Zoologist and explorer George McGavin goes in search of some of the world's most impressive swarms. By getting right to the heart of these natural spectacles, he finds out why swarms are the ultimate solution to surviving against all odds and discovers how unlocking the secrets to how animals swarm could be crucial to understanding our own increasingly crowded lives.
2013 • Nature
The incredible story of a mysterious nanny who died in 2009 leaving behind a secret hoard - thousands of stunning photographs. Never seen in her lifetime, they were found by chance in a Chicago storage locker and auctioned off cheaply. Now Vivian Maier has gone viral, and her magical pictures sell for thousands of dollars. Vivian was a tough street photographer, a secret poet of suburbia. In life, she was a recluse, a hoarder, spinning tall tales about her French roots. Presented by Alan Yentob, the film includes stories from those who knew her and those who revealed her astonishing work.
2013 • People
The film is based on interviews with 2,000 women from 50 countries, and covers the status of women all over the world. The topics covered include forced marriages, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, motherhood, sexuality, menstruation, education and the professional success of women.
Hugh Dennis discovers what Sir Winston Churchill means to people today and explore the legacy he left behind across the globe. Hugh's journey starts with his own recollections of Churchill's funeral, as a young boy watching the flypast from the garden of his father's vicarage, and goes on to describe growing awareness of the influence and personal style of an Englishman who dominated the 20th Century political and cultural landscape like no other. Hugh meets people and visits places upon which Churchill left his indelible mark - from historians, to family members, and employees including former Personal Secretary Lady Jane Williams. There will also be famous faces such as Robert Hardy CBE who won a BAFTA for his portrayal as Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years. Each gives their personal insight into the incredible man behind the public image.
2015 • People
As Nasa releases the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, this film tells the inside story of the telescope's construction and the astronomers taking its first picture of distant stars and galaxies. Will it be the deepest image of our universe ever taken? The successor to Hubble, and 100 times more powerful, the James Webb is the most technically advanced telescope ever built. It will look further back in time than Hubble to an era around 200 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies appeared. Webb's primary mission is to capture the faint light from these objects on the edge of our visible universe so that scientists can learn how they formed, but its instruments are so sensitive it could also be the first telescope to detect signs of life on a distant planet. The James Webb Telescope is an ?8 billion gamble on the skills of its engineering team. It’s the first telescope designed to unfold in space – a complicated two-week operation in which 178 release devices must all work - 107 of them on the telescope's sun shield alone. If just one fails, the expensive telescope could become a giant piece of space junk. From its conception in the late 1980s, the construction of Webb has posed a huge technical challenge. The team must build a mirror six times larger than Hubble’s and construct a vast sun shield the size of a tennis court, fold them up so they fit into an Ariane 5 rocket, then find a way to unfold them in space. This film tells the inside story of the James Webb Space Telescope in the words of the engineers who built it and the astronomers who will use it.
2022 • Astronomy
Professor Brian Cox fulfils a childhood dream by going behind the scenes at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), mission control for Mars 2020 – one of the most ambitious missions ever launched that may finally reveal if life ever existed on the red planet. In 1980, a young Brian Cox wrote to JPL asking for photos from some of their missions to the planets. The pictures they sent him from Voyager and the Viking mission to Mars were a source of inspiration that set him on the path to becoming a physicist. Now, over 40 years later, he has been granted privileged access to JPL, including key mission areas that are usually off-limits to film crews. Brian spends a week following the team who guide the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter - the first powered aircraft ever sent to another planet - across the surface of Mars during a critical stage of the mission. Perseverance's goal is to search for signs of long extinct life on the surface of Mars in an area called Jezero Crater, which, 3.8 billion years ago, was filled by a vast lake. If it finds evidence of that life, it could change everything we know about life in the universe - and even transform our understanding of our own origins.
2022 • Astronomy
France is in chaos. The French people take to the roads, trying to escape. The government signs an armistice as Germans take over half the country. May 1940. The French and the English retreat desperately. In Dunkirk, there are more than 300,000 troops waiting to be transhipped in hundreds of ships, which perform a heroic back and forth trips to England. Thousands of men perish at the sea, struck down by German bombs. Celebrated as heroes throughout Britain, the soldiers of Dunkirk were saved by the sacrifice of French soldiers. To take advantage of the booty, Mussolini's Italy attacked in turn in the Alps. Paris is emptying of millions of refugees who experience a desperate exodus on the roads, and the government surrender. The entry of two major figures does not change anything: on June 17 Petain was appointed head of state and calls for an end to the fight, when de Gaulle urges, on June 18, to resist. But the armistice was signed, in a ceremony desired by Hitler to reverse the humiliation of the Germans in 1918. Half occupied by the Germans, the other subject to the Vichy regime, France offered its coasts and airfields to the Germans who want to invade England. Will she be able to survive this Apocalypse better than France?
1940. Nine months after the outbreak of World War II, Hitler attacks in the West, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain. The "phoney war" ends, the real war begins, in an unleashing of violence never seen before. The devastating blitzkrieg exceeds all expectations in intensity and its soldiers push back all human limits by consuming Pervitine, a synthetic drug that prevents them from sleeping. After a four-year-long First World War, Hitler's feat was to defeat Belgium and the Netherlands in 18 days and France in barely 45 days... The Nazi apocalypse swept through Sedan, on the Somme and to the English Channel, the last rampart of Great Britain. At Dunkirk, which had become a bottleneck, the British fled en masse under enemy fire. Can Churchill save them?
Reveals the events that led to the 1986 nuclear accident. Ch1: Meltdown The events that led up to the nuclear disaster in 1986, hearing from those who were caught up in the tragedy, and those who risked their lives cleaning up afterwards. The series also details events in 2022, when Russian forces took over Chernobyl during its war against Ukraine, and the plant was once again set on a potentially catastrophic course. Narrated by Ben Fogle. Ch2: Firestorm With the reactor on fire and radiation spewing out into the atmosphere, firefighters battle to bring the blaze under control. A former Soviet helicopter pilot reveals what it was like flying over the core, while a historian who grew up in neighbouring Belarus reveals how her mother pulled her out of school and kept her inside when her father - a nuclear scientist - heard rumours of an explosion. Ch3: Fallout Reveals the huge sacrifice made by thousands to contain this devastating nuclear disaster. Contributors include those who risked persistent deadly radioactive levels to clean up the site.
2022 • Environment
A documentary about how the most talented comic genius of all time Buster Keaton fell prey to the Hollywood Studio system machinery in 1930s which curbed his artistic freedom, leading to alcoholism and ultimately completely destroyed not only his career but also his life.
2016 • People
Description of the two Voyager probes sent for interstellar travel. Tyson ends the series by emphasizing Sagan's message on the human condition in the vastness of the cosmos & to encourage viewers to continue to explore and discover the undiscovered.
Join scientists as they grab light from across the universe to prove quantum entanglement is real. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance", but today quantum entanglement is poised to revolutionize technology from computers to cryptography. Physicists have gradually become convinced that the phenomenon two subatomic particles that mirror changes in each other instantaneously over any distance is real. But a few doubts remain. NOVA follows a ground-breaking experiment in the Canary Islands to use quasars at opposite ends of the universe to once and for all settle remaining questions.
Normal people can become monsters, given the right situation. That’s the standard narrative of the Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous psychological experiments of all time. But what if the cause of its participants’ cruel behavior wasn’t what we’ve always been told?
We have a relationship with few things in nature the way we do with snow: we hate it, we love it, and we think we understand it. But we barely know the contradictory and beautiful components of snow’s character. But that’s something scientists are changing. From the formation of single flakes to the howling 70 km/h winds of lake effect snow storms to the destructive power of avalanches, intrepid researchers are bringing snow science into the 21st Century.
Never in the history of humanity have so many of us been mobile, never has our demand for fast, efficient and safe transportation been so high, and never have we relied so heavily on technology to deliver. New innovations propel us into the world of self-driving cars and high-speed trains.
Glass so strong you can jump on it, rubber so tough it protects a clay pot dropped from 50 feet, endless varieties of plastic. Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength—but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday.
Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
Who are the masters of the universe? Are we the only intelligent life, or is something else lurking out there? For 60 years now, we have probed the skies for signs of alien intelligence, longing for connection -- to no avail. But new ideas and technologies are beginning to change the game. Proudly presenting the third chapter in the Life Beyond trilogy: In Search of Giants. In this journey, we will see how far we’ve come in the search for intelligent life, how they might be communicating, just how advanced they might be, and what it would mean if we really did make contact. It might take thousands of years to make a discovery. But as long as the mystery endures, the search for giants will continue. It's in our blood to want to know.
Sir David Attenborough investigates a unique site in southern England where amateur fossil hunters uncovered giant mammoth bones and evidence of Neanderthals. A team of paleontologists and archaeologists soon discover that the site preserves rare evidence of the extinct beasts and early human inhabitants of Britain dating to over 200,000 years ago. What skills did the early humans have to help them survive during the Ice Age? How did they hunt and protect themselves against formidable creatures such as mammoths? With hands-on experiments with replicas of Neanderthal-era spears and stone tools, the world of prehistoric Britain comes to life.
We’ve heard that bees are disappearing. But what is making bee colonies so vulnerable? Photographer Anand Varma raised bees in his backyard — in front of a camera — to get an up close view. This project, for National Geographic, gives a lyrical glimpse into a bee hive — and reveals one of the biggest threats to its health, a mite that preys on baby bees in the first 21 days of life.
Traveling is extremely arduous for microscopic sperm -- think of a human trying to swim in a pool made of...other humans.
David Attenborough attempts to animate the life of the ichthyosaur whose 200-million-year-old fossil remains were found on Britain's Jurassic coast. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, they stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery - and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature's fate.
2018 • Nature
Tanzania's Lake Manyara National Park boasts a number of diverse habitats. From woodland savannas to grassy marshes, the region is a special part of the east African ecosystem and provides a wealth of resources to the wildlife that call it home.
Take a journey deep inside the intriguing world of non-verbal communication. As human beings, our bodies communicate our inner emotions and feelings in ways that can often be easily seen by others, but at other times, are barely visible. On every continent and in every ethnicity, expressions of emotions such as happiness, surprise, anger and fear are universally recognized. These expressions are hard-wired into our facial muscles for reasons that have everything to do with human evolution and survival of the species. To the trained observer, the way people move can be more revealing than the things people say. Body Language Decoded features interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in human communication.
2017 • Lifehack
The final programme looks at the superorganisms formed by bees, ants and termites. Attenborough reveals that their colonies, whose individuals were once considered purely servile, are "full of conflict, power struggles and mutinies." They evolved when such creatures moved away from a solitary existence and started building nests side-by-side, which led to a collective approach to caring for their young.
With 66 billion euros in revenue by the end of 2014, Google is the richest search engine company in the world and has become ubiquitous to the point of being used as a verb. Searching the net, sending messages via Gmail, getting around with Google maps, watching videos on YouTube.... By being ever present in our lives, Google has got to know a lot about us. But how much do we really know about Google? How did the big teenager become a giant octopus, data swallower who took the opportunity to sneak itself into so many practical and free services that have become a vital part of our lives? From France in English
2015 • Technology
3,000- years-old, the Nebra Sky Disk is the oldest sky map in the world, predating Babylonian and Egyptian sky maps. Found in Germany, the Nebra Sky Disk is an archaeological mystery. Who were the people who designed this beautiful and functional ancient artifact with exact proportions?
The surprising story of the hidden powerhouse behind the globalised world - the diesel engine, a 19th-century invention that has become indispensable to the 21st century. It's a turtle versus hare tale in which the diesel engine races the petrol engine in a competition to replace ageing steam technology - a race eventually won hands down by diesel. Splendidly, car enthusiast presenter Mark Evans gets excitedly hands on with some of the many applications of Mr Diesel's - yes, there was one - original creation, from vintage submarines and tractors to locomotive trains and container ships. You'll never feel the same about that humble old diesel family car again.