The Evolution of Evil

Watch The Evolution of Evil

  • 2017
  • 1 Season

The Evolution of Evil is a gripping and thought-provoking documentary series from MagellanTV, narrated by the seasoned journalist and presenter Alisdair Simpson. The series is focused on exploring the origins and progression of the most infamous and heinous individuals and groups in history, from dictators and mass murderers to cult leaders and terrorists.

The show delves deep into the psyche of the subjects it examines, offering insights into the sociopolitical and psychological factors that contributed to their rise to power and their reigns of terror. Using a combination of archival footage, interviews with experts and insiders, and detailed historical context, the series provides a comprehensive and fascinating look at how evil can evolve and take hold in a society.

Each episode of The Evolution of Evil tackles a different figure or group, ranging from Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin to Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden, and Jim Jones. The show begins by examining the early lives of these individuals, exploring the formative experiences and circumstances that helped shape their worldviews and ambition.

From there, the series follows the evolution of these figures as they ascend to power, tracing the key moments and decisions that allowed them to consolidate their control and inflict unprecedented levels of harm and suffering on their fellow humans. Along the way, the show touches on themes such as propaganda, indoctrination, and the nature of power itself.

One of the aspects that sets The Evolution of Evil apart from other documentaries about infamous historical figures and groups is its emphasis on the broader societal and historical context that contributed to their rise. Rather than viewing these individuals in isolation, the show recognizes the intricate webs of political, societal, and cultural forces that enabled them to take power and carry out their destructive agendas.

At the same time, the series is unflinching in its exploration of the atrocities committed by these figures and the terrible toll they exacted on countless individuals and communities. The show never shies away from the horror and tragedy that these individuals and groups wrought, making for a sobering and at times emotionally challenging viewing experience.

Throughout the series, Alisdair Simpson provides a measured and authoritative narration that helps guide viewers through the complex and often disturbing subject matter. He is a skilled storyteller and an excellent guide, able to weave together historical context, expert analysis, and personal anecdotes to create a compelling and informative narrative.

Overall, The Evolution of Evil is a masterfully executed documentary series that offers a unique and nuanced look at some of the most notorious figures and groups in history. By examining the evolutionary processes that enabled these individuals and groups to rise to power, the show provides a deeper understanding of the complexities of evil and the dangers of extremism in all its forms.

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Tojo: Japan's Razor of Fear
10. Tojo: Japan's Razor of Fear
June 15, 2017
Hideki Tojo was made Prime Minister of Japan in 1941, he gave the order to bomb Pearl Harbor, followed by a swift invasion of South East Asia. Tojo approved many further extreme acts of brutality, with no battlefield experience he ran a disastrous campaign in which he lost nearly a third of his men. With the fall of the island of Saipan in 1944, his career was finished.
Stalin: Russia's Steel Tyrant
9. Stalin: Russia's Steel Tyrant
June 15, 2017
For 30 years Joseph Stalin "the man of steel" ruthlessly dominated the Soviet Union. Born into poverty on the fringes of the Czarist Russian Empire, he became a gangster and then a revolutionary. He was part of the original Bolshevik leadership team, but when Vladimir Lenin died he took his chance to grab the top spot. His quest for absolute power transformed his nation, but at a brutal cost.
Saddam Hussein: The Butcher of Baghdad
8. Saddam Hussein: The Butcher of Baghdad
June 15, 2017
This is the story Saddam Hussein, a man thought to be more sadistic than Hitler, and how he rules Iraq with an utter contempt for humanity for 23 years. This historical documentary looks at how the extreme pleasure he derives from limitless cruelty plays a significant part in his transformation from a violent young street thug to one of the most notorious dictators in the Middle East.
Papa Doc: Haiti's President for Life
7. Papa Doc: Haiti's President for Life
June 15, 2017
The vicious tyrant Francois 'Papa Doc" Duvalier ruthlessly dominated Haiti using violence and Voodoo. Rising from a humble country doctor, he made himself into a figure so terrifying to his people that many believed he had links with the Voodoo deity Baron Samedi, guardian of the graveyard. So complete was his control that people feared even to think about resisting him.
Osama Bin Laden: A Terrorist Mastermind
6. Osama Bin Laden: A Terrorist Mastermind
June 15, 2017
This episode charts Osama Bin Laden's chilling journey from a privileged young Saudi boy in the 1950s, to becoming the leader of al-Qaeda and his commitment to extreme violence against the West. His father Mohammed is a self-made billionaire whose great wealth helped Bin Laden become one of the world's largest sponsors of international terrorism. His hatred evolves to change the world forever.
Mussolini: The Father of Fascism
5. Mussolini: The Father of Fascism
June 15, 2017
His speeches left Italy bewitched, but behind all Benito Mussolini's bluster and posturing lies a dark heart of violence and brutality. He would order his fascist black shirts to beat and kill his political opponents, yet he was loved at home and admired abroad. This is the story of Il Duce, the Boss and how his love of Italy inspired an epic rise to power.
Mao: China's Chairman of Death
4. Mao: China's Chairman of Death
June 15, 2017
Supreme Leader of China for almost 3 decades, his merciless policies made him one of the most ruthless tyrants of the 20th Century. A communist leader obsessed by power and violence; a sadist intoxicated by others' pain; and a dictator convinced that politics had to be violent. He presided over the deaths of more people than Hitler and Stalin combined. The Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong.
Kim: North Korea's Evil Dynasty
3. Kim: North Korea's Evil Dynasty
June 15, 2017
He's a man born into power. He tortures and executes hundreds of thousands of his own people with his finger held closely to the button. It's North Korea's Kim Jong-il. A man with an insatiable desire for power and fame. A man raised to be a dictator. A man who let his people suffer while he lives the high life with imported women, booze and the world's finest foods.
Adolf Hitler: The Benchmark of Terror
2. Adolf Hitler: The Benchmark of Terror
June 15, 2017
Adolf Hitler is the very personification of evil. Yet somehow, he managed to convince a nation of sophisticated, civilized people to be complicit in his horrific crimes. What made him this way? What terrible forces turns a man born like any other into the most terrifying dictator the world has ever seen?
Gaddafi: Mad Dog of the Middle East
1. Gaddafi: Mad Dog of the Middle East
June 15, 2017
For over 40 years the Libyan despot terrified, tortured and tricked the world with one horrific act after another. This is the story of Colonel Gaddafi, the Middle East's longest serving dictator from his roots as an idealistic young revolutionary in 1969, to becoming one of the world's most deadly terrorists.
  • Premiere Date
    June 15, 2017