Cities of the Underworld

Cities of the Underworld Episodes

Season 3

Episode 301: Sicily (original air date: 11/09/2008)
The mafia instills fear around the world, but in Sicily, its presence can’t be ignored. This is where the mob got its start, with the help of the underground. We’ll trace the mafia’s roots back to a vigilante secret society that created an underground network where they would hold trials and execute the accused. We’ll track the escape route of a most-wanted mob boss through ancient subterranean waterways, and discover a bone-crypt that holds the key to Sicily’s violent past. We’ll even find out how the mafia teamed up with the Allies during WWII, undermining the Axis’ line of bunkers deep within the hillside… and embedding themselves into Sicily’s political system for good.
Episode 302: Rome: Gladiator, Bloodsport (original air date: 12/15/2008)
The gladiators of ancient Rome were the ultimate fighting machines. They waged bloody battles to the death for the entertainment of the masses – and to earn their freedom. From the depths of the vicious and magnificent Flavian amphitheater, to the buried brothel where they lived their last days, these are the secret lives of Rome's famed slave warriors. We're peeling back the layers to uncover the origin of these fierce fighters, as Don heads into ancient crypts, subterranean chambers used for pagan worship, and to the school that taught the gladiators how survive… and how to kill.
Episode 303: Las Vegas (original air date: 11/16/2008)
Welcome to Las Vegas, America’s Sin City, where billions of dollars are lost and made every year on our national vices. In order to protect their cash, casinos have made security the highest priority. From underground vaults to secret surveillance nerve centers, we’ll uncover how the latest technology beats the cheaters. But Vegas wasn’t always this high-tech. We’ll show how a massive engineering feat transformed the city from a barren desert into a mobster metropolis where thieves ran the show from underground tunnels dating back to Prohibition. And just when it looked like all the thugs were behind bars and the city would fall off the map for good, Vegas became the come back kid. It’s the only city in the world where you can be in Egypt one moment and Italy the next, thanks to a secret underground that allows the show to get bigger and better every time.
Episode 304: Okinawa: Tunnels of Hell
The battle of Okinawa… It was the last battle of World War II, the final battle of the Japanese Empire, and the bloodiest battle of the Pacific Campaign. The biggest naval armada in US history took on the Japanese Island of Okinawa, trying to destroy this last sliver of land that stood between American forces and a full scale invasion of mainland Japan. But the fighting wasn’t just on land, it was underneath it – from the beehive of combat tunnels where American forces faced down the entrenched Japanese Army, to the caves where thousands of civilians hid and hundreds perished. Don will dive to the depths to explore the lost naval destroyer sunken deep in the waters off Okinawa’s coast, and discover what it was like to live through this Hell on Earth during the Battle of Okinawa.
Episode 305: London: Cities of Blood (original air date: 10/26/2008)
Jack the Ripper terrorized the city with his gruesome slaughters. Secret pagan societies raised Hell. Thieves made a killing stealing fresh corpses. London’s streets ran red with blood, and it seeped into the underground… It was a city filled with disease, misery and chaos, making it ripe for grisly murders and horrific rumors to spread like the plague. Tales of witches and killers, the Antichrist and pagan rituals filled the city… but behind every ghost story is the terrifying truth of what happened here. From creepy caves scrawled with warnings of witches to the sewers and crypts where murderers and thieves lurked beneath the city streets, London’s underground is hiding dark secrets and clues to the bloody truth.
Episode 306: Belgium: Don After Hours (original air date: 11/23/2008)
World War I was the bloodiest war the world had ever seen. It toppled empires, redefined warfare, slaughtered over 20 million…and set the stage for the world’s most notorious dictator, Adolf Hitler. Here, along the Western Front, Hitler’s twisted philosophies and mad ideology began to take a young soldier in the blood-soaked trenches and tunnels of the underground. From the subterranean web where 24,000 soldiers waited to ambush the enemy, to the indestructible fortress that endured thousands of bombs daily, this is the underground that made World War I one of the most brutal wars in history… and made Hitler into the terrifying madman of World War II.
Episode 307: Luxembourg: Barbarians' Lair (original air date: 12/01/2008)
From the swords of barbarian hordes to the guns of the Spanish Empire, Europe’s darkest days lasted 1,000 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was plunged into chaos for centuries, with mass bloodshed, rampant disease, and vicious carnage regularly raging through the streets. But below them, another world was being carved out to keep the people alive...and keep enemies on their toes. From the immense quarries of a secret society to Templar torture chambers and the tunnels of medieval “ghost knights,” we’re tracking down the darkest secrets of the Dark Continent, buried deep below Europe’s streets.
Episode 308: Los Angeles: Land of Manson (original air date: 12/07/2008)
He was the mastermind of the most notorious murders in U.S. history. He terrified the world and plunged the city of Los Angeles into a state of paranoia and fear. He's Charles Manson, and the deserts around Los Angeles were his home - where he hoped the underground would be his haven. But Manson and his followers weren't the only dangers lurking beneath the streets of LA. We'll take you below the most congested avenues of this classic American city, into the tunnels where corrupt cops secretly ran the city, and where the largest subway system in the world lies in waste. From earthquakes to UFOs, Los Angeles – population 9 million plus -- has to be ready for anything. With military bunkers protecting our shores and subterranean disaster-relief war rooms surveying the next big quake, L.A.'s underground holds the key to its survival.
Episode 309: San Francisco: Under the Rock (original air date: 1/12/2009)
While most people think of San Francisco as a haven for peace-loving hippies, this city by the Bay is actually one of the biggest military defense installations in America. We’ll take you beneath its picturesque hills and uncover the biggest ammunitions depot on the West Coast before plunging into a deadly arsenal that once stored nuclear missiles with more than six times the destructive power of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. From the secret Civil War fortification buried beneath Alcatraz to the human trafficking tunnels winding below Chinatown, San Francisco’s underground is evidence of its sordid past.
Episode 310: Ethiopia: Secret Holy Land (original air date: 12/22/2008)
It is called the Cradle of Humanity and is one of the oldest nations in the world - Ethiopia. An ancient enclave for both Jews and Muslims, this African country is also the world's second oldest Christian nation. Christianity took root here in the 4th century A.D. when its followers fled religious persecution by secreting their faith underground. From a Mecca of churches considered today the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World, to the possible resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and a 1500-year-old mountaintop church where mysterious relics of an ancient Christian sect lie in seclusion, the city once named "The New Jerusalem" reveals secret clues to Christianity's lost legends.
Episode 311: Cairo: Tomb of the Lost Mummies (original air date: 1/26/2009)
Cairo, Egypt is a cacophony of horn-blowing cars, clouds of exhaust fumes, and overcrowded streets. But just beyond the surface of this fast-paced modern metropolis is nearly 4000 years of mighty emperors, awesome feats of engineering, and violent fighting. From the ancient Egyptians to invading Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Turks, everyone wanted a piece of this fertile land…and many stayed for an eternity. Buried deep beneath the hot desert sands are the complex tombs of powerful Egyptian pharaohs, a mighty Roman stronghold, and a glittering cache of golden mummies. Cairo is a city for both the living and the dead, and its secrets can only be found in its underground.
Episode 312: Turkey: Gods of War (original air date: 2/02/2009)
Lying at the crossroads of the East and West, Turkey has a history marked by conquest and conflict. Empires clashed over this land and its trade routes, leaving behind a rich mythology of gods and men, and tales of epic battles that soaked Turkey's soil in blood. Don uncovers the truth behind the mysterious legends of the Trojan War, and reveals how a maniacal king plotted to overturn consecrated ground in order to build one of the Ancient World's Seven Wonders. It's the vengeance of the gods versus the might of mortal armies - and the remains are buried underground.
Episode 313: Australia: Alcatraz Down Under (original air date: 2/09/2009)
Beneath the sunny facade of Sydney, Australia lies a dark past. Built on the backs of convicts, gold miners and outlaws, this nation forged its freedom from the depths of the underground. Explore Australia's Alcatraz, the 19th century prison that housed Sydney's most threatening criminals. Travel deep into a complex of natural caves that sheltered a gang of escaped outlaws, and the gold mines that produced both riches and the birth of the worker's movement. Don heads underground with surviving witnesses to uncover the location of a secret WWII chemical weapons stash and gets access to a sordid subterranean fort where soldiers en route to the battlefields of Vietnam were trained to resist torture.

Season 2

Episode 201: Vietnam (original air date: 2/04/2008)
The Vietnam War was broadcast throughout the world – images of battles, soldiers and jungles flooded the media. But what we didn’t see were the tunnels, passages and caves that played a vital role in Vietnam’s survival. From the massive CuChi tunnel system that gave soldiers the upper hand to the super-bunkers and secret caves used as shelters, this is a Vietnam you’ve never seen before.
Episode 202: Japan: A-Bomb (original air date: 2/11/2008)
Tokyo, Japan is a city straight out of the future, above ground… and below. We’ll go beneath the busy streets to see the latest technology that will save the city from the many natural disasters ready to strike. From there, we head back in time to World War II to see how Hiroshima’s underground offered protection from the most powerful bombs… and get an inside look at the secret life of the Ninja.
Episode 203: Prague: Hitler's Last Secret (original air date: 3/03/2008)
Prague is a city cloaked in mystery, with an underground to match. Medieval castles line the streets and hide dark dungeons deep below them. From quarries where Hitler may have stored his most powerful secret weapon to mines that doubled as Communist slave camps, Prague has surprising stories to tell.
Episode 204: Dublin: Viking Underground (original air date: 2/25/2008)
Dublin, Ireland is much more than pubs and pints. Pagan burial tombs, subterranean defense tunnels, and mysterious burial crypts line the underground below the rolling hills. Even an underground river runs through the heart of the city where you’d least expect to find it.
Episode 205: Chicago: Mob Underground (original air date: 3/17/2008)
Chicago was once a playground for mobsters and corrupt politicians, and it wouldn’t be the third largest city in the US today if it weren’t for the shady dealings that went on just beneath its streets. From vice dens and top-secret railroad lines to sunken shipwrecks and the spark that created the A-Bomb, Don unearths the true history of the Windy City.
Episode 206: Belize: Maya Underground (original air date: 3/10/2008)
Before the mysterious disappearance of the ancient Maya, Belize was the nerve center of this advanced civilization. Hundreds of ruins dot the landscape and reveal clues to bloody Mayan rituals, advanced architecture and a belief in an unforgiving underworld of Mayan gods. Don ducks beneath the jungles of Belize to uncover burial tombs, sacrificial altars, ritualistic caves and the literal entrances to the Mayan underworld.
Episode 207: Jerusalem: Clash of Kings (original air date: 1/28/2008)
For billions of people across the globe, Jerusalem is considered ground zero for Armageddon. And while most of the world’s population considers it a holy land, it’s also one of the bloodiest cities the world has ever known. From a hidden occult city built by the Knights Templar to the hiding place for the Dead Sea Scrolls, the evidence of the apocalypse is buried all over the holy city. Don has special access to a sacred stone said to keep the world from ultimate chaos, and finds evidence of John the Baptist’s apocalyptic sermons… he’s heading into a vast underground that ignited the violent visions of the end of the world.
Episode 208: Jerusalem: Underground Armageddon (original air date: 3/24/2008)
From Abraham to Nostradamus, the ancient world was shaped by people who believed they foresaw the will of God. Some say their fiery prophecies will come true in our lifetime - and Jerusalem is at the heart of it all. Once considered the literal center of the world, Jerusalem has also been at the center of prophetic revelations, from the outcome of bloody wars to the birth of saviors. We’re peeling back the layers of this sacred subterranean landscape to uncover an ancient escape route, a secret bullet factory, and the birthplace of Jesus. We’ll find out the truth behind Jerusalem’s most mysterious and enduring prophecies, the people who foretold them, and what was left behind… underground.
Episode 209: New York City: Secret Societies (original air date: 3/31/2008)
Today, New York is the biggest city in the country… but it’s got some dark secrets in its past. It was founded by covert groups, overrun with gangs and mob bosses, and ruled by secret societies. This is the true foundation of the city that never sleeps, and Don’s headed deep beneath the skyscrapers, taxicabs and street vendors into a New York that few have ever seen before. From a hidden Freemason tunnel and secret world of the Sandhogs, to mobster hideaways and gang escape routes, we’re uncovering the secret societies that built New York - from the underground up.
Episode 210: Washington DC: Seat of Power (original air date: 4/14/2008)
Washington D.C. is headquarters for one of the most powerful governments in the world, as well as some of the nation’s deepest secrets. The decisions made here echo around the world, so while the seat of power rests above these streets, our nation's security depends on what happens underneath them. From top secret, high tech superbunkers to the underbelly of Capitol Mall, we'll delve into DC's subterranean defenses. Don will discover how the US prepares for the worst...from the ravages of disease to nuclear catastrophe.
Episode 211: Ukraine: Secret Soviet Bases (original air date: 5/05/2008)
Deep within the former Soviet Union lies a classified, subterranean world of Cold War secrets. In Ukraine, which once had the world's third largest nuclear arsenal, Don ducks behind the Iron Curtain to reveal a how the Soviets were really preparing for a Nuclear War. From nuclear submarine bases to underground apartment blocks, these sites are so top-secret, they've never before been seen on American television.
Episode 212: Moscow: Stalin's Secret Lair (original air date: 4/21/2008)
Moscow is a city known for its ruthless leaders and abundant secrets. Today it’s a modern metropolis, but far below its crowded streets lie the reminders of its war-torn past, and pieces of Stalin’s terrifying legacy. This subterranean web is so vast, modern day Moscow is actually in danger of caving in. From tunnels used to hide from Stalin’s blood-thirsty henchmen, to secret metro systems and hidden bunkers, Don digs deep into Moscow’s past.
Episode 213: New Orleans: Hurricane Katrina (original air date: 4/28/2008)
Inflicting over $80 billion in damage, and causing the deaths of over 1,800 people, Hurricane Katrina was among the greatest engineering disasters in US history. But was Katrina the "big one" New Orleans had been waiting for? Many believe the "perfect storm" is yet to come. If and when the big one does hit, will New Orleans be ready? The answers are in the underground. From the Army Corps' latest levees to last-ditch efforts to save New Orleans' vanishing wetlands, we're going deep into New Orleans' underground to see where New Orleans stands, and if it stands a chance.

Season 1

Episode 101: Hitler's Underground Lair (Berlin) (original air date: 4/30/2007)
Berlin, Germany was the battlefield of the 20th century. And today, sealed up and forgotten beneath its streets are remnants of this dark past. Walk anywhere in the city and you could be walking directly on top of one of the over 1000 Nazi bunkers engineered into Berlin’s sandy soil, lost remnants of Hitler’s ill-fated Germania or even beer brewing plants that inspired the Nazis’ journey into the underground. Join host Eric Geller as he travels through the dark and damp recesses of Berlin’s secretive soil. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Hitler’s Underground Lair.
Episode 102: Budapest:City of Caves (Budapest) (original air date: 5/21/2007)
Budapest, Hungary is a burgeoning Easter European metropolis sitting on top of an ancient secret – a secret that dates back to the dawn of time. The caves beneath Budapest were formed during the ice age and everyone from the cavemen to the communists have moved their city into the depths of this parallel world. Host Eric Geller has special access into this sealed up time capsule – where he’ll uncover a top secret WWII hospital, find the source of the boiling healing water used by both the Romans and the Turks, and see the layers of support added throughout the centuries to keep today’s world from falling into the one buried below. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: City of Caves.
Episode 103: London's Lost Cities (London) (original air date: 6/11/2007)
London, England is Europe’s largest city, and for thousands of years, has been among the most powerful cities in the world. Pieces of history can be found throughout London’s busy streets and marketplaces. But there’s another city hiding below the surface – Roman baths, secret crypts, lost rivers and indestructible bunkers that could hold 8000 people – virtual underground cities. Join host Eric Geller as he discovers the subterranean secrets found below London’s most famous landmarks and even finds Winston Churchill’s hidden war rooms. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: London’s Lost Cities.
Episode 104: Scotland's Sin City (Edinburgh) (original air date: 4/23/2007)
Edinburgh, Scotland is a thriving metropolis in the heart of the United Kingdom. But take a look into its past, and you’ll find it has led a double life – the sophisticated and educated surface city blossomed above while a darker, seedy world expanded below. From plague victims getting buried alive under the streets to body snatchers, illegal distilleries and castle dungeons, Edinburgh’s underground has many stories to tell. Host Eric Geller investigates these stories, deciphering fact from fiction, while uncovering the engineering marvel of Edinburgh’s underground – created when the city actually changed its street level. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Scotland’s Sin City.
Episode 105: Rome: The Rise (Rome) (original air date: 7/30/2007)
Rome, Italy is known for great food, edgy fashion…and its history. The Roman Empire was the largest and most powerful in history, and pieces of this great Empire can be found under practically every street in Rome. But how did ancient Rome achieve its greatness? The answer lies underground. From entire underground neighborhoods and one of the oldest sewer systems in the world, to aqueducts and underground theaters, the secret to Rome’s success can be found beneath the streets. Many modern engineering marvels are based on ancient Roman design, and the proof is found in these subterranean locations. Join host Eric Geller as he goes back to the founding of the Empire and traces technology back to the beginning. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: The Rise of Rome.
Episode 106: Rome: Hidden Empire (Rome) (original air date: 5/07/2007)
Rome, Italy is a city where the past meets the present on every street, and below them. Caesar. Augustus. Nero. Rome has had some of the most infamous rulers, and each one of them has left their mark on the city – and left remnants of his reign underground. A secret cult practiced right next to the Circus Maximus, and their temple still remains beneath the street. The famous Piazza Navona sits on top of Domitian’s Stadium. Pieces of Trajan’s Basilica can be found under a gallery owned by fashion dynasty, Fendi. Rome’s underground is filled with evidence of life during the Empire. Join host Eric Geller as he discovers what life was like during Nero’s tyranny and Augustus’ reforms. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Rome’s Hidden Empire.
Episode 107: Paris: Catacombs of Death (Paris) (original air date: 5/14/2007)
Paris, France is Europe’s famous “City of Lights,” but an alternate world thrives in the shadows of this capital city. Crypts filled with the bones of former residents, ancient waterfronts, waste-filled sewers, and hundreds of miles of limestone tunnels snake beneath Paris’ charming neighborhoods and bustling streets. Host Eric Geller has special access to this dark underworld, where both the secrets of the living and the sins of the dead are revealed. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Catacombs of Death.
Episode 108: New York (New York) (original air date: 6/04/2007)
New York may be the City that Never Sleeps...but it’s not just The Big Apple’s streets that refuse to rest. Here, the underworld is a living, breathing tangle of engineering, history, and secrets that could only exist in America’s largest city. From a classified World War II site, where death awaited unfortunate trespassers, to the original rivers and aqueducts that led to this great city’s ascent, even a mysterious train tunnel, where one of the country’s bravest leaders traveled in secret – New York may just have more stories below ground than it does above. Host Eric Geller braves this massive urban labyrinth where the past, present, and future collide. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: New York.
Episode 109: Freemason Underground (Boston/Philadelphia) (original air date: 6/25/2007)
Boston and Philadelphia are renowned for their part in America’s revolutionary saga, but these cities harbor an unseen connection…the Freemasons. From the whispers of hidden tunnels and tombs beneath Boston’s North End, to the incredible waterworld still intact under Philadelphia, the legendary secret society has left behind the blueprints to America’s rise. And their enigmatic influence stretches from the Revolutionary Battles of Fort Mifflin to the secret struggles of the Underground Railroad. Host Don Wildman receives exclusive access to newly discovered sites and clues, and delves into a part of America’s past that can only be revealed in the underworld. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: The Freemason Underground.
Episode 110: Beneath Vesuvius (Naples) (original air date: 6/18/2007)
Naples, Italy narrowly escaped meeting the same fate as its neighboring city, Pompeii in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius wiped out everything around it. The wind saved Naples that day, but life in the shadow of this massive volcano is unlike any other – and so is its underground. For centuries, Neapolitans have carved out their underground, creating a parallel world where their secrets are safe. Entire neighborhoods line the underworld, time capsules of ancient life – with banks, bakeries and homes preserved below. From repelling into an ancient Greek cavern to uncovering Nero’s famous stage underneath a modern apartment, Don Wildman steps back almost 2000 years to discover the world hidden beneath this volcano. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Beneath Vesuvius.
Episode 111: Dracula's Underground (Romania) (original air date: 7/09/2007)
Romania is ripe with legends, folklore, and tales of the unknown. But its most famous tale is of the real-life Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, who once ruled this land with a bloodthirst like no other known in history. But for all the myth that swirls on the surface, the real truth about this infamous Romanian ruler rests, appropriately, underground. From the secret prisons of his tortured victims, to escape tunnels he carved into the mountains, to the ancient caves and mines that provide the breeding ground for the legend, Romania’s subterranean stretches through centuries to bring us face-to-face with the ruthless Impaler himself. Host Don Wildman braves the confines of caves, the depths of dungeons, and the very uncommon ground of the ‘Son of the Devil’. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Dracula’s Underground.
Episode 112: Secret Pagan Underground (Cappadocia) (original air date: 7/16/2007)
Cappadocia is where East meets West, setting the stage for bloody battles and ruthless land wars. This landscape in modern day Turkey is unlike any other in the world – with an underground to match. 4000 years ago, a mysterious pagan society called the Hittites dug deep into the soft volcanic rock to carve out an intricate underworld. But after almost 800 years of rule, the Hittite Empire vanished without a trace, much like the Mayans of Central America. Where did their people go and what clues have they left behind in their complex subterranean world? Once the Hittites disappeared, everyone from the Romans to the Persians and the Byzantines to the Ottomans fought to control this land, contributing their own subterranean structures to the layers of fortified castles, sacred sanctuaries, and dungeons hidden beneath the sandy lunar landscape. It was a bloody battlefield, and host Don Wildman explores the subterranean world of defense where entire civilizations hid for thousands of years. From 10-story cities to a newly discovered underground inn along the Silk Road never before seen on television, we’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Secret Pagan Underground.
Episode 113: Underground Bootleggers (Portland) (original air date: 7/23/2007)
Portland, Oregon is famous for its beer and its music, but 100 years ago, it was a city full of vice. By the early 1900’s, Portland was known as the most dangerous port in the world, a place where you could just as soon get your fix of drugs and illegal liquor as find yourself trapped in a cell buried beneath the ground. From the nefarious expanses of the Shanghai tunnels, where men were sold into slavery on the high seas, to the hidden dens of opium runners and the sly speakeasies of Prohibition, Portland had it all. Host Don Wildman ventures beneath the refined modern streets above into a covert world of slave tunnels, fight clubs, gambling dens, and into an ingenious modern water system that literally keeps the city from drowning in its own filth. We’re peeling back the layers of time on Cities of the Underworld: Underground Bootleggers.