Architectural and social historian, writer and Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley will reinvestigate and reveal new evidence about some of British history’s biggest unsolved mysteries in a new four-part series from BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit, co-produced by PBS.
In each episode Worsley will take a deep dive into a single event, mounting a comprehensive reinvestigation by assembling historical and contemporary evidence, following paper trails, re-examining scenes of crimes, tracking down lost records, and calling on the very best experts to help her completely reframe the past. She will reveal cutting-edge discoveries that will shed new light on the cases.
Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley (working title) puts a modern lens on the past, exploring if these incidents have been obscured by centuries of historical thinking. Each episode will bring a contemporary perspective to hugely topical and complex societal issues asking how changing attitudes to children, gender politics, class, inequality and mental health have obscured the answers to these cases. It will uncover new victims and new victors, challenging our perceptions and providing answers to each renowned mystery.
Lucy Worsley says: “I'm thrilled to be revisiting some of the big-hitting stories from history that just keep sucking us in, 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'. But I also 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 2021 ideas about childhood, feminism, pandemics and mental health.”
Abigail Priddle, Commissioning Editor for the BBC, says: “With her enquiring mind and historical expertise, Lucy will strip back the layers of history, to explore these renowned moments afresh in search of a definitive answer to some of our most intriguing historical mysteries.”
Alan Holland, Creative Director The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios Production, commented: “Lucy will do what she does best in this series and tap into the zeitgeist - in this case a huge appetite for the re-evaluation of familiar crime stories with fresh eyes. These are gripping and compelling unsolved mysteries – tales audiences might think they already know, but packed with information and insight they’ve never heard before. She wants us to understand the victims and be challenged on our long-held perceptions.”
Bill Gardner, VP of Programming & Development for PBS, says, “Lucy brings a fresh perspective and attitude to the stories she tells. She goes deeper to ask the questions you wish you could ask and focuses on the story within the story. Lucy gets to the real heart of histories and the legacies they leave in an accessible, engaging way, and we’re thrilled she’s a part of the PBS family.”
Unsolved Histories with Lucy Worsley (working title) is a 4x60’ series for BBC TWO and PBS. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC TWO. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle and the Executive Producer is Julia Harrington. Bill Gardner is Executive in Charge for PBS.