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Exodus documents the journey of Syrian refugees as they cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece. In the winter of 2015, over three thousand refugees attempted this treacherous crossing everyday, all in hope of seeking asylum in the European Union. It’s a life and death gamble that they are willing to take, all for a chance at a new life away from their war-torn homeland.

Manson Documentary: Taking viewers deep inside a twisted world of hate, fear, sexual transgression and mind-control, MANSON tells the story of how one man transformed a harmless group of hippies into a gang of brutal murderers. WATCH THE FULL STORY ON www.tvilike.com


Return of the Plagues - Locusts Swarms of locusts are still a very real plague today. They afflict drought areas, especially after a rare rainfall, leaving a trail of destruction behind. In Africa, this regularly leads to disastrous famines. Fighting the locusts with crop dusters is too costly for many of the poorer countries, and classic insecticides take an extremely high toll on the environment and the remaining plants. Researchers all over the world are looking for new, more effective ways to combat the invaders. Scientists at the University of Halle in Germany are experimenting with pheromones that might upset the insects’ mating behavior. In Australia, where swarms of locusts have recently been destroying crops in parts of the country that never had this problem before, the locusts are being attacked with crop-dusting helicopters that apply pesticides in minimum dosage. But an aerial application is extremely sensitive to the wind, and the deadly mist might easily miss its target. “… locusts … invaded all Egypt …. They covered all the ground until it was black,” reports the Bible. “They devoured … everything growing in the fields … – nothing green remained on trees or palms in all the lands of Egypt.” (Exodus 10:14–15)

Return of the Plagues - Mosquitos Even today, two million people die every year from malaria transmitted by mosquitoes, mainly in Africa. But even in the Upper Rhine valley, where malaria was still rampant only a century ago, people have to watch out – with globalization and international travel, the cause of malaria, the so-called plasmodia, may return at any time, encouraged by the rise in average temperatures and the reproduction of the “right” type of mosquito. The Asian tiger mosquito is spreading slowly across Italy and even into Switzerland, a blood-sucking species that has caused numerous casualties in Asia as well as in the U.S. as a carrier of dengue fever and the West Nile virus. In the industrialized world, people are fighting this plague with state-of-the-art medication and insecticides that have as few side-effects as possible, but mosquitoes and pathogens are becoming more and more resistant. Some promising approaches to the solution of this problem have come out of the poor African continent itself, where researchers have been experimenting with the anopheles fly’s natural enemies (robber flies and jumping spiders) and have achieved remarkable results with plants such as the neem tree and artemisia. “… so there were lice upon man, and upon beast,” reports the Bible, “all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 8:18, 17)

Return of the Plagues - Sandstorms Dust storms frequently paralyze public life during the storm season in many of the most arid regions of the Earth, burying roads and human settlements, threatening the lives of humans and animals alike. The frequency of these dust storms is increasing, year after year. And the deserts that supply the raw material for the dust storms are also growing. In China, 20 percent of the land is already covered by desert, and every year sand covers a new area the size of Luxembourg. China has decided to build a 4,500 kilometer-long “green wall” as a bulwark against the dust storms: a belt of shrubs and trees is supposed to block the wind and stop the expansion of the desert. The documentary series, Return of the Plagues, follows “desertification fighters” to buried villages, where they plant kilometer after kilometer of new vegetation on sand dunes, fighting pests and looking for plants that are best suited to retain humidity in the soil. In Darmstadt, Germany, researchers have found out that dust storms from China and the Sahara are not only the result of climate change but also play an important role themselves in influencing the weather. “… darkness that can be felt … covered all Egypt for three days,” reports the Bible. “No one could see anyone else … for three days.” (Exodus 10:22–23)

Return of the Plagues - Hailstroms Mostly on the edge of mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Rocky Mountains, hail and heavy rain have devastating effects today in conjunction with global warming: crops are destroyed, homes and cars are swept away, adding up to billions of dollars in damages. Thousands of people have already died as a result of floods, landslides and mudslides. The documentary, Return of the Plagues, follows individual researchers in Germany, Austria, and Colorado who are trying to determine the conditions that cause these disasters, laying the groundwork for possibly controlling them in the future, or at least making more reliable predictions. Scientists study the dramatic sequence of events in a landslide or a flood, and they test man-made structures that are meant to withstand the enormous power of these mountains. In Styria, “hail pilots” fly small propeller aircraft into menacing thunderclouds, in order to manipulate the weather. “… and the Lord sent thunder and hail, … and fire mingled with the hail,” reports the Old Testament. “And the hail smote … all that was in the field, both man and beast.” (Exodus 9:23–25)

Return of the Plagues - Deadly Waters With water pollution and temperatures on the rise, toxic algae cause serious problems nowadays for inland waters and for the oceans. Increasing algal bloom is poisoning fish and shells, and it has become a health hazard for human beings as well: toxic algae are responsible 60,000 cases of food poisoning worldwide every year. The documentary, Return of the Plagues, takes a closer look at the effect these poisonous microorganisms have today: ● in Germany, where restaurant guests suffered food poisoning from a seafood buffet in spite of intense food inspections; ● in Florida, where not only dolphins fall victim to contaminated water but also swimmers who have difficulty breathing; ● in Italy, where an invasive species of algae has caused the collapse of the marine fauna; ● in Austria, where researchers are monitoring the mysterious behavior of algae that threaten to contaminate fresh water reservoirs; ● in Canada, where the fish and shellfish industry have shown great interest in sophisticated early-warning systems; and ● at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, where algae expert Allan Cembella and his colleagues are working on solving the puzzle of how this modern plague is propagated. “… all the waters that were in the river [Nile] were turned to blood. And all the fish that was in the river died,” reports the Bible, “and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river.” (Exodus 7:20–21)

The Day of the Cyborg The dream of enhancing the functions of the human body and optimizing its performance is hundreds of years old. One means of achieving this is through the fusion of man and machine. In recent times, this technology has made incredible progress, achieving results that were until recently found only in science fiction. The key to these achievements is the neurochip, a tiny device that could turn us all into cyborgs... Neurochips are systems of tiny electrodes implanted in the body, which connect with nerve cells and can read and transmit their electrical impulses. They can thus take over functions in the human brain. They harbor many dangers, but also many benefits for mankind, and the economic and medical potential is enormous. These are the issues at the heart of this documentary. It takes an objective and well-founded look at how the neurochip is used in medical practice today. The Cochlea implant, for example, allows the deaf to hear again; and the blind are able to "see" with the Artificial Vision System. But the most highly developed implant to date is the neuro brain chip, called "BrainGate." Inserted into the human brain, it allows paraplegics to operate a computer or even to walk with the power of thought. In the style of a thriller, we trace the developments leading to the spread of cybernetics in everyday life, an inevitable process that keeps provoking the question as to whether the neurochip really is "man's best friend." Graphs and computer simulations from leading institutes illustrate complex phenomena in an easily accessible manner. And thanks to CGI technology, we can almost feel the effects of neurochip surgery on selected patients. Weighing in with their expert opinions are scientists such as Prof. Fromherz of the Max Planck Institute, a pioneer of neurochip research, John Donoghue, head developer of "BrainGate," and "cyborg-man" Kevin Warwick. In the future, artificial organs might function better than natural ones. We must ask ourselves today what forms of abuse are imaginable – and what are the ultimate consequences of this new technology...

Episode III “The Global Community” Episode 3 looks at geopolitical developments 50 years from now. Climate concerns, energy issues, peace and the race for weapons technology will dominate international headlines. We’ll take a scientific look at these topics and add a close-up examine the future of nanotechnology and solar energy, all of which will provide the basis of the dramatic scenes. Two researchers just starting out on their career paths (the protagonists) are both working together in a cramped space station to revolutionize the efficiency of solar cells. Their laboratory is reachable from Earth via a sort of “space elevator”. The elevator’s cables receive their enormous strength and necessary lightness from tiny carbon, tube-like nano-particles. It may sound like science fiction, but researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are already busy at work on it. The technical challenges of the project were laid out during a large conference in 1999, and it was deemed to be realizable. Since then physicists have been working intensely on this new material. The so-called “nano tubes” are intended to make the elevator cable 1000 times stronger than steel. Specialists in space travel have already produced working models and 3-D simulations to test the behavior of this type of capsule in space. An accident of sorts in their laboratory leads the two researchers to the discovery of a substance, which turns out to be unusually effective in turning sunlight into electricity. At the same time, a serious conflict ignites between China and the USA in the face of dwindling energy reserves. Both powers are placing dibs on a sizable load of oil from Central Asia, which is at sea on a tanker. While these two giants set their military machinery in motion, the two scientists, one Chinese and one American and both of them friends, place their own safety at risk to crack the chemical code of their coincidental discovery. They are aware that this formula could lead the way out of the energy crisis and prevent the world war brewing below them. The dramatic sequences are built upon very promising research inroads into solar technology. Since the silicon panels that have been used up until now are too expensive to provide an effective energy supply, scientists have been working on a new, revolutionary method. A fluid made of nano-particles could provide the key. This fluid costs only a fraction of what the silicon cells cost and could be sprayed onto any surface. But at the present, it is still not very productive. Only 15 percent of the sunlight striking such coated surfaces is transformed into usable energy. According to scientific and economic predictions, the Earth’s final oil reserves will be nearly exhausted in the year 2057, and must by then be replaced by alternative energy sources. On a political level, leading experts predict that both China and the USA will gain more might. Episode III puts these variables up for debate while setting them in ecological and demographic projections for the mid 21st century.

Episode I “The Human Body” The first episode concentrates on the future of the human body. The effect of medical progress on the body will dramatically change daily life, but this will be compounded by other technological innovations. “Intelligent” clothing and surroundings will serve to constantly monitor a person’s health and well-being in real time. Micro-chips and sensors will be ubiquitous in all kinds of products and will keep just about everything around us online at all times. Intelligent jackets that monitor important vital signs like respiration and pulse already exist as prototypes. Their data could easily be transmitted via a wireless signal, permitting the wearer to be located immediately in case of an emergency. The elderly, the infirmed and even children could be the first to benefit from this invention. In our dramatic story, protagonist Alain Dega is seriously injured in an automobile accident – a rarity in his day - and receives immediate medical attention thanks in part to his “intelligent” clothing. With multiple fractures and a hairline crack to his artificial heart, Alain is rushed by air-ambulance to the hospital of the future. By this point the exponential rate of progress in genetic research and medical technology has enabled doctors to heal virtually any injury. As an optimally insured patient, Alain Dega has access to the best medical care of his times. Even in our present day, it is already possible to produce swaths of tissue and simple organs from human cells, so when Head Physician Marie Belzac takes on his case in 2057, it’s only routine that she arrange to have a new biological heart cloned for Alain from his own cells. Alain is spared the wrenching strain of physical therapy thanks to processor-driven electrodes, which stabilize his musculature and help him get back up onto his feet quickly. While his new heart gradually takes form, Alain and Maria become closely acquainted. Unexpectedly the insurance company produces evidence indicating that Alain bares partial liability for the accident, and the posh treatment he has enjoyed as a “First Class” patient comes to a rude halt. Maria puts her career on the line to ensure the illegal transplantation of his new heart and saves in the nick of time from certain death. In the dramatic sequences in the operating room, doctors are aided by various robotic devices offering an array of capabilities. For years scientists were of the opinion that robots could some day replace surgeons completely. New research and botched operations have shown the limitations of machines in real-life situations. Each individual patient places different demands on the OR, requiring a human being to make complex decisions and react to surprises. Semi-robotic systems and intelligent instruments seem to make for the perfect compromise. Machines can offer operators the best possible points of incision and illustrate them with the help of 3-D simulations, while counterbalancing miscalculations and smoothing out shaky hands. The first episode introduces us to the future of medicine, genetic technology and health care. But only those who can pay will have access to the constantly improving possibilities of healing and life extension. Experts from various disciplines will give us their take on the consequences of online connectivity in our personal space as well as the advantages and dangers involved in genetic research and robotic development.

Episode II “The City” The infrastructures of large cities in the industrialized world are already becoming very difficult to manage. Technological trends in the coming decades will likely move towards a centralized management system to coordinate a city’s energy consumption, traffic and data networks. This way traffic - for example - could automatically be diverted in the even of an accident and medical assistance immediately be called onto the scene. As practical as this model may seem, it’s not without potentially serious pitfalls. These highly sensible data systems could become a tempting target for hackers and terrorists. For this reason the development of networked city models is going hand in hand with that of data security. Even with that, the experts agree that data systems will never be absolutely secure – not even in 50 years. In 2057 the budding but talented hacker Paul, our protagonist of the second episode, manages to penetrate his megapolis’ data network. The pre-teen boy lives with his divorced mother, a police detective in the department for “Critical Infrastructures”, and his grandfather, a former famous hacker-with-a-cause. One day after school, Paul decides to give some virtual cartoon characters of his own design a taste of urban life. Using his grandfather’s equipment and his own nascent genius he accesses the city’s network and programs his “friends” onto all of the city’s holographic advertising spaces as colorful 3-D projections. But in the process, he makes an egregious error, and little by little city’s entire network and the vital infrastructures it drives come to a crashing halt. While Paul gradually begins to understand the mess he has made, the police, in particular his mother’s department, launch a manhunt for the perpetrator. Police investigations reveal to the audience the technology and methods of future crime-fighting efforts and their invasion into individual privacy. In London, the city with the most surveillance cameras in the world today, scientists are developing so-called smart cameras. They could be utilized to reduce crime dramatically according to the experts. VMAD – Video Motion Anomaly Detection – is the name given to the technology, which teaches data-enabled cameras which movements of the human body are normal and which should arouse the attention of law enforcement. As an added capability, the system can follow the extended path of a single individual as long as the subject has a few recognizable features. Scientists from various fields discuss what consequences the increasing need for security might have on the integrity of our private lives. They voice their opinions on the issue of data protection and the individual’s right to informational confidentiality. After the first phases of the investigation, the police have set their sites on Paul’s grandfather, the former hacker, who for his part is preoccupied with helping his grandson out of this calamity. Together they attempt to root out the error and save the city from a total meltdown. For both parties a race against time ensues. Paul manages to rectify the situation at the last minute. The second episode’s fictional plot serves to reveal visionary technologies to our viewers while introducing them to the city of the future. We see how people live their everyday lives – working, having fun, shopping – and how developments in robotics, automobiles and traffic tie into it all. As in the field of data processing, the desire for safety dominates research and development in the automobile industry. Accident-free driving is the ultimate aim of traffic and driver-assistance systems. The driver is to relinquish more and more responsibility to the systems networking all of the car’s electronic components. At the same time, vehicles will be able to communicate with one another independently via sensors and cameras. Engineers and scientists envision a seemingly utopian scenario of completely data-streamed rivers of traffic, in which vehicles silently glide through town piloted automatically and accidents are a thing of the past (our present). The Boeing corporation and Mollers International are developing flying cars that are almost completely independent of surface traffic. But since the airspace is already overfilled today, it would seem to experts that so-called “Personal Air Vehicles” would be used exclusively by police and rescue teams. The first existing prototypes can transport up to six people, are easy to fly and are capable of negotiating short distances in surface traffic. The purpose of these new airborne “cars” is to get help where it is needed rapidly. By the time they go into series, they should be able to reach speeds of up to 500 km/h.

Up to 7 metres of muscle and teeth, packed into an agile and streamlined body that can weigh in at 2250kg – this is the great white shark, one of the most infamous hunters on Earth. But the reality is that these sharks may disappear from our oceans altogether within the next 20 years. Their terrifying reputation is part myth, part reality, rooted in their instinct to hunt and kill whatever looks like a good prey animal … and that can include human beings. But how far is their killer-reputation justified? Are great white sharks really the blood-thirsty loners we imagine them to be? Dr. Mauricio Hoyos is a scientist working on the behaviour and ecology of sharks. He wants to find out why they follow certain patterns of movements, including longdistance travels. The usual methods of getting close to great whites to study them closely and form impressions of their population cross-section include caged dives and diving with airtanks. But these techniques are now known to affect the sharks’ behaviour: the predators’ extraordinary electrical sensory systems react to the galvanic properties of metal. In addition, the sharks are often lured closer with bloody bait, a technique that undoubtedly increases the animals’ aggression and prey drive, which makes them uncomfortably dangerous diving partners. Furthermore, caged dives entirely rely on the animals coming to the researchers in order to take detailed notes on each individual, but the success of this depends on the sharks’ mood and willingness to approach the cage. Frederic is able to approach the animals and is treated entirely differently by them compared to conventional divers. His very basic equipment means that there is less chance of it interfering with the sharks’ normal and natural behaviour, which allows him to get close to them without triggering aggression. He dives with the sharks without a cage, without any form of protection – just Frederic and two other freedivers versus the predators in the water. They watch each other’s backs, because the sharks are known to attack mostly from behind. But freediving is the very thing that makes Frederic’s diving encounter with the great whites a safer experience. Frederic is likely to get much closer to the sharks than is normally possible, and in this way is able to assess the animals in more detail. Frederic’s assignment also includes an assessment of the sharks’ behaviour. This is also extremely difficult under normal conditions, when diving equipment interferes with the sharks’ behaviour. As such very little is known about the great whites’ detailed behaviour, and Frederic’s dives with them is an unprecedented window into their lives. Since Christian is there to document Frederic’s finding, the scientist is able to try to assess and interpret the behaviour witnessed by the freedivers. Since Great Whites have such a fearsome reputation, Frederic’s interactions with them in the water in itself provide the researchers with interesting insights into their interactions with humans. How and why does their behaviour differ towards a diver with conventional equipment compared to a freediver like Frederic and his two friends: This is an experiment that has never been documented before. To gain more insights into approaching fierce predators like the great white shark, Christian and Frederic have to be extremely well prepared. One thing is certain: with a predator like this, nothing can be left to chance. It is their success as a predator and their huge potential to inflict hideous damage that has made it so difficult to study them in detail and to assess their behaviour adequately from close quarters.

Humpback whales are amongst the biggest known mammals on Earth, weighing in at around 36.000kg, but by the early 1960s, after 34 million years on this planet, these gentle, majestic giants had been hunted almost to extinction. With their populations now in partial recovery, it is once again possible to find humpback whales around Rurutu in Polynesian waters. They congregate here between July and November to give birth to a new generation, and to mate. The newborns are prepared for a life of migration, covering thousands of kilometres every single year. Dr Michael Poole, Director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at Moorea in French Polynesia and Dr. Cecile Gaspar are trying to establish a comprehensive photographic cataloguing system of the whales that should enable close monitoring of this fragile population. Until now, the identification of individuals has been restricted to working from above water and identifying the whales according to the markings on their tail fins. Identifying whales from the water surface is extremely limiting: not only is it reliant on the whales lifting their fins clearly visible out of the water, but it also only supplies partial information. Skin patterns on heads and undersides, as well as the whales’ sex, age and behaviour can only be recorded below the water surface. A ban on scuba-diving is partly responsible for the current researchers’ approach, as well as the fact that the whales can be highly intolerant of divers in the water. Frederic’s fotos and recordings of individual whales’ behaviour and physical characteristics allow Dr Cecile Gaspar to form a more accurate assessment of the humpback whale population around Rurutu, their movements and interactions. How big is it, and do individuals return every season or is there a change in the population’s make-up from one year to the next? The overriding question is if the whales in this area are particularly threatened as a result of being an isolated population, or if they are able to recover from the loss of individuals when new whales join their groups. Finding answers to these questions would have a ground-breaking impact on the way these whales are protected from over-exploitation by humans. Dr Poole calls Fred to Moorea island to see if the whales behave differently around a freediver like Frederic, who dives without the aid of oxygen tanks or rebreathers and moves like a fish. These whales are so shy, that Dr Poole expects their behaviour not to change noticeably around a noiselss diver like Frederic – they won’t see him as an unwanted intruder. To gain the whales’ trust and be able to approach them intimately, Frederic has to stay with them underwater for as long as possible in depths of up to 50 metres. This takes an incredible amount of skill and stamina even for an extremely experienced freediver like Frederic, not to mention the risk of staying underwater at such depth for long periods of time. Christian has to follow him with added sensitivity, both to avoid spooking the whales, and to follow Frederic’s lead at all times. But before they can dive, the team has to find some humpback whales in the first place … which can be extremely difficult. Local fishermen are a very important help for the researchers: they keep a lookout for humpback whales during their outings and report their findings to Fred, Christian and the team. They also add to the palette of information gained by the scientists’ observations by adding their own accounts of whale encounters. It is likely that the whales will tolerate Frederic in their midst, allowing him to succeed where a conventional diver would most likely have failed. Frederic’s aim is to approach the whales up to arm’s length, take extreme close-up images for the researchers’ whale catalogue, and take notes on their behaviours. But the strains of the long, deep dives take their toll – they are extremely exhausting and therefore dangerous. Christian and Dr Poole have to be careful and ensure that Frederic isn’t pushing himself too hard. The freediver is not one for giving up, but as impressive as this determination to succeed is, it can also be deadly. Equiped with a hydrophone Frederic records the whales’ communications. This adds a further facet to the whale catalogue the researchers are piecing together, and provide a further insight into individual whales behaviour and identity. Remarkably, the whales don’t have vocal cords and produce the songs by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities. Not only that - there is evidence that their communications reach phenomenal distances of several hundred miles. Frederic’s involvement in Dr. Poole’s and Dr. Gaspar´s humpback whale research project, and Christian’s ability to record Frederic’s work underwater, finally allow a thorough assessment of the humpback whale population around Rurutu and give a vital indication of just how healthy and robust this population is.

The waters off the Rangiroa Atoll in French Polynesia are home to an astonishing creature, a true survivor from an age when dinosaurs roamed the Earth around 400 million years ago: the great hammerhead shark. At up to 6 metres in length, they are imposing predators with an array of incredible sensory organs housed in their distinctive hammer-shaped heads. But there are still many unanswered questions about these mysterious creatures. Marine biologist Dr Johan Mourier of the University of Perpignan is dedicated to exploring the behaviour and genetic make-up of great hammerhead sharks to help preserve this endangered species in the wild. In the last 25 years alone, their world population has shrunk by about 80%. Yet very little is known about them. Dr Mourier wants to get to the bottom of the sharks’ migratory patterns, as well as their social behaviour. By tagging individual sharks with GPS locators, he hopes to establish where the animals go, what their migration routes are and where they are most threatened. It is becoming increasingly clear that sharks tend to move very quickly and deliberately between different fishing grounds. Is this also true for the Great Hammerheads? Are changes in these traditional fishing grounds threatening the hammerheads’ survival? The extreme shyness of these mighty predators makes them difficult research subjects. To make matters worse, great hammerheads are loners, unlike their common hammerhead cousins. And since tagging is usually done by using airtanks, it is very difficult to approach these shy individuals. This is where Frederic’s silent and calm approach underwater makes all the difference: Dr Mourier is working together with Fred to get closer to the animals than ever before. This gives him not only the chance to study their behaviour up close, he is even able to select individuals for tagging to reflect a cross-section of the population. The researchers are able to track the tagged sharks and plot their migratory patterns for the very first time. For Frederic, this undertaking is not only exciting, it is seriously dangerous and requires months of preparation and training. Approaching a predator like this one in open water is not for the faint-hearted, especially since it is thought that sharks are able to ‘feel fear’ and respond to it aggressively. On Frederic and Christian’s arrival in Papete, the capital of French Polynesia, Dr Mourier diligently highlights the risks and pitfalls of trying to dive with great hammerhead sharks: they are powerful predators, not to be underestimated. Frederic and Christian have their work cut out. They have to plan each dive meticulously – not least how Christian and his diving equipment can stay close enough to Frederic to document his findings without disturbing the sharks. Minimising potential risks is also top of their agenda. Test dives perfect their technique and illustrate just how abundant and stunning the local marine life is. They come across many shark species: Silvertips, oceanic white tips, grey reef sharks, lemmon sharks and many others. Dr. Mourir shows and explains their nursery: bays with hundreds of baby sharks. No matter which shark species Frederic wants to approach, he cannot afford to panic. He must remain calm and in control – instinctive reactions like sudden, hecticmovements could be detrimental. Loose control, and it could cost him his life. The tagging and sampling process in itself is even more dangerous than the initial approach: Frederic has to use a harpoon to dart the sharks from their immediate vicinity. The tagging could be interpreted as a threat and prompt an attack. But luck is on their side. After many days Fred finally can set the tags near the dorsal fin of two great hammerheads. This is the crucial moment Dr Mourier has been waiting for: the tags will give him a unique chance to track the sharks’ movements. A huge success for Frederic, Christian and the research team. The insights gained into the great hammerheads migration patterns and their genetic make-up will combine to paint a much more accurate picture of these elusive predators’ lives. For science today, this undertaking is truly uncharted territory.

The Mediterranean Sea is a world of impressive diversity where ocean sunfish and whales live side by side, and colourful corals provide a home for smaller creatures. But human beings have left their mark here for thousands of years: ancient shipwrecks and fighter planes from the Second World War litter the ocean floor, while until recently raw sewage was fed straight into the sea. The impact has been devastating – today the Mediterranean is an ecosystem on the edge. But there is a glimmer of hope as measures to protect the sea from pollution and excessive disturbance are being put into place. Sandrine Ruiton from the University of Marseille specialises in research on artificial reefs to build up the lost marine biodiversity near cities like Marseille, one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports. Until recently it was responsible for seriously polluting the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. Christian Petron himself has been instrumental in raising awareness of this ecosystem in dire straights. His own 30-year-old archive footage shows the extent of the pollution in graphic detail. Both Sandrine Ruiton and Christian are involved in the hugely successful ‘Prado Reef 2006’ project, which is designed to repopulate the local waters by encouraging the colonisation of new reefs. Even old shipwrecks and fighter planes turned into artificial reefs and first indications offer grounds for cautious optimism. But to be able to accurately assess the success of these artificial reefs, detailed population counts are absolutely essential. But their accuracy is questionable when carried out by divers with conventional equipment – reef creatures are notoriously shy and many are likely to hide at the approach of a noisy diver. So Sandrine Ruiton wants to find out if Frederic can achieve more accurate population counts on these fragile reefs by being less intrusive. His ability to move and behave almost like a fish without any cumbersome diving equipment allows him closer access without frightening the wildlife off. His first destination is the wreck of an freighter, sunk after world-war 2, closely followed and observed by Christian Petron. The collection of creatures found here are delicate and extremely cautious. But this dive also poses real challenges for Fred: diving in a wreck brings particular dangers with it, especially for a freediver. Nevertheless, he is determined to press on with his attempt to evaluate the state of Mediterranean marine wildlife. The artificial reef population surveys are only part of the reason why Frederic has come to the Mediterranean. He also works together with Dr. Pierre Chevaldonne, a scientist at the ‘Station Marine D’Endoume/Marseille’. Both are interested in an underwater cave that could be invaluable to modern science. Organisms and animals that are usually associated with much deeper waters thrive in this deep dark cave. In particular a collection of sponges could be of interest, not just because they provide an endless supply of biomarkers that are very sensitive to environmental changes: they are also highly relevant for modern medicine. Sponges are known to provide AZT (Azido-Thymidin) – currently one of the most used medications for the treatment of AIDS and in the fight against cancer. The sponges generate these substances as dangerous chemical weapons against predators or as a defence against harmful bacteria. The research team is renowned for their work on sponges, but the breathing bubbles emitted by conventional drivers would collect at the cave ceiling and gradually kill the cave dwellers. But Frederic’s approach is very different. By holding his breath, he can ensure that the sponges and other cave organisms are not threatened. He is able to explore the cave in detail and report his findings and bring samples back to the research group. This research can provide ground-breaking insights into modern medicine, as well as giving an indication of the health of the Mediterranean waters by examining the sponges’ biomarkers. Together, Frederic’s involvement in the artificial reef projects as well as the underwater cave exploration are extremely valuable contributions to the quest to document and protect the diversity of Mediterranean marine wildlife. He is in a unique position to access and approach the wildlife, that cannot be replicated by using conventional diving methods, and as such is an incredible opportunity for the scientists to gain a new window to the underwater life of the Mediterranean.

Fakarava Atoll is a true underwater paradise that stuns with its sheer diversity of marine life and particularly high populations of manta rays, grey reef sharks and sea turtles. It is one of the only places where big marine animals are found in such dense numbers. Its diversity and richness of wildlife is so unique that Fakarava is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. But the survival chances of these colourful coral reefs are looking very bleak. They may be the biggest living structures on Earth, but they are dying 4 times more quickly than tropical rainforests. Three quarters of all coral reefs are under threat, and all of them could disappear within the next 50 – 100 years. Prof. Serge Plane from the French research center on Moorea “Criobe” is trying to piece together the interrelationships of coral reef dwellers in order to better understand why they are so sensitive to environmental change, and how they could be protected in the future. This ecosystem is so fragile and sensitive to change that once one link in a coral reef’s chain of life has been removed, it can have dire consequences for the entire reef. Working out how this chain works, and what makes this ecosystem so unique is instrumental to the quest of preserving it. Prof. Serge Plane has specialised in a very particular aspect of relationships amongst reef organisms: communication. He wants to find out how the animals communicate and how this serves their quest to survive. He has already accumulated a wealth of underwater recordings of sounds in a coral reef. But his normal approach requires him to place hydrophones in strategic static positions across the reef. It is an inefficient, limiting and labour-intensive approach. Frederic is able to increase the efficiency and success of Prof Serge Plane by approaching animals directly and respond to their behaviours. The scientist’s current recordings do not follow animals during different behaviours, so being able to selectively record behaviours could be an eye-opener for this type of research. As a noiseless freediver, Frederic is able to trigger certain behaviours and associated sounds by being in the water with the animals without influencing them with cumbersome diving equipment. For example, he is able to record alarm sounds by giving sudden chase to specific fish. So far, it has not been possible for Prof Serge Plane to record behaviour as specific as this because conventional diving gear makes too much noise. The team dives at every time of day and night at a specific spot on the atoll to observe different species during their own activity cycles, and to see how life on the atoll transforms at different times. But again, Christian and Frederic have to remain cautious and plan their expedition meticulously. Again, they make the most of local knowledge to prepare themselves for the task in hand. Polynesian mythology is full of marine life – it plays a very important role in local culture. Manta rays, for example, stand for freedom, while sea turtles personify wisdom and long life. Frederic and Christian meet Maitata, a pearldiver from this island. Few people could tell the team more about the local wildlife from the point of view of Polynesian peoples. Once again, the stories this experienced local man has to offer help Christian and Frederic to build a better and more accurate picture of what lurks beneath the waves in this area. Over their time working, Frederic and Christian repeat their dives on the atoll at different times of day and night. The night-dives can be a bizarre experience with an edge of the otherworldly about it. And the sharply reduced visibility does make these excursions particularly dangerous for Frederic – it would be all too easy to loose orientation and as a result risk his life. The combination of their observations of the reef at different times of day and night and the recordings of reef sounds prove invaluable to Prof. Serge Planes research. And as he builds up his database of recordings, the interrelationships of coral reef organisms becomes clearer. Frederic and Christian’ observations have allowed fascinating insights into the complex web of connections of this finely tuned ecosystem. Ultimately, it may be this kind of research that could help to preserve the world’s coral reefs well into the future.

As much as 71% of Earth’s surface is covered by water, representing one of the last great frontiers on this planet. We literally have only scratched the surface of what lies beneath the waves. And even of the species we have found, we know relatively little. Perhaps the greatest challenge we face in exploring the oceans is to get close enough to marine life to observe undisturbed natural behaviour. This could allow newinsights into life in the oceans, but it is a tall order given the noise disturbance and clouds of bubbles emitted by most diving equipment. So some scientists have now turned to freediver Frederic Buyle: they want to exploit his noiseless and calm method of diving to approach even shy animals and find explanations to some of the mysteries of marine life. His abilities are remarkable: he can descend to depths exceeding 50 metres and stay there for up to 4 minutes on a single breath. Responding to calls for help from researchers, Frederic has teamed up with the renowned underwater cameraman Christian Petron. Christian’s vast experience includes working on Luc Besson’s cult-film “The Big Blue” and “Atlantis”, but Frederic’s attempts to freedive with predators like great white sharks test even Christian’s impressive skills. In each episode, Frederic and Christian work closely with leading scientists trying to find answers to the mysteries of our oceans. To accomplish their task they also turn to locals who know the waters and their wildlife like the back of their hand. Local knowledge can prove invaluable in this game, perhaps even save his life. Adventure Ocean Quest combines science, nature and adventure in a way that is enthralling and captivating, yet informative. Frederic’s extraordinary abilities and experiences wow the viewer, while his close teamwork with renowned scientists gives unprecedented insights into the secrets of life in the oceans. This series allows the audience a window into the very real challenges of accessing and studying underwater life. It is a stunning aquatic spectacle and a rollercoaster ride of discovery and personal experiences that keeps viewers glued to their seats.

Secrets in the Dust II Uncovering the Etruscans It took an Italian doctor in the 1870s to discover the legendary 12th City of the Etruscans, the mysterious people the Romans tried to write out of history, because they were jealous of this superior civilization that they had thrust aside. It was a chance find of a coin in a field that led Isodoro Falchi to indentify the site Vetulonia the last township of the Etruscan federation. This loose grouping of hilltop cities inhabited Italy’s beautiful Tuscany region for 1,000 years, until their disappearance around 500 BC. Because they decorated their tombs as facsimiles of their homes, we know exactly how they lived. From these, their unmistakable statues and other artifacts, we know that they used iron tools, built towns with stone temples, and lived in terraced houses with small interior pools. Theirs was a sensuous, prosperous lifestyle of banquets and pleasure, with equality between the sexes - and a healthy interest in sex itself. But the Etruscans had one remarkable, almost unique characteristic. As if all this was too good to be true, they predicted their own downfall, after a thousand years. The Romans seemed almost too happy to oblige, for no-one must be seen to have influenced them -- even though they built on the achievements of the Etruscans. Literally, in the case of Rome, where they even adopted their sewerage system! In Falchi’s day the archaeological authorities in Rome seemed almost as reluctant to recognize his discoveries as the Romans themselves had been to remember the Etruscans; but today’s geneticists have proved that Falchi was right. They have discovered that the current inhabitants of Campiglia Marittima , once called Vetulonia, are descended from the Etruscans of old; and they have solved a second mystery. The original ancestors of the Etruscans came not from Italy but from Asia Minor: today’s Turkey. From the latest excavations by Simona Rafanelli and Sylvia Guideri we understand one more crucial fact. The Romans may like to pretend that the Etruscans never existed - and the Etruscans may have predicted their own downfall. But today, archaeologists find evidence that Etruscans and Romans lived in harmony for a long period, worshipping the same gods, before the Romans took over, conquering lands far beyond the Italian hills to become the superpower of the ancient world.

Empire of the Persians In 1923 Ernst Herzfeld was the greatest living scholar of the Persian Empire, that ruled in the Middle East from 612BC until it was defeated by Alexander the Great in 330BC. That year Herzfeld set out on his last major expedition. It would last more than 10 years. It would make crucial discoveries about this misunderstood civilization, and it would end in personal disaster. A German expedition in the 1920s was of necessity small-scale, operating with little or no money. The defeated power in WWI could no longer afford such ‘luxuries’. But this was also an opportunity: the colonial powers – Britain and France – were not popular with the local governments in the region. By teaming up with oil money from America, Herzfeld could gain both political, and financial, support – enough to continue his work. And what discoveries he made: Herzfeld excavated the administrative centre of Persepolis, the Persian imperial capital, uncovering thousands of clay tablets which described in detail the administrative system and the trade networks of the Empire. Far from being the tyranny described by their Greek conquerors, this was evidence of a tolerant and cosmopolitan Empire that took the best from all the peoples it ruled. If Herzfeld found the information, his assistant Friedrich Krefter discovered the treasure – the solid gold plaque forged for the great King Darius to acknowledge his glory. But Herzfeld was Jewish, and while he was in Persia his country was taken over by the Nazis. Once again, distrust and prejudice ruled; stripped of his professorships by 20th Century tyranny, he was even accused of theft of Persia’s national treasures. Politics refuses to spare the region today, as archaeologists – notably from Australia - continue to research the ancient Persian Empire, trying now to understand how this Empire extended its power so many hundreds of kilometres from the capital. Their work is tolerated by the Iranian government, who know that building a sense of national identity and pride in the past is in their interests in the present...

The Ice Age Hunters Alfred Rust was a humble electrician in 1920s Germany when he first discovered ice-age tools in a swamp near Hamburg. At that time no-one believed that ice-age man could have survived this far north. No scholar would take this amateur’s views seriously, so in 1930 he set off on a 3,000km bicycle ride to Syria, to learn about ice age civilizations. His studies there made his reputation, and back in Germany he could demonstrate how nomadic ice-age hunters lived from the meat and hides of great reindeer herds whose migration routes led between the glaciers. He even identified two quite separate cultures a thousand years apart, by their changing use of weapons. The first used slings to throw their spears further; but the second had developed the far more effective bow and arrow. These nomads depicted the animals crucial to their existence in engravings on rocks, and they found a way to preserve their meat at the bottom of icy ponds. Today experimental archaeologists test out ice-age weapons, while geologists use satellite imagery to pin-point the water sources that migrating reindeer - and hunters – would have used.

In Search of the Aztecs Luckily for him, Eduard Seler had a weak constitution; in 1882 he met and married his doctor’s daughter. Caecilie’s energy and curiosity complemented Eduard’s intellectual passion and capacity for hard, detailed work, and together they left Berlin for Mexico to decipher the codices of the Aztecs. These were only authentic written accounts of the civilization destroyed by the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th Century – and nobody had succeeded in interpreting them. Seler cracked the code of the Aztec calendar, which in turn revealed a great deal about their sacrificial rituals and their temple-building cycles; at the turn of every Aztec century, new, grander temples must be built over the old ones. Seler also realized that Aztec illustrations revealed the truth about Aztec education and everyday working lives. Meanwhile Caecilie photographed their discoveries on their travels, and collected Aztec artifacts, found in far-flung rural markets. Today’s archaeologists are making further important discoveries: like King Montezuma’s secret room for communing with the gods, unearthed when a lift shaft in a Mexico City block was renovated. Today’s scientists face the same challenge Seler knew – Mexico’s capital city is built right over the ancient Aztec capital, so the opportunities to dig are limited and frustratingly brief. Ironically this fact, like his poor health, played to Seler’s scholarly strengths, and helped him become a giant in the story of archaeology.

A Dive into History Alfred Merlin was digging for Roman remains in Tunisia in 1907 when sponge-divers identified mysterious remains – stone columns, just off-shore in the Mediterranean. Was this the legendary lost city of Atlantis? But when beautifully-crafted Roman works of art were salvaged from the site Merlin, came to an even more intriguing conclusion: these were the remains of a Roman shipwreck. The Mediterranean, he knew, was the super-highway of the ancient world – water was the only efficient way to transport heavy goods quickly throughout the Empire. And when greedy traders overloaded their ships, the resulting disasters left behind a gift for archaeologists two thousand years later. Understand where the ships were going and what they were taking, and you could decode the whole of the ancient world. And so Alfred Merlin created a whole new discipline: marine archaeology. At first it was exhausting and extremely dangerous work. Divers in the cumbersome suits with lead boots and copper helmets depended on a steady stream of air pumped from the surface. Many suffocated or died in agony from the bends. But the rewards were fabulous: individual artworks and the revelation of a trade network that saw building materials and luxuries crossing hundreds of miles of sea to construct new colonies in the image of Rome. This film shows the pioneers at work in Merlin’s time and their successors today, faced with the same challenges of salvage and preservation, and even using some of the same methods!

The Mediterranean, that popular holiday destination for Germans, is of course also the natural habitat of many sea creatures. But can be true that the biggest predator in the world, the sperm whale, lives in the Mediterranean? And where can monk seals, who once inhabited the Mediterranean beaches, be found today? Underwater filmmaker Thomas Behrend tracks down sperm whales and monk seals, capturing fascinating footage of the giants and the phantoms of the Mediterranean. But witnessing the birth of a sperm whale calf at close quarters unexpectedly places Behrend‘s life in danger...

DOLPHINS & WHALES Ute Margreff lives on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, Florian Graner in the Puget Sound in the Northwest of the USA. Both Germans share a deep passion for the sea and its creatures. About 10 years ago Ute Margreff got to know the female solitary dolphin Mara – it was the start of an unusual friendship. Florian Graner found its private paradise close to Seattle. Right in front of his doorstep he dives into a world inhabited by sea lions, giant octopus and orca whales. Both Ute and Florian fight for the protection of marine habitats, each one in a different and very unique way.

Three meters in diameter, two tons of weight – the Ocean Sunfish or Mola is the biggest and one of the most weird bony fish in our oceans. Underwater filmmaker Thomas Behrend manages to search out this giant in the Pacific as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. He captures unique scenes of a creature that normally lives in the unreachable deep sea. In Florida Thomas also meets a real giant. Massive but gentle Manatees put a spell on Thomas. But then the filmmaker witnesses how an undercooled Manatee gets into danger. A race against time begins…

The Antarcitica Chellenge: A Global Warning Al Gore’s Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth has done a lot to raise the international awareness of the environmental issue of global warming. But where do things stand today? The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning is a one-hour HD documentary that will go to the source of the climate change crisis: Antarctica. Here we will explore first-hand the environmental challenges facing that frozen continent and, by extension, the world. The International Polar Years 2007-2009 represent an incredible opportunity for the world to work together. This film will meet these brave scientists working at Vernadsky Station and with the British Antarctic Survey as they concentrate their efforts living in often harsh and life-threatening conditions in their heroic attempt to save the world. This documentary will also provide support interviews from polar experts and research scientists around the world as well as rare footage of wildlife including penguins in their hatching season. The film reports on the new phenomenon of suicide among penguins, the imminent rise of the world’s sea level due to ice melting and show amazing footage of new vegetation growing in the world’s largest desert. These new discoveries were considered so valuable that this film became the only one invited by the United Nations to screen to world leaders during the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December, 2009. The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning provides audiences with a rare glimpse of the Earth’s most undiscovered continent through the eyes of award-winning cinematographer, Damir Chytil, CSC, one of the world’s foremost polar cameramen and a pioneer of HD film photography. It is the mandate of this documentary to bring to light the theories and statistics first brought to the public’s attention in An Inconvenient Truth with hands-on exploration of the continent, its wildlife and the brave men and women who have given up the comforts of civilization in order to save it. Winner of three international environmental film awards: The Silver Sierra Award (Yosemite International Film Festival, USA), Best Environmental & Ecology Film (International Film festival Ireland) and Best Climate Change Film (New Delhi Environmental & Wildlife Film Festival, India).

LOST ON THE ATLANTIC Crossing the Ocean in a Stone Age Reed Boat. 50’ HD documentary German biologist and experimental archaeologist Dominiqu Goerlitz has a dream - to prove that Stone Age man could have sailed a tiny reed boat across the Atlantic from Europe to the New World - and back again! In July 2007 Dominique and 11 sailors from four countries set out from New York harbour to test his theory. Their 10-metre boat, the Abora III, a reed vessel constructed in Bolivia from Goerltitz’s interpretation of prehistoric rock carvings in Europe and North Africa. Back in the 60s, legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic like this from West to East. But experts had said it was impossible to come back against the wind. But Goerlitz’s rock carvings suggest Stone Age man had lee-boards to sail against the wind, navigated by the stars and could use the Gulf Stream to carry them westwards Prehistoric men from Europe could have colonised and traded with the Americas thousands of years before Columbus! That would explain why tobacco seeds - found only in the Americas, were detected in the mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs like Ramses II. Abora III has been thoroughly tested in model form using the latest technology. It should be more than up to the task of crossing 1,500 nautical miles of sometimes wild ocean. Under a warm sun and a steady breeze, the voyage starts well. But then things go wrong. One after another the leeboards snap, unable to resist the pressure of the Atlantic swell. Abora III was riding high when it left New York. Now she begins to sink into the ocean as the reeds absorb salt water. Sudden and unexpected Atlantic storms weaken and then tear off the Abora’s stern. In spite of the crew’s efforts - ceaselessly tightening the reed bundles that form the Abora’s hull - they have to abandon ship 600 sea miles short off the Azores, near the African coast. Abora III had sailed for 59 days and covered more than 900 nautical miles. The expedition failed. But one experiment did work. Abora trailed behind her, seeds from the New World that somehow found their way east thousands of years ago. Traditionally it is believed that they floated across the ocean. But Goerlitz’s saturated seeds refused to germinate in Europe. Dominique believes this is proof they could only have been brought by man. This is a sweet, thrilling and spectacular film, in which 11 people risk everything to prove that our forefathers knew so much more than we ever believed. If Stone Age man had half the courage of Abora III’s crew, they certainly deserved to succeed! And Dominique Goerlitz is not giving up. Abora IV is already on the drawing board…

Mysteries of the Abyss – A Science Revolution The deep sea – the biggest single habitat on Earth, marked by eternal darkness, icy temperatures and immense pressure. This gripping 50-minute film follows the biologists Christian Lott and Nicole Dubilier into the inhospitable depths of the ocean in pursuit of new species and groundbreaking discoveries. What they find is truly revolutionary: a mussel capable of using hydrogen to feed itself – something previously thought impossible. It opens up new possibilities for life, not just on Earth, but even in space where hydrogen is a common element. It’s a discovery that challenges the way we think about the very building blocks of life.

What are the challenges being faced by one of the world’s most important larders, the Artic, now that the ice is melting? The race to exploit vast natural resources has commenced in one of the world’s most important larders. The earth’s most vulnerable ecosystem is under threat from dying fish, oil spills and global warming. As the ice melts many people are being tempted to engage in predatory activities in the Arctic. An ocean from which the fish have previously disappeared - will this occur again? In the programme entitled “Predatory Activities” you will hear that climate change and increased petroleum activities in the future would change current hunting and fishing patterns. This would create new tension in the fragile administration of the northern areas. What challenges are we actually facing and how would they affect current fishing activities? Will the nations involved manage to cooperate? Previous predatory activities in the Arctic have left their mark for all eternity, with whales and fish being hunted to extinction simply by using basic hunting methods. The ice is now melting. High-tech trawlers, global oil companies and giant supertankers are all heading for the north. The race has started in earnest. However, at the same time our knowledge is better. Will we manage to look after this vulnerable area this time, or will the melting ice cause us to engage in new predatory activities with unexpected consequences?

Oil and gas are the very blood of our modern industrial society and our last major reserves are to be found in the Arctic. The lives of practically everyone on earth would be different if we did not have oil and gas. Our reserves will soon become depleted, apart from in the Arctic. Our episode entitled “Entering Virgin Territory” explains the dramatic energy situation. How would this impact on the vulnerable Arctic environment and the indigenous populations living in the area? Should Arctic considerations take precedence over the living standards of the rest of the world? The situation is most dramatic in the USA. This superpower will soon have no major oil wells left. The country is currently consuming three times as much oil as it produces and it is paying sky-high prices throughout the world to secure access to this black gold. The northernmost town in the USA, Barrow, lies in the middle of an area which is believed to contain Alaska’s richest oil reserves. The local Eskimo population lives mainly off the area’s natural land and sea resources, and an indomitable will to survive. They are now directing their energy towards the oil industry that wants to establish activities in the area. As the Polar ice starts to melt the oil industry is dreaming about making major oil and gas finds in this more or less untouched territory. The violent conflicts and wars that are taking place in some of the world’s most affluent oil states are adding further fuel to these dreams. But who should be entitled to extract future oil and gas reserves in the Arctic? Where do the borders run in this icy territory? History has shown us that this is an extremely dangerous situation. Because will a world that is becoming increasingly more dependent on oil respect national borders, historic territorial claims and be able to resolve border conflicts in an amicable manner? In our fourth and final programme, “Border Conflict”, we show how the new race in the Arctic is creating new borders and new conflicts.

The Arctic is an area with massive reserves that are extremely important for billions of people – but with unclear borderlines. History has shown us that this is an extremely dangerous situation. “Border Conflict” explains that the borders in the Arctic are disputed and have not been finally determined despite the fact that they have been defined in accordance with international criteria. Zoia Vylka Ravna is a member of the indigenous Nenets people, but she has lived away from the Russian tundra for a long time. She is now returning to her homeland in the far north of Russia where she becomes witness to the fact that her people’s traditional grazing grounds have been invaded by a new industry. Like the members of many other indigenous groups around the Polar basin she feels as though she has been robbed and forgotten. Will the countries in the north comply with international regulations while a desperate hunt for energy resource is taking place? Will it be possible to share this area without any military conflicts arising – and will the exploitation of natural resources be able to occur peacefully? In the final episode of the series “Ice Race” we stand at an important and dangerous crossroads in our search for more oil and gas. Because even though we are starting to use new sources of energy, the world will be dependent on petroleum activities for many decades to come. Despite numerous expeditions, our knowledge about the seas around the North Pole is still almost non-existent. The sovereigny of the countries around the polar basin only extends for 200 nautical miles. The remaining polar areas are administered by the UN. The race to find oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean has meant that it is therefore even more important for the five Arctic countries, i.e. USA, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark, to secure more of the polar basin. All these countries are therefore fighting intensely over what are sometimes overlapping border claims. These claims extend all the way to the outer limits of the continental shelf, i.e. the shallow waters off these countries’ coasts. If the new race culminates in predatory activities and major conflict, the indigenous populations could become the first and greatest loosers!

Please switch on the subtitles to see the translations in english! Ice Race The Dream of the New Marine Silk Road Though it is usually associated with weather-related disasters, global climate change has also brought about interesting possibilities with the opening of a Northern Sea Route, a potential maritime highway connecting East Asia and Europe through the Arctic that is being billed as the Northern Silk Road. This promising new route provides a welcome opportunity to bypass the far longer southern route that connects Korea, Japan, and China with the West, through pirate-infested waters. The southern route, which carries 90% of petroleum, fishery products, and other trade, is a vital lifeline for Asia, but a northern route through the Bering Sea and across the North Pole is 40% shorter and could be a boon for trade. The Russians are leading the race for a safe summer route that travels through their newly booming ports, but other countries, including Japan, Canada, Germany, and Korea, are catching up. As the ice melts each summer, these countries are stepping up to find a profitable way to take advantage of an unexpected benefit of global climate change.

The Arctic was one of the most important battlefields during the Cold War. Could this happen again? Has the Cold War returned? The battle for resources will intensify military activities in the north and the chances of confrontations occurring will increase. Energy reserves elsewhere in the world are in the process of becoming depleted, but there are still huge quantities of petroleum around the North Pole. The potential for conflict over these resources has resulted in a substantial increase in military activities in the Arctic during the last few years. Will we succeed in resolving this forthcoming energy crisis without resorting to the use military force? The Arctic was an important military area during both the Second World War and the Cold War. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO placed priority on other areas of the world, but military focus on the Arctic has now returned with full force. In the first episode of the documentary series ICE RACE we will see how, like Norway and NATO, the Russians are now building up their military striking power in the north. Someone who is witness to military developments in the Arctic on a daily basis is Johan Hætta, a pilot with 333 Squadron. From their base on Andøya intelligence-gathering aircraft belonging to the Squadron fly to some of the most inhospitable areas in the Arctic. One of their main tasks is to obtain as much intelligence as possible about the increasing Russian military activities in the area. - “It is important to keep an eye on what your neighbours are doing,” says Hætta. The Russian response has been one of considerable suspicion about Western military activities in the Arctic. The reasons for their suspicious are largely historical ones, because during the Cold War the opposing parties were willing to go to extremes in order to win. President Ronald Reagan's former Security Adviser, Thomas Reed, talks about how the CIA sabotaged a Soviet gas pipeline at the beginning of the 1980s. Speaking today Reed says: “The explosion was so powerful that it could be seen from space.” In the documentary series “Ice Race”, Episode 1: “The War Game” shows that a global lack of oil and gas, food and other resources is turning the Arctic into one of the most important and most explosive areas in the world. How will this affect the world and what will the consequences be for the Artic?

This documentary explores the dual scenario of the unstoppable rise of global sea levels and its effects on our lives: on the one hand, catastrophic situations for millions; on the other, benefits to mankind resulting from our involvement with the oceans. A program with gripping re-enactments, newly filmed scenes scientifically grounded by the views and comments of international experts, and archival material about spectacular pioneering achievements in ocean exploration.

Super Comet - The longest night 65 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped out by a gigantic asteroid. We could soon be next. We don't know when it will happen or where the asteroid will strike. We only know that it will happen - sometime - perhaps in 1000 years' time or perhaps tomorrow. Will it be the end of mankind? Through the eyes of a young astronomer we experience this catastrophic event. On discovering the asteroid on collision course with Earth, he tries to give a warning, but in vain. He survives, but this is just the beginning. The impact results in an eclipse of the sun leading to a global winter and the extinction of many life-forms. This documentary will depict the scientific background to the catastrophe, with all its consequences for mankind and the natural world. This is the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one - the age of the conquerors. Part 1 Sixty-five million years ago, a comet hit the earth, putting an end to life as it then was. Now a comet is about to hit the earth again. In the dramatised part of this episode, Fernando Martinez, a Mexican who works in Houston, Texas, sets off home to be with his family, the Vaton family in France seeks shelter, and the Baka pygmy tribesmen continue to hunt, unaware of the impending disaster. Astrophysicist Noah Boyle, and computer scientist Shiang Yatan, remain at the observation centre in Hawaii to try to find out exactly when the comet will hit. Part 2 An asteroid hits the earth in the Mexican province of Yucatan in 2007. The impact causes the entire planet to burst into flames. Humankind is catapulted into a very dark age and this re-enacted doco-drama describes what happens 5, 10, 30, 60 and 80 days and lastly 4 months after the impact. Most life is extinguished within hundreds of kilometres of the crater. The entire earth sinks into darkness. Paris, New York, Hawaii are all in complete darkness and all plant life dies out as a result of the lack of sunlight. Temperatures fall much below anything ever experienced before. Many survivors are left absolutely alone and must fend for themselves.

Super Comet - The longest night 65 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped out by a gigantic asteroid. We could soon be next. We don't know when it will happen or where the asteroid will strike. We only know that it will happen - sometime - perhaps in 1000 years' time or perhaps tomorrow. Will it be the end of mankind? Through the eyes of a young astronomer we experience this catastrophic event. On discovering the asteroid on collision course with Earth, he tries to give a warning, but in vain. He survives, but this is just the beginning. The impact results in an eclipse of the sun leading to a global winter and the extinction of many life-forms. This documentary will depict the scientific background to the catastrophe, with all its consequences for mankind and the natural world. This is the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one - the age of the conquerors. Part 1 Sixty-five million years ago, a comet hit the earth, putting an end to life as it then was. Now a comet is about to hit the earth again. In the dramatised part of this episode, Fernando Martinez, a Mexican who works in Houston, Texas, sets off home to be with his family, the Vaton family in France seeks shelter, and the Baka pygmy tribesmen continue to hunt, unaware of the impending disaster. Astrophysicist Noah Boyle, and computer scientist Shiang Yatan, remain at the observation centre in Hawaii to try to find out exactly when the comet will hit. Part 2 An asteroid hits the earth in the Mexican province of Yucatan in 2007. The impact causes the entire planet to burst into flames. Humankind is catapulted into a very dark age and this re-enacted doco-drama describes what happens 5, 10, 30, 60 and 80 days and lastly 4 months after the impact. Most life is extinguished within hundreds of kilometres of the crater. The entire earth sinks into darkness. Paris, New York, Hawaii are all in complete darkness and all plant life dies out as a result of the lack of sunlight. Temperatures fall much below anything ever experienced before. Many survivors are left absolutely alone and must fend for themselves.

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel! Thumbnail: By Alchemist-hp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel! By Roland zh, upload on 30. März 2008 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

These little films are designed to whet the appetite of the undecided traveler and of all who long to escape their daily routine for a weekend in an exciting city. These “appetizers” take viewers to the main sightseeing destinations as well as to little-known attractions. Among the cities visited are Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, Milan, Turin and Vienna, and there’s even an excursion to the popular island of Majorca. “Weekend” is the ideal pocket guide for everyone who itches to travel!

          
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