Every great metropolis has its secrets, some tucked away in the annals of history and others hidden in plain sight. Join Smithsonian Channel as we journey back in time to shine a new light on old cities and their history with a new six-part series SEARCHING FOR SECRETS
. Why can’t you climb all the way up to the torch of the Statue of Liberty? What are Notre Dame’s gargoyles guarding? What’s hiding under Singapore’s championship golf course? In this six-part series, we span the globe, visiting the world’s most famous cities and unearthing secret histories full of remarkable stories, weird characters, and surprising anecdotes.
From Paris boulevards to Manhattan clubs to London’s Marble Arch, we travel around the world and back in time to shine new light on old city history. SEARCHING FOR SECRETS’ world broadcast premiere airs on Smithsonian Channel in Canada and the U.S. on Sunday, June 6, at 9pm ET/PT, and Monday, June 14, at 8pm BST in the UK.
Each episode transports audiences onto the bustling streets of some of the world’s most iconic cities to explore their best kept secrets and expose their rich and illustrious history. From the eerie catacombs of Paris to the vibrant cultural hub of London’s West End; and from New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty to the graffiti-covered remains of the Berlin Wall, audiences will follow a cast of local guides, bloggers, and historians as they unlock secret gems with a significance unknown to the naked eye.
SEARCHING FOR SECRETS Episode Descriptions:
- “NEW YORK” – In the series opener, tour the city of New York like never before as we unveil its hidden history, unique characters, and secret stories. Discover little-known stories behind the Statue of Liberty, and other iconic landmarks that famously fill the skyline. Follow our experts uptown, downtown, and underground as they uncover New York City’s wild hidden history. Witness shocking secrets about notable landmarks, gain rare access to a prohibition-era speakeasy revealing the hidden door in the brick wall, climb the torch of Lady Liberty and discover how some huge piles of rock are connected to New York’s grid system and its famous skyline.
- “SAN FRANCISCO” – Why is one of San Francisco’s fire hydrants painted gold? What are two Dutch windmills doing on the edge of Golden Gate Park? And what does one apartment on Telegraph Hill have to do with the CIA, mind control, and the “Summer of Love”? Join us on a one-of-a-kind tour of the city by the Bay as we seek out the city’s most remarkable and surprising secrets, many of which are hiding in plain sight. Our journey includes a bakery made famous by the Gold Rush, landmarks of the 1906 earthquake, the evolution of the iconic LGBTQ+ flag and an inside look at the apartment block once used by the CIA for a bizarre, top secret experiment.
- “LONDON” – Why are London’s black cabs so oddly shaped? How did the city’s first toilets help create the first subway? And what’s the story with the tree dedication at the end of Europe’s busiest shopping street? We send five local experts out to investigate some of London’s surprising secrets, exploring its hidden history found in objects and landmarks scattered throughout the city. Uncovering its fascinating secrets, some hiding underground, others on full display, the team takes a unique tour revealing strange histories involving the Marble Arch, Oxford Street, and more. Uncover its fascinating secrets, some hiding underground, others on full display.
- “BERLIN” – Berlin’s history is complex, full of past glories, shame, and turbulence. What’s hiding on top of the Brandenburg Gate? Why is Indian curry the city’s favorite food? And what do pink pipes have to do with Hitler’s plan for world domination? Seven experts explore Berlin (above/below ground), to reveal its most remarkable & surprising secrets.
- “PARIS” – In this episode, discover how the key to Paris’s revolutionary past is hidden in cobblestones and street design; and find out why you should skip the Eiffel tower and climb the most loathed skyscraper in Europe instead. How did a bridge kickstart the fashion business? What are Notre Dame’s gargoyles guarding? And what dark secrets are the city’s famous boulevards hiding?
- “SINGAPORE” – In the final episode, discover where to get a fine dining meal from world-renowned chefs, for less than three dollars and learn the amazing history of hawker food; and tour Singapore with “Toilet Man” to find out how beautiful gardens and obsessively clean toilets made the city rich. What makes a food court historically delicious? What’s hiding under the city’s championship golf course? And how do toilets make the city rich? Local experts take us on a journey to find Singapore’s most remarkable locations and surprising stories.
SEARCHING FOR SECRETS is produced by Bigger Bang Communications and Saloon Media, A Blue Ant Studios Canada Company, for Smithsonian Channel. Executive Produced by Iain Riddick and Ben Bowie for Bigger Bang; Julie Chang and Michael Kot for Saloon Media; and John Cavanagh for Smithsonian Channel.
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