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Messengers

   2011    Science
Professor Brian Cox travels from the fossils of the Burgess Shale to the sands of the oldest desert in the world to show how light holds the key to our understanding of the whole universe, including our own deepest origins. To understand how light holds the key to the story of the universe; you first have to understand its peculiar properties. Brian considers how the properties of light that lend colour to desert sands and the spectrum of a rainbow can lead to profound insights into the history and evolution of our universe. Finally, with some of the world's most fascinating fossils in hand, Brian considers how but for an apparently obscure moment in the early evolutionary history of life, all the secrets of light may have remained hidden. Because although the universe is bathed in light that carries extraordinary amounts of information about where we come from, it would have remained invisible without a crucial evolutionary development that allowed us to see. Only because of that development can we now observe, capture and contemplate the incredible wonders of the universe that we inhabit.
Series: Wonders of the Universe

The Great Survivors

   2011    Science
The final episode explores dinosaurs' extraordinary ability to survive. Featured dinosaurs include the bizarre magyarosaurus, which lived in the shadow of the biggest flying animal - hatzegopteryx - and showed an amazing adaptation to island life; and the weird nothronychus, a carnivore that gave up meat eating. This astonishing capacity to evolve into ever more diverse and bizarre forms meant that dinosaurs not only spread throughout the world, but also dominated life upon it for more than 160 million years. It was only an unprecedented extraterrestrial event that finally saw the end of planet dinosaur.
Series: Planet Dinosaur

Darwin Struggle - The Evolution of the Origin of Species

   2009    Science
Documentary telling the little-known story of how Darwin came to write his great masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, a book which explains the wonderful variety of the natural world as emerging out of death and the struggle of life. In the twenty years he took to develop a brilliant idea into a revolutionary book, Darwin went through a personal struggle every bit as turbulent as that of the natural world he observed. Fortunately, he left us an extraordinary record of his brilliant insights, observations of nature, and touching expressions of love and affection for those around him. He also wrote frank accounts of family tragedies, physical illnesses and moments of self-doubt, as he laboured towards publication of the book that would change the way we see the world.

Attenborough and the Giant Egg

   2011    Science
David Attenborough returns to the island of Madagascar on a very personal quest. In 1960, he visited the island to film one of his first ever wildlife series - Zoo Quest. Whilst he was there, he acquired a giant egg belonging to an extinct bird known as the 'elephant bird' - the largest bird that ever lived. It has been one of his most treasured possessions ever since. Fifty years older, he now returns to the island to find out more about this amazing creature and to see how the island has changed. Could the elephant bird's fate provide lessons that may help protect Madagascar's remaining wildlife?
Using Zoo Quest archive and specially shot location footage, this film follows David as he revisits scenes from his youth and meets people at the front line of wildlife protection. On his return, scientists at Oxford University are able to reveal for the first time how old David's egg actually is, and what that might tell us about the legendary elephant bird.

Evolution: The Evolutionary Arms Race

   2004    Science
Survival of the fittest: Raw competition? Intense cooperation? Both are essential. Interactions between and within species are among the most powerful evolutionary forces on Earth, and understanding them may be a key to our own survival.
Series: Evolution
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece

   2013    History
Art of Spain
Art of Spain

   2008    Art
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology
Hidden Kingdoms
Hidden Kingdoms

   2014    Nature
Earthflight
Earthflight

   2012    Nature
Life In Cold Blood
Life In Cold Blood

   2008    Nature