NOVA - Season 5

Wednesday 9:00 PM on PBS Premiered Mar 03, 1974 In Season


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Episode Guide

  • Alaska: The Closing Frontier
    NOVA heads to Alaska in this episode to cover the debate on closing of the frontier to developers and adding state land to America's national park system. Businessmen want to construct an oil pipeline and mine for minerals along the state's coastline. Producers cover the debate between liberals and conservatives on whether Alaskan land should be preserved.moreless
  • Whisper From Space (A)
    In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, two radio astronomers at Bell Telephone Laboratories, discovered faint, but ever-present, microwave signals from space—the most ancient and most distant signals detected by man: the oldest "fossils" in the universe. NOVA explores the current surge of cosmological discovery that continues to aid scientists in the "cosmic archaeology" of digging into the history of the universe.moreless
  • Memories From Eden
    Memories From Eden
    Episode 18
    NOVA travels to zoos across America, in this episode, taking a look at how zookeepers work behind the cages. Producers also take viewers back in time, showing them how not long ago; humans caged themselves from the outside world for protection. The episode ends with a spotlight on preserving endangered species and zoos breed are now breeding them in controlled environments.moreless
  • Tse Tse Trap (The)
    Tse Tse Trap (The)
    Episode 17
    NOVA explores Bovine sleeping sickness. Spread by a fly, it is a deadly disease that poses a threat to Africa's cattle.
  • Desert's Edge (The)
    Desert's Edge (The)
    Episode 16
    For thousands of years people have managed to live in deserts all over the world. But in recent years, a growing population and the demands of the international market have put more stress on these poor and easily exhausted lands. NOVA examines the consequences and possible solutions to desertification.
  • Insect Alternative (The)
    In a world that each year loses up to 40 percent of its crops to insects, some form of pest control is desperately needed. But chemical pesticides have backfired. Pesticide-resistant insects frequently develop, and previously harmless insects have become devastating infestations. Farmers have found themselves trapped on a "pesticide treadmill"—the more they spray, the more they have to spray. NOVA examines several alternatives for pest control.moreless
  • Light of the 21st Century
    When first invented 18 years ago, lasers were called "a solution looking for a problem;" nobody could think what to do with them. But in fact research scientists immediately began to exploit their pure colors and near-perfect focusing ability. Today lasers have grown into a billion-dollar business. They are used in construction, manufacturing, clothing, dentistry and medicine. And the future uses of lasers are likely to be of major significance as the means of achieving nuclear fusion and as a very high efficiency communications medium.moreless
  • Road To Happiness
    Road To Happiness
    Episode 13
    Henry Ford, a great friend of Edison, was a film enthusiast who amassed some one and a half million feet of film during his lifetime. Deposited in the National Archives and known as the Ford Film Collection, it covers not only the Ford family and Ford Motor Company but also contains newsreels, and general films produced under Ford. Using the Collection, NOVA profiles Ford's life and times.moreless
  • Battle for the Acropolis
    The fortified plateau above Athens known as the Acropolis is the site of some of the most remarkable architecture in the world: its marble structures built in the fifth century BC, including the renowned Parthenon, represent the artistic peak of classical Greek architecture. NOVA examines how the heavily polluted air of Athens produces acid rain which is dissolving the marble sculptures and columns; and how iron tiles used extensively in repair 40 years ago are now rusting, expanding and shattering the stone structures.moreless
  • Still Waters
    Still Waters
    Episode 11
    Beavers are the focus in this episode as NOVA heads to an Oregon beaver pond to check out how the animals live. The episode begins with a microscopic a look of an Oregon river and segues to the wildlife living on the riverbanks. Other animals appearing in this episode include deer, eagles and spotted owls.moreless
  • Icarus' Children
    Icarus' Children
    Episode 10
    A scientist from California wins the Kremer Prize, and NOVA wants to know why. This episode captures footage Paul MacCready and his self-powered airplane, which relies on human and solar energy. MacCready must complete a one-mile flight in order to get his new invention financed. The question is, "can he fly his plane with a storm on the horizon?"moreless
  • Mind Machines (The)
    Today's scientists may be creating their own successors. Work being done in Artificial Intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science, only suggest that in the not too distant future, machines will outpace their creators. NOVA examines the possibility.
  • Extreme Ice
    Episode 9
    As the world warms, the threat from rising sea levels poses an alarming potential for disaster. Some models now project a one-meter sea level rise over the next century, which could displace millions of people, from Florida to Bangladesh, and require trillions of dollars' investment in coastal infrastructure. But these models don't reflect recent findings that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an ever faster rate. What explains this alarming acceleration, and just how can we figure out what's happening inside a gigantic wall of ice? In collaboration with National Geographic, NOVA follows the exploits of acclaimed photojournalist James Balog and a scientific team as they deploy time-lapse cameras in risky, remote locations in the Arctic, Alaska and the Alps. Their goal is to create a unique photo archive of melting glaciers that could provide a key to understanding their runaway behavior. They're grappling with blizzards, fickle technology and perilous climbs up craggy precipices to anchor cameras that must withstand sub-zero temperatures and winds up to 170 mph. In this high-action adventure, NOVA investigates the mystery of the mighty ice sheets that will affect the fate of coastlines around the world.moreless
  • The Case Of The Ancient Astronauts
    Ancient scientists and their early theories of extraterrestrial life are the focus on this episode of NOVA. Producers head to the Great Pyramids of Egypt and to Mexico to see if alien life had a hand in helping humans create their architectural masterpieces. The episode ends with a look at some ancient artwork of an astronaut leaving Earth on a spaceship.moreless
  • Rat Attack
    Episode 8
    Every 48 years, the inhabitants of the remote Indian state of Mizoram suffer a horrendous ordeal known locally as mautam. An indigenous species of bamboo, blanketing 30 percent of Mizoram's 8,100 square miles, blooms once every half-century, spurring an explosion in the rat population which feeds off the bamboo's fruit. The rats run amok, destroying crops and precipitating a crippling famine throughout Mizoram. NOVA follows this gripping tale of nature's capacity to engender human suffering, and investigates the botanical mystery of why the bamboo flowers and why the rats attack with clockwork precision every half-century.moreless
  • Great Wine Revolution (The)
    A science-based revolution in the making of wine is underway. NOVA traces the secrets of the aging process and science's involvement with the predicting of mass production high-quality vintage wines.
  • Trial of Denton Cooley
    In a dramatic docudrama, NOVA reconstructs the controversial lawsuit raised against renowned heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley when one of his patients died after heart surgery, and examines the legal and moral issues this raises in the practice of modern medicine.
  • BaMiki BaNdula: Children of the Forest
    In the rain forests of Zaire, in the heart of Africa, live the Mbuti Pygmies. The Pygmy way of life has always been extraordinarily difficult to capture on film, though many have tried. NOVA presents a rare portrait of an elusive people, made by an independent filmmaker who lived with the Pygmies and won their trust.moreless
  • The Final Frontier (2)
    NOVA looks forward to post-Apollo space exploration and colonization.
  • One Small Step (1)
    One Small Step (1)
    Episode 3
    NOVA explores the history of NASA with particular emphasis on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.
  • Blueprints in the Bloodstream
    It has been known since the turn of the century that there are four human blood groups, based on different red cells and serum characteristics. NOVA looks at the more recent discovery that the different white cell types, as determined by a variety of different molecular markers on the cell surface, open up the possibility of the prevention of disease.moreless
  • In The Event of Catastrophe
    Can a nuclear war be survived? Some members of the defense community say yes. NOVA explores the possibility.