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    Last Chance to See

    Last Chance to See

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    BBC Two
    In the late 1980s The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy writer Douglas Adams travelled the world, with zoologist Mark Carwardine, to search for engangered species. Now, twenty years on, Stephen Fry joins Carwardine to revisit the animals and see how they're surviving.moreless
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    Rough Science

    Rough Science

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    BBC Two (ended 2005)
    Rough Science takes five scientists to a remote location where they are set challenges to be undertaken with only basic equipment and whatever they can find or extract from the local environment, although a few special items are sometimes provided. US publicity called it "Survivor meets Junkyard Wars", though Rough Science actually went into production before Survivor. From a British point of view, the show fits into a similar niche to that occupied by the 1980s ratings-winners The Great Egg Race and Now Get Out Of That!, as well as belonging to BBC2's portfolio of "popular science" shows alongside such hits as What The Romans Did For Us and Hollywood Science. The scientists who take on the challenges cover most of the major specializations; the regular team comprises a chemist, a physicist, a botanist, an engineer and a geologist. Rough Science demonstrates how different specialisms can come together to solve scientific problems - or, conversely, how a problem can be solved from more than one angle. What rivalry exists among the scientists is purely of the friendly kind, in fact it's obvious that they're all good friends and their camaraderie is one of the things that makes Rough Science such a success. The team's challenges have thus far always taken place somewhere very hot or very cold. The first series took the original team - including Anna Lewington and Vanessa Griffths, who do not appear in the later series - to a secret island location, and their first task was to work out where in the world they were. For the second series, American Ellen McCallie replaced Lewington as the team's resident botanist, and Kathy Sykes also made her debut, around the same time that she began presenting another series from the same stable, Ever Wondered About Food?. This time the setting was a Caribbean island and the tasks were more technology-based. The third series was a complete contrast. The same team were sent to New Zealand, where they were set tasks on a gold-mining theme. Amid spectacular glaciers, they were set the challenge of finding enough gold to make a piece of jewelery, with four of the six episodes dedicated almost entirely toward this goal. Having used numerous different approaches to find gold (including a search for "buried treasure"!), the team eventually achieved their goal, and the pendant they made was given away in a competition on the Rough Science website. For the fourth series, it was back into the heat. Based near a NASA testing ground on the edge of Death Valley, the team (now including geologist Iain Stewart) faced a series of challenges on the theme of space exploration, with high points including Ellen's "moonwalk" in a spacesuit built from scrap material, and a closing rocket-building challenge with a memorable finale. Note that when shown in the USA, the first two series were combined into one, with the order swapped round so that the second series episodes appeared first. The third and fourth series were similarly combined into a single, 12-episode series when they appeared in the USA the following year. Jonathan Hare's website provided details of filming dates for the various series.moreless
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    The Planets

    The Planets

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    BBC Two (ended 1999)
    Welcome to The Planets guide at TV.com.

    Screening over eight episodes, The Planets presents the incredible story of the discovery and exploration of our solar system, revealing the deepest secrets of our neighbors in space.

    From the first faltering attempts to magnify the sky with crude telescopic lenses to the sophisticated probes revealing even the most distant planets today, this amazing footage relive the gripping stories of adventure and discovery.

    Using a unique blend of state of the art computer graphics, unseen space race archive and first hand testimony from scientists around the world, The Planets is the most comprehensive account of space explorations ever compiled for television.moreless
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    Deadly 60

    Deadly 60

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    BBC Two
    Steve Backshall travels across six continents to find the world's most dangerous animals.
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    Wild China

    Wild China

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    BBC Two
    This documentary captures the dazzling array of landscapes and creatures that can be found across China. The six-part series reveals the little-known natural treasures and secret wildlife havens of China's wildest regions.moreless
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    Tsunami, The Aftermath

    Tsunami, The Aftermath

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    BBC Two (Mini-Series 2006)
    BBC and HBO Films bring the touching story of survival and hope to the small screen in Tsunami, The Aftermath. Based on the events of the December 2004 tsunami that devastated the Andaman coast of Thailand, this compelling drama explores the effects to the community and to humanity as a whole. Developed from interviews and comprehensive research and filmed in Thailand, this mini-series gives viewers a compelling look at how disasters change not just the landscape, but the many lives it touches.moreless