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March 24, 2017 @ 8:28 am

S2.36 Robert III

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For the last century, the problem for Scotland's monarchs was a lack of male heirs. In 1386, there were too many! Robert III was in his fifties and in poor health meaning his first brother, the Earl of Fife, was effectively running the country while his second brother, Alexander "the Wolf" of Badenoch, was causing chaos in the north. Throw into the mix Robert's eldest son, David, with an increasingly independent streak and a spot of bother with the English and it all makes for a tricky time of it! Will Robert III be able to come out on top or will this be another weak reign for the Scots?

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March 10, 2017 @ 7:44 am

S2.35 Robert II

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The accession of Robert II in 1371 marks the start of the royal Stewart dynasty in Scotland. In some ways, Robert had much more going for him than David - plenty of sons, Edward III in his old age (then Richard II in his minority) meant he was able to shore up his position both within Scotland and with England. However, Robert was already in his mid-50s when he became king and his adult sons proved to be ruthlessly ambitious and determined to gain power. Would the first Stewart king win the Rex Factor for starting a new dynasty, or would that same dynasty be the thing to hold him back?

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February 24, 2017 @ 10:56 pm

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

In our latest special episode we look at the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, exploring his life and character as well as some of his most famous projects including the Thames Tunnel, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Great Western Railway and his huge steamships. But will his grandiose ambitions and delight in danger prove his undoing?

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February 3, 2017 @ 7:31 am

S2.34 David II

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After the glories of Robert the Bruce, there was a lot to live up to for David II - which would not be easy, given that he was only a few years old, facing an adult dynastic rival in the form of Edward Balliol and a resurgent England under the mighty Edward III determined to get revenge for past defeats. Throw into the mix a new generation of nobles with little respect for royal authority and a nation ravaged by war and it all amounted to a rather tricky prospect. Could David II follow in his father's footsteps or would it be back to the bad old days for Scotland?

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January 20, 2017 @ 8:22 am

S2.33 Robert the Bruce

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Things have been torrid for Scotland under the rule of England's Edward I, but finally there is hope in the form of Robert the Bruce (and, frankly, in Edward II). Will this legend of Scottish history - the king of Bannockburn and the Declaration of Arbroath - defeat the English and win independence for Scotland? More importantly, will he be worthy of the Rex Factor?

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January 7, 2017 @ 1:04 pm

News and Previews

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We're back! Apologies for the absence but as you'll find out we have a very good reason. Our next episode on Robert the Bruce will be a biggie so we thought it would be better to get a quick episode out to update you on our news, including the launch of our long-awaited merchandise, plus some of your comments and a preview of our most recent special episode on Thomas Becket and as well as one of our new Privy Chamber bonus episodes that are available exclusive to Privy Councillors.

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November 28, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Thomas Becket

The murder of Thomas Becket at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most notorious episodes in English history. But how did this infamous murder come about? In this special episode we take an in-depth look at the quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket that turned to tragedy, going through the whole life of Becket, the friendship with Henry II, who was to blame for the prolonged dispute and who came out on top in the end.

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November 18, 2016 @ 8:59 am

S2.32 William Wallace

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Scotland was a conquered country in 1296, but if Edward I thought the Scots would go quietly then he had another thing coming! Almost from nowhere, William Wallace stepped onto the scene and led the resistance against English rule, becoming Guardian of Scotland. But could this unknown figure defeat Edward and liberate Scotland? Can the real William Wallace live up to the heroic legend of Scottish history? And is any of Braveheart actually true?

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November 4, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)

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In a one-off bumper edition special episode we review Aragorn (AKA Strider, Elessar, etc.), one of the main characters in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. As a special birthday request, we decided to give Aragorn the usual Rex Factor treatment meted out to kings and queens, going over his life and reign before reviewing him by various factors before deciding whether he had the Rex Factor. One of us is a LOTR fan and the other is not, so will Aragorn be able to win both of us over?

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October 19, 2016 @ 5:03 pm

S2.31 John Balliol

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After being chosen to be King of Scots in 1292, John Balliol had a tough job on his hands. He had not been raised for kingship, the nobility were divided and, most worryingly of all, Edward I of England had established himself as feudal lord of Scotland and was determined to make this clear to all concerned. Could Balliol restore Scotland's prosperity and remain independent from England or would the task be too big for him to face?

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