PBS’ NOVA Fall: Building the Great Cathedrals, Crash of Flight 447, Trapped in an Elevator, Dogs Decoded & More
via press release:
NOVA REVEALS SECRETS OF CATHEDRALS, STONEHENGE, AND KING SOLOMON’S MINES, UNRAVELS MYSTERY OF A DOOMED AIRLINER, EXAMINESOUR FEAR OF ELEVATORS, AND DECODES DOGS AND THE HUMAN BOND WITH THEM IN DIVERSE NEW FALL SEASON
NOVA airs Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT on PBS
BOSTON, MA — PBS’s premier science series is full of ups and downs in a fascinating fall line-up of expeditions and investigations that reveal new research and findings in an array of fields, including engineering, forensics, aviation, archeology, climatology, genetics, and more. This season, NOVA examines elevator safety and reveals intriguing insights into people’s overwhelming fears of becoming trapped. The series also soars to new heights to unlock the mysteries of the magnificent Gothic cathedrals and to investigate the 2009 mid-ocean disappearance of a commercial airliner. NOVA then digs down to unravel new clues to Stonehenge, descends into what might be the fabled mines of King Solomon to hunt for hidden biblical treasures, and plunges viewers beneath the surface of Antarctica’s ice to reveal the secrets frozen in time there. In a thoroughly engaging new documentary, NOVA also decodes “man’s best friend” and offers surprising new science on the remarkable bond between humans and dogs.
Building the Great Cathedrals – Tuesday, October 19
How did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights using only hand tools to cre¬ate the great cathedrals? The filmmakers behind NOVA’s award-winning documentary Secrets of the Parthenon take viewers on a dazzling new architectural journey, inside those majestic marvels and jewels of Gothic architecture. Carved from a 100 million pounds of stone and sometimes more than 100 years in the making, some now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues to how the dream of these temples of human achievement and artistry became a reality. NOVA teams perform hands-on experiments to learn the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveal the hidden formulas, drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.
Crash of Flight 447 – Tuesday, October 26
On June 1, 2009, Flight AF447, an Air France Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean, taking with it all 228 lives on board. How could a state-of-the-art airliner with elaborate electronic safety and navigation features and a faultless safety record simply drop out of the sky? NOVA assembles a team of sea¬soned pilots, engineers and safety experts to examine the evidence that emerged in the weeks following the tragedy. What led Flight 447’s crew to fly straight into a raging thun¬derstorm? NOVA uses expert testimony, messages transmitted by the doomed plane’s computer system, multi-layered CGI weather reconstructions, and an Airbus simulator with a veteran pilot at the controls to piece together the crucial events and reconstruct the final moments in the cockpit as the crisis over¬whelmed Flight 447’s crew. The result is a forensic view presented from all angles to help us understand the crash.
Trapped in an Elevator – Tuesday, November 2
How do elevators work? Are they safe? Why are so many people afraid of them? Across North America, elevators move 325 million passengers every day, and most of the time, people don’t give them a second thought. In Trapped in an Elevator, NOVA reveals the secret life of these ubiquitous machines and inves¬tigates personal stories of those who have been caught inside when they do fail. NOVA cameras ride the world’s fastest elevator to the top of the Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and test whether the Burj’s elevator system is ready for the task of moving people to unprecedented heights. On the other side of the world, NOVA follows one of the thousands of elevator maintenance crews in Manhattan that keep New Yorkers moving up and down every day. Then, at the Otis Test Tower–a 28-story high-rise that’s the most over-elevatored building in the world–viewers experience a few heart-pumping moments as a test elevator is sent into free fall. Once brawny but simple machines, elevators are getting a brainy make¬over. Computer controls, like those in the elevators at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square, are getting passengers to their destinations faster and more safely than ever before. But will the elevator-wary be comfortable handing over the reins to computers?
Dogs Decoded – Tuesday, November 9
Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet, and humans have devel¬oped a unique relationship with these furry friends. We treat our pets like a part of the family, and we feel that they can understand us in a way other animals cannot. Now, new research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emo¬tions. What is surprising, however, is new research showing that humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be? And how can dogs, so closely related to fearsome wild wolves, behave so differently? It’s all in the genes. Dogs Decoded investigates new discoveries in genetics that are illuminating the origin of dogs–with revealing implications for the evolution of human culture as well. NOVA also travels to Siberia, where the mystery of dogs’ domestication is being repeated–in foxes. A 50-year-old breeding program is creating an entirely new kind of creature, a tame fox with some surprising similarities to man’s best friend. Dogs Decoded reveals the science behind the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs and spurs new questions about what this could mean for our rela¬tionships with other animal species.
Secrets of Stonehenge – Tuesday, November 16
Dated to the late Stone Age, Stonehenge may be the best-known and most mysterious relic of prehistory. Every year, a million visitors are drawn to England to gaze upon the famous circle of stones, but the monument’s meaning has continued to elude us. Now investigations inside and around Stonehenge have kicked off a dramatic new era of discovery and debate over who built Stonehenge and for what purpose. How did prehistoric people quarry, transport, sculpt, and erect these giant stones? Granted exclusive access to the dig site at Bluestonehenge, a prehistoric stone circle monument recently discovered about a mile from Stonehenge, NOVA cameras join a new generation of researchers finding important clues to this enduring mystery.