Impossible Factual has completed production on two history documentaries for UK and international broadcasters.

The Lost Scrolls of Vesuvius (60’) has been picked up by Channel 5. The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion (60’) which has delivered to PBS, Arte and SBS and has been picked up by BBC 4 and is set to TX in early 2024.

The Lost Scrolls of Vesuvius with Alice Roberts follows four years of exclusive access to the pioneering work of Professor Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky. Seale uses cutting-edge technology to be the first person in 2000 years to read inside the only library to survive from the ancient world: a cache of hundreds of closed, carbonised papyrus scrolls discovered at the archaeological site of Herculaneum, which was buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 that also preserved Pompeii.

The film is directed by Impossible Factual’s Head of Documentary, Adam Luria, and executive produced by Impossible Factual’s CEO Jonathan Drake and Creative Director Steve Maher.

Distributed by ZDF Studios, international versions of the film have also been produced for PBS, France Télévisions and SBS.

Also distributed by ZDF, The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion uncovers the story of the best-preserved example of Roman Crucifixion ever found. Discovered in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire, it represents only the second case ever confirmed anywhere in the world. With a “groundbreaking” virtual autopsy, a team of on-screen experts piece together who this person was, what kind of life they led in Roman Britain, and why they were put to death in this gruesome way.

The film is co-directed by Adam Luria and Ed Baranski, with Jonathan Drake and Steve Maher serving as executive producers.

Adam Luria, Head of Documentary at Impossible Factual, says, “These documentaries come from our Breaking History strand, showcasing how breakthroughs in modern tech are shedding new light on the past. It’s been hugely rewarding to bring these stories to life on screen and bringing to light new revelations that change the way we understand history. The double commission shows that audiences continue to have an appetite for innovative and compelling factual content with integrity that we at Impossible Factual specialise in. It also gives a taster of the new roster of access-based shows we’ve been working on, with more to come in the new year.”

Jon Creamer

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