By the close of the Industrial Revolution, the American food supply was tainted with frauds, fakes and legions of new and untested chemicals, dangerously threatening the health of consumers. Based on the book by Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad tells the story of government chemist Dr. Harvey Wiley who, determined to banish these dangerous substances from dinner tables, took on the powerful food manufacturers and their allies. Wiley embarked upon a series of bold and controversial trials on 12 human subjects who would become known as the “Poison Squad.” Following Wiley’s unusual experiments and tireless advocacy, the film charts the path of the forgotten man who laid the groundwork for U.S. consumer protection laws, and ultimately the creation of the FDA.
Xand van Tulleken, Raksha Dave and John Sergeant discover the parallels of the Great Plague of 1665 with the Covid-19 pandemic. Ch1. Outbreak The epidemic is traced back to its source in the parish of St Giles in the Fields, now at the heart of London's theatre district. The program also examines the symptoms of the disease and uncovers new research into the plague bacteria that could overthrow accepted ideas about how the infection was spread. Ch2. Decimation Xand heads to St Barts hospital to look back at historical records which show that nursing staff stayed behind and risked their lives to help the sick. Elsewhere, John investigates why infection rates were so different between the rich and poor, examining clothes typical for each group in the 17th century. Ch3. Aftermath Xand visits Samuel Pepys' parish church and discovers the sad tale of the Poole family, who within 11 days lost all five of their children. He also heads to Eyam in Derbyshire, revealing the heroic story of self-sacrifice that saw all 700 villagers lock themselves in to try to stop the disease from spreading to surrounding areas. Raksha Dave trials 17th-century disinfection methods and reveal a surprising substitute that can be just as effective as modern antibacterial cleaners.
2020 • Health
Flying through bad weather can be a harrowing experience, and for NASA, it can be doubly unnerving, as violent storms can strike from below the atmosphere or above it. Witness the true power of nature in space and on Earth as astronauts and ground crews battle to overcome the elements, including a severe lightning strike that crippled Apollo 12's computer system, the freezing temps that compromised the Space Shuttle Challenger, and the tempest of space debris that sent a dead satellite on a collision course with the International Space Station.
After finding strands of human hair buried in Greenland's permafrost, scientists are attempting the impossible: to be the first to reconstruct the identity of a Stone Age human being through nothing but his ancient locks. From scraps of DNA an ancient face appears. Further discoveries in the genetic code threaten to overturn long-held beliefs of how humans populated the earth. How much does your hair say about you? Scratch that. How much will your hair say about you, in say, 4,000 years? After finding tufts of human hair buried in Greenlands permafrost, scientists will assemble a remarkable human blueprint that details the life of one early human down to the color of his eyes, the shape of his teeth...even his receding hairline. But as the research team, lead by evolutionary biologist Eske Willerslev, break into this genetic code, they find far more than they bargained for, and the discovery threatens to turn our long held concept of how humans populated the earth on its head. In the ultimate cold case, National Geographic will obtain exclusive access to the international team of genetic scientists, archaeologists and paleo- artists who are breathing life into a man dead for 4,000 years, learning everything about him and even the way he and his people lived... through his hair.
The British, French and Americans are waiting to enter Berlin. In the meantime, the Soviets appoint mayors, organise the food supply and go on the hunt for war criminals. The Jewish community, among whom there are few survivors, regroup. The fate of the city is determined at the Potsdam Conference. Life returns to the ruins, theatres reopen and orchestras play in the open air. By the end of 1945, the bond that held the Allies together is torn apart - and the Cold War begins.
The Battle for Berlin has begun. Step by step, the soon-to-be victorious powers advance. On 30 April, the Red Flag flies over the Reichstag and Adolf Hitler takes his own life. Another seven days pass before the Wehrmacht disassembles. National Socialism is finally beaten, along with Germany and Berlin. But for many, the fall of Nazism spells liberation rather than defeat.
At the beginning of 1945, Berlin remains under the spell of the Nazi promise of salvation, an illusion at odds with the city’s daily reality. Every day there are bombing attacks, fires to be extinguished and corpses to be buried. Life goes on as the front lines of the war close in each day. Death comes for men, women, the old, the young, the National Socialists and the forced labourers. In April, the Red Army stands ready outside the city. In a time of uncertainty on the front lines, nobody has a clear view of what will happen. Civilians hiding, SS soldiers shooting deserters, and Red Army soldiers hoping to survive the final days of the war. As the war comes closer and closer to the metropolis, it returns everything to its roots, showing no mercy.
In 1955, the great scientist Albert Einstein died in Princeton - his express wish was that his body be cremated, so as to leave no earthly remains. But, on the day of his death, his brain was secretly removed by doctors at Princeton Hospital - supposedly for “scientific study.” Nearly 40 years later, no study is complete, and there are only rumors as to whereabouts of the missing brain. This film follows the quest of an Einstein expert, Professor Sugimoto Kenji, who travelled from his home in Japan to the USA to try and find the greatest relic of 20th century science.
1994 • People
A moving and inspiring account of loss, rebirth and renewal - and the discovery of 'a world beyond sight'. In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, John Hull, a professor at the University of Birmingham, became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. Over three years he recorded over sixteen hours of material. This beautifully crafted documentary takes John's original recordings as the template for the film, incorporating lip-syncing by actors in evocative reconstructions. The technique allows the viewer to immerse themselves in John's world as he comes to terms with his deteriorating sight, and learns to experience the world in different ways. As John explains about his redemptive journey: 'I knew that if I didn't understand blindness, it would destroy me.'
2017 • People
Three-part drama-documentary series revealing the truth about England's most infamous King, King Henry VIII. Filming in historic locations including Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and the Vatican and unearthing new documents never seen before on TV, a team of Tudor experts uncover the real Henry, and explore how his complex personality fundamentally shaped the nation. Ch1. Rise of a Tyrant Experts examine how Henry VIII's traumatic childhood affected his personality, from the death of his older brother to the tragic early death of his beloved mother. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch2. Bloodlust and the Boleyns Takes viewers on a journey through the turbulent marriages, affairs and tyrannical politics of King Henry VIII's reign, and explores how Henry's obsession with marrying Anne Boleyn resulted in a cataclysmic and hugely unpopular split with the Roman Catholic Church. The programme also examines Henry's relationship with his new chief advisor and enforcer, Thomas Cromwell, who would come to bear the brunt of the King's increasing unhinged behaviour in the years to come. Narrated by Jason Isaacs. Ch3. Endgame A look at the king's final years, when the pain caused by an infected ulcer on his leg had a detrimental impact on his increasingly angry temperament. Lauren Johnson examines the king's exotic diet, including meat from porpoises and seals, and considers its impact on both his weight and his health. Plus, a look at a Catholic rebellion and the breakdown of Henry's relationship with advisor Thomas Cromwell.
2020 • History
Discover why restoring nature might be our best tool to slow global warming. From Borneo to Antarctica, the resilience of the planet is helping us find solutions to cope and even mitigate climate change, providing hope for a more positive future.
Explore how a new understanding of nature is helping us find surprising ways to fix it. From the Pacific Northwest to Yellowstone to Scotland, scientists, citizens and activists are restoring the environment, benefiting humans and animals alike.
In the fall of 2020, a NASA spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx attempts to reach out and grab a piece of an asteroid named Bennu and bring it back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx team has just three chances to extend its spacecraft's specialized arm, touch down for five seconds, and collect material from the surface of Bennu. Can they pull it off? NOVA takes you inside the mission as the team plans its approach: They must map the asteroid's surface, choose possible collection sites, and rehearse the risky maneuver. If the collection is successful, scientists could gain great insight into Earth's own origins—and even learn to defend against rogue asteroids that may one day threaten our planet.