Sir David Attenborough joins an archaeological dig uncovering Britain’s biggest mammoth discovery in almost 20 years. In 2017, in a gravel quarry near Swindon, two amateur fossil hunters found an extraordinary cache of Ice Age mammoth remains and a stone hand-axe made by a Neanderthal. Professor Ben Garrod joins the team at DigVentures during the excavation as they try to discover why the mammoths were here and how they died. Could the Neanderthals have killed these Ice Age giants?
2021 • Nature
Ch1. Oceans In Cape Verde, Gordon starts the adventure with a look at one of the world's largest populations of nesting loggerhead turtles. He then heads to the Bahamas with Caribbean reef sharks, California to see young elephant seals and the British Isles to attach featherweight cameras to a squadron of gannets. Ch2. Australia In New South Wales, Gordon encounters a marsupial facing a complex set of challenges when he meets a population of kangaroos that are being pushed to the very brink by a coastal development boom. How are they surviving on the edge of this urban expansion? Gordon meets the scientists driven to find out more about what the roos are feeding on as they are pushed onto the coastal fringes. As we become immersed in their world, we get a better understanding of kangaroos' social lives and the impact of human encroachment on their diet. In southern Australia, we head to Adelaide, where one of the team's toughest challenges yet is to create the lightest of cameras to find out what the lure of the big city is to a colony of newly arrived fruit bats. Their appearance is a bit of a puzzle. Are they a threat to the local commercial fruit crops or have they found other ways to adapt to city life? For the first time ever, the fruit bats take our cameras up above the cityscape, showing us a unique view of their nocturnal worlds while providing information crucial to their future. In Queensland, we help scientists find out if koalas really deserve their dozy daytime reputation when we join researchers at a reserve to discover some incredible revelations surrounding their night-time manoeuvres. The team's tech allows us to shadow them after sundown, unveiling their remarkable agility and surprising navigational skills. Specially designed with tree-hugging in mind, koalacams offer an insight which could help koalas as we find out what they need to survive - not just here, but elsewhere in the country.
In the heart of the Atlantic, Gordon Buchanan joins a team looking to discover why huge numbers of devil rays, fish with 'wings' nearly four metres across, and gather every summer near the Azores archipelago. In northeast Turkey the on-board cameras are carried by brown bears as part of a study trying to understand why so many bears survive in a small patch of forest. In southern France on-board cameras help scientists trying to prove that guard dogs can help protect sheep flocks from wolf attacks. The night-vision cameras show how the dogs work together as a team to fend off the wolves.
In Namibia, Gordon joins a cheetah conservationist who wants to see if three orphaned cheetahs, which she has raised from a day old, can learn to hunt effectively in the thick vegetation. The on-board cameras, the first to ever be worn by cheetahs hunting in Africa, In Australia, the team puts cameras on fur seals to try to see how they hunt their prey and avoid attacks by great white sharks. In South Africa, we deploy the first ever cameras on wild baboons in an effort to understand why these clever monkeys sometimes raid farmers' crops.
In the first episode, the team uncover the hidden lives of three iconic animals. In the Kalahari Desert the team put cameras on wild meerkats for the first time, allowing scientists to finally understand what these miniature mammals get up to underground. Heading to Cameroon, Gordon works with scientist Mimi Swift, who is desperate to understand whether Kimbang, a four-year-old orphan chimp, has the skills she needs to be able to join a chimp family living wild in the forest. Leaving Africa for Argentina, the team have penguins carry tiny cameras far out to sea on an epic journey of up to 300 kilometres (200 miles). For the first time, scientists are able to see the tactics these charismatic characters use to catch their prey.
Sir David Attenborough chooses his favourite recordings from the natural world that have revolutionised our understanding of song. Each one - from the song of the largest lemur to the song of the humpback whale to the song of the lyrebird - was recorded in his lifetime. When Sir David was born, the science of song had already been transformed by Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection: singing is dangerous as it reveals the singer’s location to predators, but it also offers the male a huge reward, the chance to attract a female and pass on genes to the next generation. Hence males sing and females don't. Today, new science in the field of birdsong is transforming those long-held ideas. Scientists are discovering that, in fact, in the majority of all songbird species, females sing - and it is only now they are being properly heard. Through this revelation and others, we can understand that animal songs are marvelous examples of the spectacular survival strategies that species have developed in order to stay alive.
2021 • Nature
We investigate the emerging threats posed by plastic pollution to life on Earth. The hyper-convenience of our modern way of living produces staggering volumes of plastic waste daily. Scientists now know that this waste breaks down into ever tinier pieces, spreading right across the globe and posing direct health risks, including through bioamplification of toxic additives moving up the food chain. We explore the drastic changes it will take to deliver a sustainable future for our planet.
2021 • Environment
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer and epidemiologist Jonathan Van-Tam takes a deep dive into viruses and reveals why discoveries and advances made during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic mean biological science will never be the same again.
S1E3 • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam is joined by a host of top UK scientists to take a deep dive into the science of viruses. Plus, how new research could have an impact far beyond Covid-19.
S1E2 • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam takes a deep dive into the fascinating and varied world of viruses. He aims to show how public health measures, combined with ground-breaking science, will have an impact far beyond Covid-19, including breakthroughs that could help fight other infectious diseases, genetic disorders and even cancer.
S1E1 • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health
Following engineers and scientists on a groundbreaking mission as they build, test and launch the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful observatory ever constructed, and discovers the astonishing cosmological mysteries it will investigate.
2021 • Astronomy
Space technologies are continuing to be refined and access to space is becoming cheaper. This episode looks at the development of new human-rated spacecraft, reusable boosters, laser communications, the Ion Drive, and new techniques to refuel satellites in space.
Astronaut Mike Massimino explores Venus, a hellish planet covered in active volcanoes and dense clouds. Using cutting edge technology, he decodes the secrets beneath this volatile planet and investigates if Earth could be heading towards the same fate.
The deep is perhaps the most hostile environment on earth, at least to us - a world of crushing pressure, brutal cold and utter darkness. We have barely begun to explore it, and yet it is the largest living space on the planet. Scientists already think that there is more life in the deep than anywhere else on earth. This episode takes us on an epic journey into the unknown, a realm that feels almost like science fiction. We discover alien worlds, bizarre creatures and extraordinary new behaviours never seen before. We encounter savage hordes of Humboldt squid hunting lanternfish in the depths and coral gardens flourishing in absolute darkness, with more species of coral to be found in the deep than on shallow tropical reefs.. Narrated by David Attenborough,
The Story of the Escadrille Lafayette Well before their country entered the Great War a number of adventurous Americans volunteered to fight for the British and French. Among them were a number of pilots, and in early 1916 they were formed into a special French fighter squadron, which fought with great distinction on the Western Front. Amazing aerial footage shows WW1 dog-fights as they really were. If the Wright brothers' 1903 flights in Kitty Hawk marked the birth of aviation, World War I can be called its violent adolescence—a brief but bloody era that completely changed the way planes were designed, fabricated, and flown. France's Yankee Fliers tells the story of the men who were at the forefront of that revolution: the daredevil Americans of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew in French planes, wore French uniforms, and showed the world an American brand of heroism before the United States entered the Great War.
14/20 • The True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century • 1996 • History
Man uses plants to feed, heal and clothe himself, to build his world and even to alter how he feels. The use of plants like corn, tobacco and cotton become such an important part of our lives that they play a central role in our evolution.
From lowly Corsican Army officer to first consul of France, this episode charts the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to leader of the French nation in the late 1790s. It tells of Napoleon's military triumphs in Italy, Eqypt and against anti-revolutionaries on the streets of Paris, his marriage to Josephine Beauharnais and leadership of the military coup of 1799 that swept him into power.
In April 1944, two Jewish prisoners miraculously escaped from Auschwitz. When they recounted what they had left behind, their harrowing testimony revealed the true horror of the Holocaust to the outside world for the first time. They described in forensic detail the gas chambers and the full extent of the extermination programme. The news they brought presented the Allies with one of the greatest moral questions of the 20th century: Should we bomb Auschwitz? While the Allies deliberated in London and Washington, the killing machine ground on in southern Poland. One month after the men’s escape, almost 800,000 Hungarian Jews had been rounded up awaiting transport to Auschwitz. By early July 1944, the majority had been transported. Most of them were murdered on arrival. As the killing at Auschwitz reached its frenzied climax, the outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance. Millions of troops were fighting on both fronts and battling for supremacy in the air. Should the Allies use their resources to push on and win the war or to stop the industrial slaughter at Auschwitz? The request to bomb the camp, with 30,000 captive prisoners, was remarkable and came from a place of utter desperation. But it was a direct response to the destruction of an entire people. There were operational challenges - was it possible to reach the camp to bomb it? How many heavy bombers would it take? What would the Nazi propaganda machine say about such an attack? - as well as complex moral ones. How many prisoners would likely die in such a raid? Can you kill friendly civilians in order to save the lives of those being transported towards the death camp? These were the hard questions faced by Churchill, Allied Air Command and the Jewish Agency.
2019 • History
Art is undergoing a revolution brought about by advances in technology. Digital techniques, data flows, calculating power, and 3D visualization are some of the tools that open the way to new ways and forms of expression and new artistic practices.
After years of anticipation, autonomous vehicles are now being tested on public roads around the world. As ambitious innovators race to develop what they see as the next high-tech pot of gold, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges ahead, including how to train artificial intelligence to be better than humans at making life-and-death decisions. How do self-driving cars work? How close are we to large-scale deployment of them? And will we ever be able to trust AI with our lives?
Examines the decline of physical media in the video game industry and the rise of digital distribution. Changing technology has affected everything from secondhand mom and pop retail stores to independent game developers. As the way we fundamentally interact with media moves inevitably into the future, new opportunities arise.
2019 • Technology
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Roomba. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
In 1998 a single video game forever changed the world. The game was StarCraft. It would go on to become the foundation of e-sports and the force behind the online streaming medium Twitch. This global phenomenon began in the modest South Korean internet cafes known as PC bangs. It was from these humble beginnings that our characters "MC" and "MMA" would begin their dreams. Dreams that eventually lifted them out of poverty and placed them on the world stage as champions. But life in esports comes at a cost and as we follow these players throughout a year of their lives we find out just what it takes to compete at the highest level and achieve ones' "Dreams of Blizzcon".
2017 • Technology
By the middle of January many people struggle to keep up their resolutions to be more active. The result is that the UK wastes nearly £600 million a year on unused gym memberships. But new science has the answers. Medical journalist Michael Mosley teams up with scientists whose latest research is turning common knowledge about fitness on its head. They reveal why 10,000 steps is just a marketing ploy and that two minutes of exercise is all a person needs each week. They discover how to get people to stick to their fitness plans and what exercise can actually make everyone more intelligent. Whether it is for couch potatoes who hate the thought of exercise, someone too busy to consider the gym, or even for fitness fanatics who are desperate to do more - science can help everyone exercise better.
2020 • Health
One of the most amazing facts in physics is that everything in the universe, from light to electrons to atoms, behaves like both a particle and a wave at the same time. But how did physicists arrive at this mind-boggling conclusion?
Watch as the Mars Perseverance Rover makes its historic landing on the Red Planet. We take you inside the harrowing February 18, 2021 landing, the science mission, and cutting-edge technology, including the first-ever Martian helicopter.
When did World War II begin? This film answers that question in a way most audiences will find surprising. Americans might say December 7th 1941... The day the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For Europeans, it was September 1st 1939... When Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But in China, people will tell you a different date, August 13th 1937. That day, after a century of humiliation, and six years of repeated "Incidents" initiated by the Japanese military, China at last "stood up." This act of defiance took place in Shanghai, the most international city in Asia. It was headline news around the world. Today, the story is largely forgotten… except in China. The Battle of Shanghai has been described as the last battle of World War I, and the first battle of World War II. It was a warning to the world, a warning that was ignored. And it was the place where the destiny of modern China was set in motion.
2018 • History
Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.
2012 • Physics