LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES
Sundays Sept. 4, 11, 25 and Oct. 2, 2022 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV / Watch the first 2 episodes on demand now with PBS Video App
Who killed the princes in the Tower of London in 1483? What actually caused the Black Death? Why did a witch hunt craze sweep through 16th century Britain and America? And was King George III really mad? These are some of the most enduring and perplexing questions that have baffled academics and fascinated history buffs for years. Now the popular British historian Lucy Worsley turns sleuth to reexamine these infamous mysteries.
In each episode, Lucy mounts a thorough investigation into a single event using historical and contemporary evidence and a range of experts to completely reframe the past. Lucy also reveals how contemporary attitudes towards children, gender politics, class and mental health helped obscure the truth of these cases.
LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES uncovers new victors and victims, challenges our perceptions and provides fresh answers to each renowned mystery.
“I'm thrilled to be revisiting some of the big-hitting stories from history that just keep sucking us in,” says Lucy Worsley. “And like everyone who works at the Tower of London, I just can't wait to share the next twist in the tale of what we think we know about the 'murder' of the Bloody Tower's 'Little Princes.’ I really love the fact that this isn't just a series about the past. It's also about what the past means today: an investigation of our own ideas about childhood, feminism, pandemics and mental health.”
Episode 1 “Princes in the Tower” encore Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Lucy tackles one of history’s greatest unsolved crimes — the supposed murder of two young princes in the Tower of London. Was it their power-hungry Uncle Richard who had Edward and Richard killed? Their mysterious disappearance in 1483 and a surprising lack of historical evidence have led to centuries of speculation. If the boys weren’t murdered at the behest of Richard III, who else might have benefitted from their death? Or were they not killed at all, but simply banished? Lucy delves into the period of their demise — the cutthroat era of the War of the Roses — and uncovers a fascinating chain of events leading up to the princes’ disappearance. After conferring with an array of historians who have spent decades trying to crack the case, Lucy ultimately makes up her mind about Richard’s guilt and reveals new insight about the life of a royal child in Medieval England.
Episode 2 “Madness of King George” encore Sunday, Sept. 11 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV - Lucy delves into the madness of King George to ask what we can learn about how attitudes toward mental health were affected by Britain having a so-called ‘mad’ monarch. Lucy examines recently released royal papers and explores the king’s profoundly tragic personal trauma: the death of two of his young children. She also explores the enormous political pressures on George as ruler at a time of political upheaval.
Revolution was brewing in France; an emperor had been murdered in Russia and Britain was facing the imminent loss of the American colonies after nearly two centuries of British rule. Speaking with leading experts in psychiatry, it becomes clear to Lucy that all of these enormous stresses led to his bouts of mental illness, which would now have been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. She also investigates how an attempt on his life by a mentally ill woman named Margaret Nicholson affected the King and eventually led to a change in the understanding and treatment of mental illness.
Episode 3: The Black Death" premieres Sunday, September 25 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - How did the Black Death change Britain? Lucy Worsley examines the latest science and explores how the vast death toll affected religious beliefs, class structure, work and women.
Episode 4: "The Witch Hunts" premieres Sunday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - What started Britain’s century of bloody witch hunts? Lucy Worsley uncovers the story of one supposed witch, whose case lit the fuse for the state-sanctioned killing of thousands.
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Two additional episodes will premiere in Fall 2022!
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LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES is a series for BBC TWO and PBS produced by BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC TWO. The Commissioning Editor is Simon Young and the Executive Producer is Julia Harrington. Bill Gardner is Executive in Charge for PBS.