Fast-paced and beautifully shot, by turns dramatic and moving, this series is a lively combination of eyewitness stories and intriguing science from around the world. Filmed in Africa and North America, in the Philippines and Indonesia, on the continent of Europe and in Australia and New Zealand, the series is a vivid portrait of the Earth's beauty and power.
Savage Planet Previous Broadcasts
Extremes (Episode #104)
KQED Life: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
This is a story of two contrasting worlds: the highest mountains in the depths of winter and Death Valley, the hottest, driest, lowest place in North America where July temperatures stay over 100 degrees - day and night. In these harsh environments, a wrong move can mean death. In the mountains of America and Europe people enter territory that is truly nature's own. In winter, avalanches come screaming down slopes at up to 125 miles an hour. Dramatic stories from Utah demonstrate what happens to their victims. In France in 1999, 12 villagers died despite living in a place avalanche scientists and planners had thought was safe. In the baking heat of America's Death Valley, park rangers constantly patrol in military vehicles and light planes, on the lookout for stranded visitors. Yet the very extremes of this place draw people here - enthusiasts who see the heat as a challenge and engineers for whom it is a natural laboratory, a place where man and machine can be pushed to their limits.
- KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
Deadly Skies (Episode #103)
KQED Life: Wed, Dec 2, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
Man has always looked to the sky with unease, for out of the blue comes hail that can destroy homes and cars in a moment, and lightning - hotter than the surface of the sun and powerful enough to light a city for a day. At Cape Canaveral, lightning can stop the U.S. space program in its tracks. Survivors in Australia and Britain tell of lightning's extraordinary power - how it can shred a glider to confetti and knock more than 20 golfers to the ground with a single strike. Spectacular footage from America's lightning capital, where Dr. Martin Uman triggers lightning intentionally, and fascinating research by Dr. Chris Andrew on how a bolt affects the human body shows how little we understand. But there are other deadlier threats from the skies. Out in the blackness of space are meteorites - pieces of planets and stars. Things of beauty and fascination to passionate collectors like Tucson's Bob Haag and astronomer David Kring, hundreds of fragments fall harmlessly to Earth every day. But out there, silently circling, are a least 1,500 big enough to wipe out a city. Some - as comet-hunters David Levy and Carolyn Shoemaker show - big enough to end life on Earth.
- KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 2, 2009 -- 12:00 AM