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Empire - Episode 1 - A Taste of Power

Jeremy Paxman asks how a tiny island in the North Atlantic came to rule over a quarter of the world's population. He travels to India, where local soldiers and local maharajahs helped a handful of British traders to take over vast areas of land. Spectacular displays of imperial power dazzled the local peoples and developed a cult of Queen Victoria as Empress, mother and virtual God. In Egypt, Paxman explores Britain as a temporary peace-keeper who's visit turned into a seventy year occupation. He travels to the desert where Lawrence of Arabia is still remembered by elder tribesman that brought a touch of romance to the grim struggle of the First World War and the British triumph in Palestine that led Britain to believe it could solve the world's problems that haunts the Middle East to this day.