Filthy Cities

Watch Filthy Cities

  • 2011
  • 1 Season
  • 7.6  (150)

Filthy Cities is a documentary television show that premiered on Discovery Canada in 2011. The show is hosted by historian Dan Snow, who travels back in time to explore the filth and grime of some of history's most famous cities. The show uses a combination of computer-generated images, live-action scenes, and interviews with historians and experts.

Throughout the series, Snow takes viewers on a trip through the history of London, Paris, and New York City, exploring the unsanitary conditions that plagued these cities throughout the centuries. In each episode, he examines the causes of the filth, including the lack of sanitation, overcrowding, and industrialization, and the impact it had on public health.

The first episode focuses on London in the 14th century. Snow immerses himself in the filth of that time, walking barefoot through the mud and grime of the city's streets. He also visits the Thames River, which was used as a dumping ground for waste and was so polluted that it contributed to the spread of the bubonic plague. Snow shows how the city's overcrowding and lack of sanitation led to rampant disease, and how the Black Death killed a third of the city's population in just two years.

In the second episode, Snow shifts his focus to Paris in the 18th century. He explores how the city's population grew rapidly and how this led to overcrowding, which made it difficult to maintain basic hygiene. Snow visits the city's infamous Les Innocents cemetery, where he learns about the gruesome practice of burying bodies on top of each other to save space. He also examines how public health problems led to the French Revolution.

The final episode of Filthy Cities shifts focus to New York City in the 19th century. Snow explores how the city's population doubled every decade, and how this led to poor living conditions and a lack of sanitation. He visits Five Points, a slum that was home to Irish immigrants and notorious for its squalid conditions. Snow demonstrates how the overcrowding and poor sanitation caused widespread disease, including outbreaks of cholera and typhoid fever. He also explains how the problem was eventually tackled through the construction of modern sewage systems.

Throughout the series, Snow uses historical records and expert analysis to shed light on the unsanitary conditions that existed in these cities. He describes the smells, sights, and sounds of these cities, bringing viewers a vivid picture of what life was like in these dirty, unsanitary conditions.

The show is well-produced and offers viewers a glimpse into a world that is now unimaginable. It provides an interesting look into how modern cities developed from the unsanitary conditions of the past. Additionally, the series underscores the importance of sanitation and public health, which are still closely monitored today in most modern cities.

In conclusion, Filthy Cities is a must-watch for any history buff, offering an entertaining and informative look into the unsanitary conditions of three of the world's greatest cities. Dan Snow expertly guides viewers through the filth and grime of these cities, revealing the extent of the sanitation problems, how they developed, and the impact they had on public health.

Filthy Cities is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (3 episodes). The series first aired on April 5, 2011.

Filthy Cities
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Industrial New York
3. Industrial New York
April 19, 2011
Dan learns how just 150 years ago, up to 1,000 migrants a day were ashowing in New York aboard boats from Europe and using CGI he looks at how rancid the living conditions were to which they were welcomed.
Revolutionary Paris
2. Revolutionary Paris
April 12, 2011
Dan discovers how around 200 years ago, Paris was one of the foulest and smelliest cities in Europe. By using CGI he is able to reveal the stinking streets as they were at the time.
Medieval London
1. Medieval London
April 5, 2011
Dan takes a look at what life would of been like in 14th-century London as he attempts to lift the lid on the untold story of the city's squalid past.
Where to Watch Filthy Cities
Filthy Cities is available for streaming on the Discovery Canada website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Filthy Cities on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    April 5, 2011
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (150)