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
Volcanic Killers (Episode #101)
KQED Plus: Thu, Nov 5, 2009 -- 8:00 PM
Volcanoes and water make dangerous bedfellows. Earth's 100 crater lakes - steaming, brightly colored, corrosive, bubbling with gas - are among the most exotic places on our planet. Mysterious and beautiful, they are also deadly, as the dazed survivors of the "exploding" volcanic Lake Nuyos in Cameroon, West Africa, testify. When volcanic debris and water mix together, they create destructive mudflows called lahars. It was lahars that caused New Zealand's worst railway disaster and destroyed 200 homes and swept away bridges in 1980 when Washington state's Mount St. Helens erupted. Unforgettable images and heart- rending stories from the Philippines demonstrate what typhoon rain and volcanic rock can do together. More people have died from lahars that flow each typhoon season than when the Philippines' Mount Pinatubo erupted. It is an ominous warning to those who live near volcanoes - as experts Professor Kelvin Rodolfo in the Philippines and Kevin Scott and David Zimbelman in Washington try to explain - and a threat hanging over one of America's most prosperous cities, Seattle.
- KQED Plus: Mon, Nov 9, 2009 -- 5:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 8, 2009 -- 11:00 PM
- KQED Plus: Fri, Nov 6, 2009 -- 2:00 AM
Storms of the Century (Episode #102)
KQED Plus: Thu, Nov 12, 2009 -- 8:00 PM
A hurricane is not the biggest storm the atmosphere can whip up. Perhaps once in a century, an extra-tropical cyclone - a storm formed outside the tropics - can pull hundreds of thousands of square miles of atmosphere into its orbit, spawn lightning, tornadoes, heavy rain or snow and deadly storm surges. This is the story of two storms - separated by thousands of miles and 40 years - that struck communities almost without warning and changed lives forever. With evocative and dramatic archival footage, and heart-wrenching personal accounts, this program brings these two very different tragedies to life. In 1993, a storm rampaged up the eastern seaboard of North America for more than 48 hours, breaking weather records as it went, tearing apart homes and farms, dumping snow so deep it trapped hundreds of hikers in the mountains, sinking yachts and bulk carriers in mountainous seas. Forty years earlier, low pressure, a high tide and onshore winds led to storm surges along the coasts of Holland and England. Survivors recall a night spent clinging to disintegrating houses in icy darkness. More than 2,000 people died. The program considers whether such enormous and damaging storms will occur more frequently if Earth's climate continues to change.
- KQED Plus: Tue, Nov 17, 2009 -- 4:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Mon, Nov 16, 2009 -- 10:00 PM
- KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 15, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Fri, Nov 13, 2009 -- 2:00 AM
Extremes (Episode #104)
KQED Plus: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 -- 9:00 PM
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: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED Life: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 -- 3:00 AM
Deadly Skies (Episode #103)
KQED Plus: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 -- 8:00 PM
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, Nov 25, 2009 -- 5:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Tue, Nov 24, 2009 -- 11:00 PM
- KQED Plus: Sun, Nov 22, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED Life: Sun, Nov 22, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
- KQED Plus: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 -- 2:00 AM
Also on KQED.org this week ...
KQED Science Site Relaunches
All of KQED's science and environment content is now aggregated in one place on KQED.org. Find everything from Astronomy to Zebras!
Enter the New "ImageMakers" Screening Room
Enjoy films from present and past seasons of KQED's short independent film series, divided into Animation, Comedy, Drama, and Suspense.