Last Watched

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

The Great Feast

   2009    Nature
Every summer in the seas off Alaska humpback whales, sea lions and killer whales depend on an explosion of plant life, the plankton bloom. It transforms these seas into the richest on Earth. But will these animals survive to enjoy the great feast? The summer sun sparks the growth of phytoplankton, microscopic floating plants which can bloom in such vast numbers that they eclipse even the Amazon rainforest in sheer abundance of plant life. Remarkably, it is these minute plants that are the basis of all life here. But both whales and sea lions have obstacles to overcome before they can enjoy the feast. Humpback whales migrate 3,000 miles from Hawaii, and during their 3 month voyage lose a third of their body weight. In a heart-rending scene a mother sea lion loses her pup in a violent summer storm, while another dramatic sequence shows a group of killer whales working together to kill a huge male sea lion.
In late summer the plankton bloom is at its height. Vast shoals of herring gather to feed on it, diving birds round the fish up into a bait ball and then a humpback whale roars in to scoop up the entire ball of herring in one huge mouthful. When a dozen whales work together they employ the ultimate method of co-operative fishing - bubble net feeding. One whale blows a ring of bubbles to engulf the fish and then they charge in as one. Filmed from the surface, underwater and, for the first time, from the air, we reveal how these giant hunters can catch a tonne of fish every day.
Series: Nature Great Events

Black Hole Apocalypse 2of2

   2018    Science    HD
Of all the objects in the cosmos, planets, stars, galaxies, none are as strange, mysterious, or powerful as black holes. Black holes are the most mind-blowing things in the universe. They can swallow a star completely intact. Black holes have these powerful jets that just spew matter out.
First discovered on paper, on the back of an envelope, some squiggles of the pen. The bizarre solution to a seemingly unsolvable equation, a mathematical enigma. Einstein himself could not accept black holes as real. People didn't even believe for many years that they existed. Nature doesn't work that way. Yet slowly, as scientists investigate black holes by observing the effect they have on their surroundings, evidence begins to mount.
Series: Black Hole Apocalypse

Second Genesis

   2018    Technology
In episode 3, Artemis arrives on the exoplanet Minerva B, but will she find evidence of life? This is a vision of our future, the fateful day in a far-flung corner of the universe, when a probe from Earth initiates the first descent onto an alien world, looking for proof of life beyond our solar system.
There are no witnesses, no cheering crowds in the control room. A decade or more will pass before news finally reaches us, back across the dark oceans of space. But the seeds of this mission are already being sowed today by the first generation of scientists bold enough to believe it could be possible.
Series: Living Universe

The Great Migration

   2009    Nature
Each year more than one million wildebeest and zebra invade the Serengeti grasslands, making it a paradise for the predators that live there. But what happens when the herds move off again? We follow the moving story of one lion family's struggle to survive until the return of the great migration. Nature's Great Events tells the story of the epic trek of herds that follow the rains to fresh pastures, and the tale of the predators they leave behind.
The crew captures the desperate plight of a single pride of lions, revealing a different side to the Serengeti. Rather than being a predators' paradise, it is a land in constant change, with wildebeest following the rains and leaving the lions to tough it out. The Ntudu pride has seven cubs, and is already suffering as the wildebeest leave to find fresh pastures. The four pride females struggle to find enough food for their hungry offspring. As weeks turn to months, the pride members become more emaciated and frailer, and the number of cubs dwindles to just two. As the herds begin to return, the plains reveal one final secret. For the first time since 1967 the Serengeti's only active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, begins to billow ash and smoke. Filmed from the air, the team captures the exciting action. Fertilised by the volcanic ash over millions of years, these short grass plains are among the most productive grasslands in the world. After months of hardship, the pride's tragic story, through sickness, drought and fire, is over as the herds return, providing plentiful food.
Series: Nature Great Events
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
Blood of the Vikings
Blood of the Vikings

   2001    History
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science
Wings
Wings

      Nature
Conversations with Dolphins
Conversations with Dolphins

   2016    Science
The Art of Russia
The Art of Russia

   2009    Art
Survivors Guide to Prison
Survivors Guide to Prison

   2018    Culture
Living Universe
Living Universe

   2018    Technology