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Crash Landing on Mars

   2011    Technology
What might happen if the first manned mission to Mars crashes hundreds of miles from the rocket that would take them back home? Could they survive the crash, and travel across the brutal Martian surface to their home ship? We'll show what the astronauts would have to do to survive dust storms and space radiation, while extracting vital resources like water from the Martian soil itself. It's a dramatic vision of the very near future, where survival can depend on pre-industrial technology and human ingenuity.

Worst Days on Planet Earth

   2011    Nature    3D
Earth may seem like the most hospitable planet in the solar system. But look again. Startling new discoveries reveal the blue planet has been plagued by more chaos and destruction than scientists once imagined. Stand on the Earth billions of years ago as a primitive planet called Theia slams into it. Shiver as our entire globe is frozen over like a gigantic snowball. Feel the heat as mammoth volcanoes scorch the landscape and darken the sky. From a cosmic gamma ray burst frying away the ozone layer to an Everest-size asteroid slamming into the ocean, we'll reveal new information about how these unparalleled events drove life to the brink of total extinction. Out of this continuous devastation, how has our planet--and life--got to where it is today? Are the worst days behind us--or lurking in the distant future?
Series: The Universe

The Last Empire

   2016    History
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises. At a traditional printing house where the wood blocks are hand-carved, we see how the Complete Tang Poems were reproduced - all 48,000 of them. We travel through the wintry countryside to a remote village where a hardy audience watch open-air opera in the snow and visit a painter's studio, and 'storytelling' houses in Yangzhou. In the 18th century, China was arguably the greatest economy in the world, and we get a fabulous sense of the rich culture that came with prosperity. But then came the clash with the British, in the first Opium War, when a British expedition destroyed the Qing navy and extracted territory and trading rights. We leave with a glimpse of the future. 'Every dynasty has risen and declined,' says Michael, 'and has needed new life to regenerate, and this time the catalyst was the British.' Among the ports China ceded was an almost uninhabited island, Hong Kong, one of today's greatest financial centres, and Shanghai, a small town then but now one of the greatest cities in world.
Series: The Story of China

Alien Planet

   2005    Nature
The computer animated drama takes place on Darwin IV, a planet 6.5 light years from earth, with 2 suns and 60% of Earth's gravity. Earth sends a pilot mission with three probes. This robotic fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life forms on Darwin IV. The probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with diversity of life of all sizes. "Alien Planet" is motivated by real science missions, such as the NASA Origins Program and the NASA / JPL Planet-Finder Mission, as well as the European Space Agency's Darwin Project. It is a cosmic expedition along side Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Jack Horner, Craig Venter, and George Lucas, and NASA's Chief Scientist Jim Garvin. No longer just the domain of science fiction, "Alien Planet" dramatizes an exciting and possible answer to what alien life really looks like and when we'll find it.

Life After People

   2008    Nature
Visit the ghostly villages surrounding Chernobyl (abandoned by humans after the 1986 nuclear disaster), travel to remote islands off the coast of Maine to search for abandoned towns that have vanished from view in only a few decades, then head beneath the streets of New York to see how subway tunnels may become watery canals. A visual journey, LIFE AFTER PEOPLE is a thought provoking adventure that combines movie-quality visual effects with insights from experts in the fields of engineering, botany, ecology, biology, geology, climatology, and archaeology to demonstrate how the very landscape of our planet will change in our absence.
Breakthrough
Breakthrough

   2015    Medicine
Latino Americans
Latino Americans

   2013    History
Life
Life

   2009    Nature
History of the Eagles
History of the Eagles

   2013    History
Inside the Medieval Mind
Inside the Medieval Mind

   2008    History
Absolute Zero
Absolute Zero

   2007    Technology
Natural World
Natural World

   2015    Nature
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine