Discovery World HD looks at Filthy Cities, November 17

In the past, sidewalks lined with emptied bedpans and rotting corpses were commonplace in the FILTHY CITIES of London, New York and Paris.

Beginning Thurs., Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Discovery World HD, host Dan Snow goes back in time to medieval London, revolutionary Paris and 19th century New York, to bring these cities’ stinking histories vividly to life.

With extraordinary CGI, historical accounts, and hands-on demos and stunts, this three-part series excavates the murky past in gruesome detail. Find out how each of these modern capitals were forged in the muck of the past, emerging from filthy cities to become three of the world’s model metropolises.

Snow steps into ultimate dirty jobs such as the medieval muck-raker, responsible for clearing tons of excrement from London streets; the pig handler helping to clear the New York streets of waste; and the Parisian undertaker, battling to cope with the human cost of a bloody revolution. Snow also meets with experts to ask the questions that never make it into the history books, and mounts a series of imaginative experiments and thought-provoking stunts to demonstrate the key moments in the fight against filth.


Highlights from FILTHY CITIES include:


FILTHY CITIES – “Medieval London”

Thurs., Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

Snow gets down and dirty in medieval grime to discover how the London known today was forged in the filth of the 14th century. State of the art CGI reveals London’s streets as they were 700 years ago and Snow steps into the shoes of a medieval Londoner – wearing wooden platforms designed to help him rise above the disgusting mess underfoot. He works as a medieval butcher and spends the night as a muck-raker, shifting through six tons of feces. Later, Snow learns from the remains of a plague victim how a catastrophic epidemic helped a new and cleaner London emerge from the muck of the past. 


FILTHY CITIES – “Revolutionary Paris”

Thurs., Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

Just 200 years ago Paris was one of the foulest and smelliest cities in Europe. Snow immerses himself in the world of the French Revolution, a time when ordinary people slaved in toxic industries and suffered grotesque poverty and disease. He visits a perfumer to recreate the stench of the 18th century city; tans leather using dog feces and urine; and gets a rare glimpse of the private rooms of Versailles to reveal some surprising facts about the royal court.  Plus, Snow finds out what happened to the thousands of guillotined bodies that overflowed in the cemeteries of Paris during The Terror.


FILTHY CITIES – “Industrial New York”

Thurs., Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

New York City is the embodiment of the American dream, but for the millions of poor immigrants that arrived there in the 19th century, it was a nightmare. Snow travels back to Manhattan during the throws of the industrial revolution, when the city was one of the most disgusting places on Earth. He meets the parasites that prayed on its citizens; gets his hands dirty to find out just how close the city came to drowning in its own filth; and marvels at the engineering feats that saved the big rotting apple.

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