Do you ever wish you could binge-watch your favorite PBS programs? If you’re a member you already can; if not, it’s easy to join. With WTTW Passport, members can watch a huge library of PBS and WTTW programming on-demand on any streaming device. To learn more about WTTW Passport, check out our dedicated site. You can activate or sign up for Passport here.
Each month we’ll bring you a few Passport picks. This March, celebrate Women’s History Month with stories of women forgotten or restricted by history, a trailblazing television pioneer, and a popular discontinued series about women on the home front.
There have been plenty of films and series about World War II, but it’s rare to see the experience of everyday people, especially women, on the home front. Home Fires follows the stories of various women in the English town of Great Paxford as their husbands and sons go off to war, air raids become a regular event, and war looms ever closer to their bucolic village. Although the series was abruptly cancelled last year after its second season, you can stream both seasons on Passport.
Investigate why Home Fires was cancelled while the superficially similar Call the Midwife has prospered, take a quiz to see which character is most like you, and find our recaps of the second season, beginning with the first episode, here.
The wives of history’s most infamous divorcee may be remembered by most as “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,” but Anne Boleyn and her fellow unlucky partners were obviously much more than just an accomplice to a vicious, philandering monarch. Discover their rich lives with historian Lucy Worsley in this three-part series that combines commentary with re-enactment of the drama of King Henry VIII’s six wives.
Because England’s male-dominated society didn’t believe women could write great literature, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë originally published their beloved novels – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall among them – under male pseudonyms. To Walk Invisible, written and directed by Last Tango in Halifax creator Sally Wainwright, chronicles their lives as they write their classics and struggle with the alcoholism of their brother, who was supposed to be the successful artist simply because he was a man.
How accurate is the portrayal of the Brontës in To Walk Invisible, both in their actual life stories and in what they looked like? Compare portraits and biographies here.
Despite his greater infamy, Jack the Ripper killed fewer people than his near-contemporary Mary Ann Cotton, Britain’s first female killer. Using arsenic to poison several husbands in order to collect on their insurance policies, Cotton eventually expanded to other victims, murdering at least thirteen people. Watch her dark descent into crime in this Masterpiece film starring Joanne Froggatt, who you may remember as the maid Anna Bates in Downton Abbey (which is also available to stream!).
Learn about another infamous Victorian serial killer, Chicago’s H. H. Holmes, here.
From her breakthrough on the Dick Van Dyke Show to her era-defining turn as TV’s first independent career woman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Moore had a hilarious and groundbreaking career that forever changed television. Oprah, Betty White, Karl Reiner, and others reflect on her influence and life.