True Horror

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesday 16 March, 8.30pm

EP3 – DRACULA: Romania, in the15th Century. Three monks find themselves chained to the wall of a dripping cell in the castle of Vlad Dracula, Voyvoyd of Wallachia. More commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, he is most terrifying ruler of Medieval Europe, a psychopathic mass-murderer and the only man who stands between Christian Europe and the advancing armies of the Ottoman Turks. From the outset the monks are tested, climaxing in a trial of brutality in which they are called to answer truthfully whether Vlad Dracula will be warmly received in Heaven. Waiting for them is a forest of wooden stakes, ends rounded to stop them puncturing internal organs, prolonging their gruesome effect. The most appallingly slow, painful death imaginable will be their fate if they choose the wrong response. It was this vicious story that gave birth to the Dracula character of fact and fiction.

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Tuesday 9 March, 8.30pm

EP2 – FRANKENSTEIN: In 19th-century London, two decades before Mary Shelley wrote her acclaimed novel, pioneering scientific showman Professor Giovanni Aldini successfully used electricity to reanimate animals, severed human limbs and the corpses of recently beheaded criminals. But Aldini needed a whole body – a strong, male specimen, very recently killed by asphyxiation – to attempt his most ambitious experiment: a complete human reanimation. Because he wanted to play God. Aided by Mr Pass, the man whose job it was to procure bodies for the surgeons to anatomise, an ideal specimen was identified. A strong young man accused of murdering his wife and child. The evidence against George Foster was flimsy, but Aldini and his assistant were determined to have their good clean hanging. Within the hour, an electrified rectal probe would be applied to try to bring this unfortunate man back to life. The experiment, like no other, would have an extraordinary, lethal climax.