Top PBS HD Documentaries of 2009
I have recently been matching many PBS documentaries on Nature and
Nova, which are now all broadcast in high definition (HD). (I've been
watching these via my personal media
network, incidentally.) What follows is a list of the best such
documentaries for 2009, and a brief synopsis. Also see my
recommendations for the top
PBS documentaries of 2006-7 and 2008.
- Nova: Becoming Human (3 episodes). The evolution of man is
documented with numerous remarkable discoveries and findings.
Dramatic climate change in ancient Africa forced our ancestors
to evolve, and those most able to adapt to changing conditions
survived. Ancient tools, burial sites, skeletons and artwork
are examined. Compelling theories and deductive paleontology
give a detailed picture of the numerous branches of the human
family tree. Specific findings give a snapshot of individuals
during important life events, while the big picture of the
spread and evolution of human ancestors across the world is
stunning and eye-opening.
- Nature: Life in Death Valley. The extremes of weather,
topography, and biology are profiled for the largest of the
national parks in the continental U.S. Some animals manage to
survive in these extreme conditions, including multiple rare
species of fish. Tall mountains rise up from a valley floor
that is below sea level. Historically the valley, now parched
dry, was flooded with water. Today, flash
floods rush through the dry valley only occasionally, but can
be deadly when they do.
- Nature: Sharkland. A unique confluence of water currents and
food sources off the southern coast of Africa draw dozens of
species of sharks to a small area. Dramatic close-up footage of
sharks and their prey fill this amazing episode. The sharp
divide between cold water and warm currents provides a line in
the water separating habitats and species.
- Nature: Violent Hawaii. The volcanoes, huge waves, and other
extreme conditions of Hawaii contrast strongly with the peaceful
image of the islands. Lava devastates neighborhoods, but
creates entire new islands. Massive humpback whales battle
beneath the waves. Lifeguards train in the massive Maui north
shore surf to rescue surfers who come to tackle some of the
worlds largest waves.
Last modified on 12 Jan 2010 by AO
Copyright © 2020 Andrew Oliver