richard III, and when a scientist reconstructs Richard's face from his skull. An interesting issue indirectly raised (but not explored) by the episode is why members of the Richard III Society (who seek to prove Richard was really a nice guy, and not the villain Tudor historians and Shakespeare made him out to be) are so obsessed by his story. The Richard III Society spokeswoman in the episode, for example, is devastated to discover Richard really was a hunchback, which seems a strange response to me. Seeing his tortuously twisted spine made me admire him--he must've been in constant pain, but that didn't stop him leaping on a horse and charging into battle. The only criticism I have of the show is the cheesy suspense-building soundtrack, which would be more at home in an action movie or corny reality show. The story is compelling enough without that addition, which dumbs it down.
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Richard III, King of England from 1483 to 1485 has always held a certain fascination for people. In August of 2012, the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society, began an archaeological quest to find Richard’s remains. The world was shocked when the group almost immediately found a skeleton, which indeed turned out to be Richard body. This interesting documentary tells the story of the team’s search, and what they found.

Overall, I found this to be a pretty good documentary. Being only 46 minutes long, it is a rather quick view of the subject. Nonetheless, the stories of the search and the examination of the body are quite interesting and informative.

Sadly, the representatives of the Richard III Society do not add much to the show. Actor Simon Farnaby does not seem to have any real role in the production, while screenwriter Philippa Langley comes off poorly, openly breaking into tears when the historical fact of Richard’s physical deformity is confirmed. I could not help but wonder why she had so much emotion into her imagines picture of a man who died more than 500 years ago.

Nonetheless, it is an interesting show, with a lot of interesting details about the finding of the body, and of what the examinations of it found. And, the forensic facial reconstruction of the face of Richard III was very interesting to see.

It’s a good documentary...not a great one, but a good one.
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The one about Richard III was the only one that wasn't painfully simplistic. In others, there was always a simple question central to the mystery, that when answered, would tell you everything you needed to know. Unfortunately the show would wait the full hour to address the question, and then often tell us an answer couldn't be had. The one about the shroud of Turin was the most annoying. Tests could tell you in ten minutes whether there are protein stains on that cloth -- blood, sweat, skin, tears, etc could be tested for instantly. That would tell you if the picture was made by rotting flesh or if it was drawn on, but of course the Catholic Church would never allow such a thing, so instead scientists carry on these inane tests trying to prove a religious relic is supernatural. I sincerely hope no tax dollars from anywhere were spent on that. The one about the Sphinx was the same, interesting, but they talk to you like you're a child, and same with one on Eldorado. "Why on earth would anyone make something from GOLD and then bury it, or put it in a lake?" I'm guessing they didn't value gold in the same way we do, and it was a religious offering. Duh. That only took them an hour to admit. And is there anyone on the planet who still thinks Columbus discovered the Americas?

The one on Richard was good, but I was kind of shocked at how unprofessional the people involved were. Near the beginning, the English are excavating a small delicate location with an enormous bulldozer, a recipe for disaster. When the skeleton is discovered, a newly employed archaeologist accidentally cracks a huge hole in the top of Richard III"s skull with her pickaxe, and then smiles and laughs about it. I was absolutely, completely shocked. Also with the way the body was treated.
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