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Walking with Cavemen: First Ancestors

   2003    History
It's 3.5 million years ago and in East Africa a remarkable species of ape roams the land. Australopithecus afarensis has taken the first tentative steps towards humanity by standing and walking on two legs. The rift valley was forming, and the rain forests dying as Africa dried out - turning the landscape into a mosaic of scattered trees and grass. In this new environment afarensis found it more efficient to move about on two legs rather than four.
Series: Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen: The Survivors

   2003    History
Nearly half a million years ago, the most advanced human yet roams Europe. Strong and powerful, Homo heidelbergensis are fierce hunters, use sophisticated tools and live in close-knit family groups. Over 200,000 years they become split into two populations by extremes of weather and environment and evolve separately into two very different species. In the North are the Neanderthals, whose physical power and resilience is the key to surviving in ice age Northern Europe. About 140,000 years ago, Africa is in the grip of a devastating drought, and something remarkable has happened to the descendants of heidelbergensis who live there. The combination of environment and chance has bred in them a unique ability that will change the course of human history. It will be this small band of southern survivors, perhaps numbering just a few tens of thousands, who will come to dominate the world and be known as Homo sapiens.
Series: Walking with Cavemen

We Are Not Surfers

   2021    Culture
Garrett McNamara and his team return to Nazaré for another season of surfing. The team struggles through a number of accidents and challenges but eventually develop a set of safety procedures that enable them to surf Nazare's wave with less chance of injury or death. The struggles pay off when McNamara catches a nearly 80 foot tall wave that catapults him to international fame and makes him the holder of the world record for largest wave surfed.
Series: 100 Foot Wave

What a King Should Know

   2012    History
Dr Janina Ramirez shows how medieval manuscripts gave power to the king and united the kingdom in an age of plague, warfare and rebellion, discovers that Edward III used the manuscripts he read as a boy to prepare him for his great victory at the battle of Crecy and reveals how a vigorous new national identity bloomed during the 100 Years War with France. In the British Library's Royal Manuscripts collection Dr Ramirez finds out that magnificent manuscripts like the Bedford Hours, taken as war booty from the French royal family, were adapted for the education of English princes. She also explores how knowledge spread through a new form of book - the encyclopaedia.
Series: Illuminations: the private lives of medieval kings

What is our future

   2014    Technology
Professor Brian Cox concludes his exploration of our place in the universe by asking what next for the ape that went to space. Our future is far from certain. In Florida, Brian joins the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events. He joins a team of Nasa astronauts who are training for a future mission to an asteroid - should we ever discover one coming our way - under 30 feet of water in a submerged laboratory that simulates space. It is just one example of how, for our long-term survival, space exploration may well be vital. It is a view shared by Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, who tells Brian what it was like to escape the confines of the planet. It is a dream that both Nasa and now commercial companies share as they race to get humans back into deep space.
But space travel, like every leap our civilisation has ever made, requires energy. Here too, scientists are hard at work attempting to safeguard our future. At the National Ignition Facility in California, Brian witnesses the world's most successful fusion experiment in action. He believes that if their mission succeeds, our civilisation will have unlocked a way to the stars that will not destroy the planet in the process. Brian concludes by returning to the top of the world in Svalbard, where he gains access to our civilisation's greatest treasure, locked away in a vault buried deep in the permafrost.
Series: Human universe
Cooked
Cooked

   2016    Culture
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Rotten
Rotten

   2018    Nature
The Hunt
The Hunt

   2015    Nature
Earth at Night in Color
Earth at Night in Color

   2020    Nature
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
Secrets of the Dead
Secrets of the Dead

   2017    History
The Truth About
The Truth About

   2018    Medicine