The Californian Century

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Omnibus 1/2. 1900 - 19452020030720200228 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the dramatic story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

In this omnibus, the first man to direct a full movie in California meets an untimely end. In 1911, 41 year old Francis Boggs was on the up, a pioneering movie director. But his luck was just about to run out. Also the men who lied and lied and lied again to bring water to arid LA, and the story of the superstar revivalist preacher who was as big as Chaplin – before she disappeared without trace. Plus, the story of the first African American Oscar winner, Hattie McDaniel and the man who hunted Nazis on the streets of LA, Leon Lewis.

Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California, a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

Omnibus 2/2. 1945 - 20202020030820200306 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the dramatic story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

In this omnibus, the genius who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley, right before he became a passionate eugenicist - Silicon Valley's dirty little secret. Also - stories of the Black Panther Party, trailblazing politician Dianne Feinstein, gangster rapper Ice-T and California's longest serving governor Jerry Brown.

Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California, a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

01A Body on the Backlot20200224
01A Body on the Backlot2020022420200822 (R4)

Stanley Tucci imagines the story of modern California as a movie screenplay, tracing the dramatic history of the state from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

In this episode, the first man to direct a full movie in California meets a dramatic end. In 1911, 41 year old Francis Boggs was on the up, a pioneering movie director. But his luck was just about to run out.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

Also in the series, the men who lied and lied and lied again to bring water to arid LA, and the story of the superstar revivalist preacher who was as big as Chaplin – before she disappeared without trace. We'll also hear about the genius who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley, right before he became a passionate eugenicist - Silicon Valley's dirty little secret.

Over ten episodes, Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California: a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

01A Body on the Backlot20200224

Stanley Tucci imagines the story of modern California as a movie screenplay, tracing the dramatic history of the state from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

In this episode, the first man to direct a full movie in California meets a dramatic end. In 1911, 41 year old Francis Boggs was on the up, a pioneering movie director. But his luck was just about to run out.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

Also in the series, the men who lied and lied and lied again to bring water to arid LA, and the story of the superstar revivalist preacher who was as big as Chaplin – before she disappeared without trace. We'll also hear about the genius who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley, right before he became a passionate eugenicist - Silicon Valley's dirty little secret.

Over ten episodes, Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California: a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

02Dark Water20200225
02Dark Water2020022520200829 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the story of William Mulholland and the lies that made Los Angeles possible.,

The founders of LA had a vision of a future megacity. But there was just one problem - it was a virtual desert, with very little rainfall.

William Mulholland was the man charged with bringing water to the desert. But not without a great deal of double dealing and duplicity.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage.

Stanley Tucci imagines the modern history of California as a Hollywood movie, playing a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of the man who made LA possible: William Mulholland

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

02Dark Water20200225

Stanley Tucci tells the story of William Mulholland and the lies that made Los Angeles possible.,

The founders of LA had a vision of a future megacity. But there was just one problem - it was a virtual desert, with very little rainfall.

William Mulholland was the man charged with bringing water to the desert. But not without a great deal of double dealing and duplicity.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage.

Stanley Tucci imagines the modern history of California as a Hollywood movie, playing a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of the man who made LA possible: William Mulholland

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

03The Vanishing20200226

Stanley Tucci tells the story of celebrity revivalist preacher Aimee Semple McPherson who disappeared one day in 1926.

They called her Sister Aimee and she was a powerful figure in the early days of California. Adored by thousands, she embodied the close connection between religion, Hollywood, politics and money.

Right up until she went for a swim one day - and vanished. When she re-appeared weeks later, scandal swirled around Sister Aimee - scandal she could never quite shake off.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage.

Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full truth.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of celebrity preacher Aimee Semple McPherson who vanished.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

03The Vanishing2020022620200905 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the story of celebrity revivalist preacher Aimee Semple McPherson who disappeared one day in 1926.

They called her Sister Aimee and she was a powerful figure in the early days of California. Adored by thousands, she embodied the close connection between religion, Hollywood, politics and money.

Right up until she went for a swim one day - and vanished. When she re-appeared weeks later, scandal swirled around Sister Aimee - scandal she could never quite shake off.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage.

Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full truth.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of celebrity preacher Aimee Semple McPherson who vanished.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

04A Hard Won Oscar20200227

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940.

McDaniel won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind. But the hotel where the awards were being held almost barred her from attending the ceremony.

Her victory wasn't universally celebrated by African Americans either. She was heavily criticised by civil rights groups for playing a role that perpetuated stereotypes and romanticised slavery.

But in those days, you played by Hollywood's rules, or you didn't play at all.

Producer: Laurence Grissell
Academic Consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American Oscar winner

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

04A Hard Won Oscar2020022720200912 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940.

McDaniel won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind. But the hotel where the awards were being held almost barred her from attending the ceremony.

Her victory wasn't universally celebrated by African Americans either. She was heavily criticised by civil rights groups for playing a role that perpetuated stereotypes and romanticised slavery.

But in those days, you played by Hollywood's rules, or you didn't play at all.

Producer: Laurence Grissell
Academic Consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American Oscar winner.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

05The Good Fight20200228

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Leon Lewis who hunted down Nazis on the streets on LA in the 30s and 40s.

With its aircraft factories and shipyards, California consumed ten per cent of the US war budget. That made it a prime target for Nazis hoping to disrupt the war effort.

Leon Lewis swung into action, infiltrating LA's Nazi groups. Meanwhile, California drew in more people and money than ever before, sowing the seeds of its post-War economic success.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Leon Lewis who hunted down Nazis in LA in the 30s and 40s

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

05The Good Fight2020022820200919 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Leon Lewis who hunted down Nazis on the streets on LA in the 30s and 40s.

With its aircraft factories and shipyards, California consumed ten per cent of the US war budget. That made it a prime target for Nazis hoping to disrupt the war effort.

Leon Lewis swung into action, infiltrating LA's Nazi groups. Meanwhile, California drew in more people and money than ever before, sowing the seeds of its post-War economic success.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Leon Lewis who hunted down Nazis in LA in the 30s and 40s

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

06A Twist Of Fate2020030220200926 (R4)

Stanley Tucci continues his history of California with the story of Silicon Valley's troubled founder, William Shockley.

Shockley was the man who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley in the 1950s. He was an undoubted genius. But he was also a hideous boss and an irredeemable racist.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Silicon Valley's troubled founder, William Shockley

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

06A Twist of Fate20200302

Stanley Tucci continues his history of California with the story of Silicon Valley's troubled founder, William Shockley.

Shockley was the man who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley in the 1950s. He was an undoubted genius. But he was also a hideous boss and an irredeemable racist.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Silicon Valley's troubled founder, William Shockley

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

07Acts of Resistance2020030320201003 (R4)

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Kathleen Cleaver, a leading light in the short-lived but highly influential Black Panther Party which was founded in Oakland, California.

Kathleen Cleaver and the Panthers were sick of the compromises of the mainstream civil rights movement. Their militant approach influenced many other activists - including San Francisco's increasingly vocal LGBT community.

But for the US government, the Panthers became public enemy number one - and leading figures like Cleaver were forced to flee.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Kathleen Cleaver, a key figure in the Black Panther Party

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

07Acts of Resistance20200303

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Kathleen Cleaver, a leading light in the short-lived but highly influential Black Panther Party which was founded in Oakland, California.

Kathleen Cleaver and the Panthers were sick of the compromises of the mainstream civil rights movement. Their militant approach influenced many other activists - including San Francisco's increasingly vocal LGBT community.

But for the US government, the Panthers became public enemy number one - and leading figures like Cleaver were forced to flee.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Kathleen Cleaver, a key figure in the Black Panther Party

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

08San Francisco Burning20200304

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Dianne Feinstein, trailblazing Californian politician who took over as mayor of San Francisco in 1978 after the murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone.

Feinstein was charged with the difficult task of healing San Francisco after the brutal slaying of two highly popular leaders - against the backdrop of the further horrors of the recent Jonestown Massacre.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

09On Ice20200305

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Ice-T, the original gangster rapper.

Ice T's controversial hit Cop Killer epitomised the turbulence of 1990s LA, consumed by the outrage of the Rodney King beating.

But Ice himself would go on to play a cop on TV - showing California's talent for absorbing dissidence into the mainstream.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

10Governor Jerry Brown20200306

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Jerry Brown, California's longest serving governor.

Brown is a singular figure in Californian politics, having presided over California from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019.

In a wide-ranging interview, Brown shares his thoughts on California's past and future.

A great source of inspiration is his great grandfather, who came over in the Gold Rush.

But Jerry Brown believes after a century of growth, California must now learn to embrace limits.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of Jerry Brown, California's longest-serving governor.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

111900 - 194520200228

Stanley Tucci tells the dramatic story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

In this omnibus, the first man to direct a full movie in California meets an untimely end. In 1911, 41 year old Francis Boggs was on the up, a pioneering movie director. But his luck was just about to run out. Also the men who lied and lied and lied again to bring water to arid LA, and the story of the superstar revivalist preacher who was as big as Chaplin – before she disappeared without trace. Plus, the story of the first African American Oscar winner, Hattie McDaniel and the man who hunted Nazis on the streets of LA, Leon Lewis.

Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California, a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.

11Omnibus 1/2. 1900 - 194520200228
12Omnibus 2/2. 1945 - 202020200306

Stanley Tucci tells the dramatic story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

California wants to dazzle you with its endless sunshine and visions of the future – but that’s just a mirage. Stanley Tucci plays a hard-boiled screenwriter uncovering the full, sordid truth. He knows exactly where all the bodies are buried.

His screenplays tell the stories of ten women and men who built California. It's a high risk, high reward state. A place where, if you make it, you're on top of the world. But if you don't, there's a long, long way to fall.

In this omnibus, the genius who first brought silicon to Silicon Valley, right before he became a passionate eugenicist - Silicon Valley's dirty little secret. Also - stories of the Black Panther Party, trailblazing politician Dianne Feinstein, gangster rapper Ice-T and California's longest serving governor Jerry Brown.

Stanley Tucci tells the real story of California, a story littered with dead bodies, disasters and duplicity.

Academic consultant: Dr Ian Scott, University of Manchester

Written and produced by Laurence Grissell

Stanley Tucci tells the story of modern California from Hollywood to Silicon Valley.

Stanley Tucci imagines the history of modern California as a Hollywood screenplay.