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.'
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional paleo-anthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.