PBS Programs on DVD with DVS®

The following programs which originally aired on PBS have been released on DVD with optional descriptive narration tracks and captioning. All but a few can be purchased by following the links below to the product page on Amazon.com. The remaining discs listed can be purchased directly from PBS at the toll-free number listed under the disc title.

Description of many PBS programs is funded by a grant to the Media Access Group from the U.S. Department of Education.

Amazon.com Associates Program

WGBH's Media Access Group is an Amazon Associate, which means that when you click through our site to purchase movies or TV shows on DVD from Amazon, we receive a small portion (4%) of the revenue. As a nonprofit organization addressing media access barriers of all kinds, we would be grateful for the financial support you would provide through your purchases.

Go directly to the list of described PBS programs available from Amazon.com.

Link to lists of described programs which are broadcast on PBS, CBS, Nickelodeon and Turner Classic Movies cable network.

Movie Studios Releasing Films on DVD with Description

Several movie studios are now releasing DVD and Blu-rays discs of mainstream films with the descriptive narration track created for theaterical release.

Go to the list of described movies available from Amazon.com.

What You Can Do

We continue to work with additional PBS series producers, commercial network producers and movie studios' home entertainment divisions to encourage them to make their releases fully accessible through the inclusion of descriptive narration as well as captioning. If you want to help demonstrate to the producers, television networks and Web services that offer streaming and downloadable movies that there really is a market and engaged audience for described media, here’s a list of major Hollywood studios to contact If you want to advocate for more TV programs to be released on DVD, and available to download or stream, please write to us at access@wgbh.org.

Meanwhile, bookmark this page and check back often for newly released discs with DVS.

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For Kids

Arthur: Binky Goes Nuts

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Includes 4 great adventures: Binky Goes Nuts, Breezy Listening Blues, Arthur Weighs In, and The Law of the Jungle Gym. Binky Goes Nuts: When Binky discovers that he's allergic to peanuts, he has so many questions: Will he be forced to live without Chinese food? Will he ever again be able to eat with his friends? And most importantly, will his Mom ever calm down? Binky learns that the best way not to go nuts is to be well informed and to understand his allergy. Breezy Listening Blues: Much to his horror, Brain gets a "B-" on a test. That's only one grade above a C! What caused this disaster? Could it be the new "Breezy Listening" background music playing at the Ice Cream Shop? Brain is determined to get to the bottom of this before he loses what's left of his IQ. Arthur Weighs In: When Arthur doesn't fit into his costume for the play, he's shocked to learn that he's gotten "husky-sized." Now he's serious about getting in shape. Will he turn to an all-protein diet? Eat only herbs and berries? Or will he try something really radical...exercise?! The Law of the Jungle Gym: Muffy found the perfect place to take pictures with her new digital camera: the jungle gym. Unfortunately, it's Tough Customer territory, and Molly wants to bully Muffy right out of her new studio. But Crosswires do not compromise! Or... do they? Based on the best-selling children's books by Marc Brown, Arthur chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous aardvark, eight-year-old Arthur Read, and his family and friends. In episodes that never moralize or talk down to kids, Arthur and his friends encounter the joys and difficulties that all kids experience. From telling the truth to wetting the bed, Arthur manages to handle each situation with imagination, kindness, and humor. The series also models the joys and rewards of literacy by presenting the many ways kids--and adults--incorporate reading and writing into their lives.

Arthur: Big Brother Binky

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Arthur's best buddy Binky Barnes is about to go through a serious life change-He's going to become a big brother! No, his parents aren't having another child, they're adopting one. But this is no ordinary adoption, since Binky's new kid sister is coming all the way from China! This is the story of Binky and his family going to China to meet their new family member and how they learn about a different culture as well. BIG BROTHER BINKY is an animated spinoff from the popular ARTHUR series and is a great way to introduce children to a complex topic. It is also a humorous and entertaining TV show that has charmed public television audiences for years.

Arthur: Hooray for Health

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Home Video)

Hooray for Health includes: Arthur s Chicken Pox/ Sick as a Dog; Arthur s Tooth/ D.W. Gets Lost; D.W., The Picky Eater/ Buster and the DareDevils; and Just Desserts/ The Big Dig.

Arthur: Season 10

(Unrated 2008 DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Based on the best-selling children's books by Marc Brown and a Daytime Emmy Award-Winner for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Arthur chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous aardvark, eight-year-old Arthur Read, and his family and friends. In episodes that never moralize or talk down to kids, Arthur and his friends encounter the joys and difficulties that all kids experience. From keeping secrets to going to the hospital, Arthur manages to handle each situation with imagination, kindness, and humor. WGBH has announced the first season set for Arthur; season 10. This 5 disc set includes 10 episodes (260 mins), plus bonus material. This DVD set includes: 1. Happy Anniversary 2. The Squirrels & Fern and Persimmony Glitchet 3. Desert Island Dish & The Secret About Secrets 4. Feeling Flush & Family Fortune 5. D.W. Aims High & Flaw and Order 6. The Curse of the Grebes & Arthur Changes Gears 7. Unfinished & D.W., Bossy Boots 8. Binky Vs. Binky & Operation: D.W.! 9. Do You Speak George? & World Girls 10. What's Cooking? & Buster's Special Delivery Special features include: bullet Downloadable teaching materials, including the Let's Read! activity booklet for families (in English and in Spanish) bullet The Arthur at the Library interactive activity guide for children's librarians, and story starter and picture cards (in English and in Spanish) bullet Access to the Arthur Web site bullet Closed captions bullet Described video for the visually impaired.

Arthur: Season 11

(Unrated 2008 DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Based on the best-selling children's books by Marc Brown and a Daytime Emmy Award-Winner for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Arthur chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous aardvark, eight-year-old Arthur Read, and his family and friends. In episodes that never moralize or talk down to kids, Arthur and his friends encounter the joys and difficulties that all kids experience. Includes all 10 Episodes of Season 11: - Swept Away & Germophobia - Arthur Sells Out & Mind Your Manners - Buenas Noches, Vicita & Prunella Packs It In - Phony Fern & Brain's Shocking Secret - Baby Kate and the Imaginary Mystery & Strangers on a Train - The Making of Arthur & Dancing Fools - Hic or Treat & Mr. Alwaysright - Francine's Pilfered Paper & Buster Gets Real - D.W. on Ice & Spoiled Rotten - Big Brother Binky bullet

Arthur: Sleepovers, Sports, and More

(Unrated DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Based on the best-selling children's books by Marc Brown and a Daytime Emmy Award-Winner for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Arthur chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous aardvark, eight-year-old Arthur Read, and his family and friends. In episodes that never moralize or talk down to kids, Arthur and his friends encounter the joys and difficulties that all kids experience. Box set includes 18 great adventures on 5 Discs: 1. Prunella Sees The Light 2. The World of Tomorrow 3. Elwood City Turns 100! 4. Ants In Arthur's Pants 5. Cast Away

Arthur's Music Jamboree

(Unrated DVD Set, PBS Direct)

Arthur's Music Jamboree includes... Arthur Plays the Blues/ Buster's Sweet Success - Although Arthur's beloved piano teacher is retiring, she assures him that the new teacher is outstanding and famous, too! Then Arthur meets Dr. Fugue- who's as strict as he is odd- and begins to doubt his own abilities. Will Arthur be fired from playing the piano? When Buster signs up to sell candy for the band, he figures it's easy money-who doesn't love chocolate? Buster soon wishes that somebody loved it more than he does, because he eats it all himself. Will the band be doomed to wear tattered uniforms and play old instruments forever? My Music Rules/ That's a Baby Show! - It's the duel of the century as cellist Yo-Yo Ma faces jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman in the toughest gig of their careers...in the Elwood City library--! Whose music will rule after the greats duke it out in the battle of classical versus jazz? In the second story, will Arthur be exposed as a a baby show lover? When he gets hooked on "Love Ducks" he tries to hide it from his friends--not an easy feat since it's on at the same time as the new Bionic Bunny spin-off everyone's talking about! Arthur vs. the Piano/ The Big Blow-UP - Arthur gets stage fright during a rehearsal. Will he be able to get through his recital without any mistakes? In the second story, can Francine and the Brain put aside their differences for the good of the soccer team? Probably not -- so Arthur and Buster decide to "write" some wrongs. Muffy's Soccer Shocker/ Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet-- - Muffy's proud that her dad is the new soccer coach until he exhausts the team with demanding drills like the piston, the muffler, and the-gulp!-shock absorber. Even if Muffy survives playing goalie in the big game against Mighty Mountain, will the team survive her dad? The try-outs for the Young Person's Orchestra are coming to Lakewood Elementary and everyone agrees that Binky is a shoe-in, since he's the best musician in school. So why is Binky suddenly refusing to play in band practice? Has Binky turned against the clarinet or against music itself?

Between the Lions: Farmer Ken's Puzzle

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Farmer Ken's Puzzle: Lionel won't let Leona play a computer game for ages seven and up because she's four and down. The Fox and the Crow: Walter and Clay Pigeon want The Fox and the Crow banned from the library because they think the book makes birds look like birdbrains. Giants and Cubs: Leona thinks scary giants are coming into the library to clobber lion cubs.

Between the Lions: Fuzzy Wuzzy, Wuzzy?

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Fuzzy Wuzzy, Wuzzy?: Everyone except Lionel is thrilled when Fuzzy Wuzzy comes out of the Fuzzy Fuzzy Wuzzy Book to form a conga line with his fans in the library. The Boy Who Cried Wolf: Lionel and Leona show a shepherd boy from a storybook how to cry "Wolf!" when his sheep are threatened, and then he doesn't stop! The Chap with Caps: The Lion family helps a writer fix a story about a chap, a cap, and lots of chattering monkeys. Also featuring opera star Denyce Graves, Chicken Jane, Martha Reader and the Vowelles, the "What's Your Name" song, Gawain's Word, Cliff Hanger, and more BETWEEN THE LIONS favorites!

Between the Lions: Pecos Bill Cleans Up the West

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Pecos Bill Cleans Up the West: A storybook tornado blows into the library and makes a terrible mess. Lionel's Great Escape Trick: Lionel ties himself up with ropes and tries to escape without magic words. Touching the Moon: Leoona keeps the whole family awake because she wants a queen to touch the moon. Also featuring Broadway stars Faith Prince and Walter Bobbie, the Information Hen, the "What's Your Name" song, Monkey Pop-Up Theater, Arty Smartypants, Cliff Hanger, and more BETWEEN THE LIONS favorites!

Between the Lions: Season 1

(Unrated 2008 DVD Set, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Swing open the doors to reveal a wonderful, quirky family of lions in their...LIBRARY! It's a magical place where characters pop out of the pages of books, vowels sing, and words take on a life of their own. Special DVD features includes downloadable materials in English and Spanish, kindergarten Teachers' Guide, reading tips, and practice sheets.

Between the Lions: Shooting Stars

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Shooting Stars: The very sleepy Lion family tries to stay up very late at night, so they won't miss the most spectacular meteor shower of the year. There's a Fly in My Soup: Everyone reads jokes to Click the Mouse to try to make her laugh. Pandora's Box: Should Lionel and Leona open a mysterious box that has a "Do Not Open!" sign on it? Also featuring opera star Denyce Graves, Monkey Pop-Up Theater, Chicken Jane, B.B. the King of Beasts, Cliff Hanger, and more BETWEEN THE LIONS favorites!

Between the Lions: The Chap with Caps and More Set

(Unrated 2005 DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

A set of three Between the Lions DVDs, including Fuzzy Wuzzy, Wuzzy?, Shooting Stars, and Pecos Bill Cleans Up the West. The three DVDs include a total of nine individual Between the Lions episodes: Fuzzy Wuzzy, Wuzzy?; The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Chap with Caps, Shooting Stars, There's a Fly in My Soup, Pandora's Box, Pecos Bill Cleans Up the West, Lionel's Great Escape Trick, and Touching the Moon.

Between the Lions: The Hopping Hen and More 3PK DVD

(Unrated 2005 DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

A set of three Between the Lions DVDs, including The Popcorn Popper, To the Ship! To the Ship!, and Farmer Ken's Puzzle. The three DVDs include a total of nine individual Between the Lions episodes: The Popcorn Popper; Hug, Hug, Hug!; Piggyback, Piggyback; To the Ship! To the Ship!; The Hopping Hen; Be Bop; Farmer Ken's Puzzle, The Fox and the Crow; and Giants and Cubs.

Between the Lions: The Popcorn Popper

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The Popcorn Popper: Lionel and Leona persuade Click the Mouse to take a magic popcorn popper out of a book and then can't make it stop popping! Hug, Hug, Hug!: Leona helps a sculptor who falls in love with his statue. Piggyback, Piggyback: Leona decides to ride piggyback on her dad's back forever and ever.

Between the Lions: To the Ship! To the Ship!

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

To the Ship, To the Ship!: Lionel and Walter Pigeon think all pirates were men, so they won't let Leona and Clay Pigeon join their pirate game. The Hopping Hen: Everyone in the library goes crazy after Lionel puts up signs about new rules. Be Bop: When cool, jazzy shoes come out of a book and dance all over the library, everybody gets in the groove.

Martha Speaks: Martha Goes to School

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Martha Goes to School: TD thinks it would be funny to put Martha's name on the list for substitute teachers. TD and the Light Bulb of Doom: TD panics after he leaves his school project to the last minute. Truman's Secret: Where has Truman been hiding and why is he acting so weird? [bad haircut]. Skits Monkeys Around: Skits loves Malcolm (TV's blue monkey) so much he wants to be Malcolm. Ain't Nothin' but a Pound Dog, part 1: Martha loses her collar and winds up in the animal shelter. Ain't Nothin' but a Pound Dog, part 2: Martha decides she can't leave her shelter friends behind. What's Bothering Bob?: What's gotten into Bob? He's off his chain and chasing Truman all over town. Martha Spins a Tale: Martha tells Jake the story of Goldi-Martha, the Skits Hatter and Little Red Riding Helen.

Martha Speaks: Martha Says it with Flowers

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Martha Says It with Flowers: Martha decides to do something really special for Grandma's birthday. Raiders of the Lost Art: TD passes in the wrong drawing in art class (a rather unflattering caricature of his art teacher). Martha Gets Spooked: Someone, or some ghost, is fixing up the haunted house! Martha Changes Her Luck: Martha walks under a ladder and breaks a mirror so now she thinks she s jinxed. Martha Sings: Martha wakes up singing and she can't stop! TD Makes the Band: TD recruits the gang to join his band and then sets out to write a hit song...about Belgium? There Goes the Neighborhood: Martha can't believe that Helen and Alice are making such a fuss about a kitten. Ice Scream: Alice is shocked to discover that Truman has never actually tried ice cream.


America At A Crossroads: The Mosque in Morgantown

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This is a story of competing paths to social change, American identity, and the nature of religion itself. Working in Pakistan, former reporter Asra Nomani found herself pregnant and abandoned by the Pakistani man she thought would be her husband, then her friend Daniel Pearl was murdered. She and her son returned to her hometown in West Virginia to find that the mosque had been taken over by men she saw as extremists.

Another Day in Paradise

(Unrated 2009 Blue-ray, PBS DIRECT Studios)

More than 5,000 sailors live onboard the USS Nimitz, a nuclear aircraft carrier. All have been forced to leave friends, family and loved ones behind for a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf, during which they'll face confining quarters, harsh temperatures, extreme work conditions and conflicts over faith and duty. ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE focuses on a pilot, Marine and sailor in different phases of fatherhood, and impending fatherhood, as they struggle with family issues while serving their country in the high-stakes, dangerous environment of an aircraft carrier.

Building Alaska

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

From the Emmy Award-winning, Oscar-nominated producers of the four-part PBS series Great Projects: The Building of America, now comes Building Alaska, a century-long journey with the dedicated and visionary men and women who built Alaska's great engineering projects in the coldest, most remote and forbidding part of the United States. This feature-length documentary tells the stories of the great railroads and highways of the late 19th and early 20th century and how they opened the region up to gold and copper mining and made Alaska habitable; of the invasion of Alaska by the Japanese in World War II; and of the biggest earthquake ever in North America all of which helped shape America's 49th state.

Faces of America

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series FACES OF AMERICA. Building on the success of his series African American Lives (called by The New York Times the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time ) and African American Lives 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. turns again to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 11 renowned Americans. Looking to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests lives back to their origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, film director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actress Eva Longoria, actress Meryl Streep and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

FRONTLINE: Behind Taliban Lines

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

For close to two weeks, an Afghan video journalist gained access and traveled a region of Afghanistan that he found was now largely under control of the Taliban "shadow" government. As the new U.S. strategy focuses on the south and eastern parts of the country, this film opens up a window onto a potential new front in the north, and sheds an important light on who's fighting the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and why.

FRONTLINE: College, Inc.

(2010 Unrated DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

The business of higher education is booming. It's a $400 billion industry fueled by taxpayer money. But what are students getting out of the deal? Critics say a worthless degree and a mountain of debt. Investors insist they re innovators, widening access to education. FRONTLINE follows the money to uncover how Wall Street and a new breed of for-profit universities are transforming the way we think about college in America.

FRONTLINE: The Confessions

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Eight men charged. Five confessions. But only one DNA match. Why would four innocent men confess to a brutal crime they didn't commit? In The Confessions, FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel (Innocence Lost, An Ordinary Crime) investigates the conviction of four men -- current and former sailors in the U.S. Navy -- for the rape and murder of a Norfolk, Va., woman in 1997. In the first television interviews with the "Norfolk Four" since their release, Bikel learns of some of the high-pressure police interrogation techniques -- the threat of the death penalty, sleep deprivation, intimidation -- that led each of the men to confess, despite the lack of any evidence linking them to the crime.

FRONTLINE: The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

In Afghanistan today an ancient tradition has re-emerged, it's called Bacha Bazi, translated literally as, boy play. Boys, some as young as eleven, are dressed in woman's clothes, taught to sing and dance for the entertainment of male audiences, and then sold to the highest bidder or traded among the men for sex. The Afghan authorities responsible for stopping these crimes are sometimes themselves complicit in the practice.

FRONTLINE: Death By Fire

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Did Texas execute an innocent man? Several controversial death penalty cases are currently under examination in Texas and in other states, but it's the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham -- convicted for the arson deaths of his three young children -- that's now at the center of the national debate. In Death by Fire, FRONTLINE gains unique access to those closest to the Willingham case -- meticulously examining the evidence used to convict Willingham, offering an in-depth portrait of those most impacted by the case, and exploring the explosive implications of the execution of a possibly innocent man.

FRONTLINE: Digital Nation

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Over a single generation, the Web and digital media have remade nearly every aspect of modern culture, transforming the way we work, learn, and connect in ways that we re only beginning to understand. FRONTLINE producer Rachel Dretzin (Growing up Online) teams up with one of the leading thinkers of the digital age, Douglas Rushkoff (The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool), to continue to explore life on the virtual frontier. The film is the product of a unique collaboration with visitors to the Digital Nation Web site, who for the past year have been able to react to the work in progress and post their own stories online. Dretzin and her team report from the front lines of digital culture from love affairs blossoming in virtual worlds, to the thoroughly wired classrooms of the future, to military bases where the Air Force is fighting a new form of digital warfare. Along the way, they begin to map the critical ways that technology is transforming us, and what we may be learning about ourselves in the process.

FRONTLINE: Facing Death

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

How far would you go to sustain the life of someone you love, or your own? When the moment comes, and you're confronted with the prospect of "pulling the plug," do you know how you'll respond? Unfounded rumors of federal "death panels" grabbed headlines last summer, but the real decisions of how we die--the questions that most of us prefer to put off - are being made quietly behind closed doors, increasingly on the floors of America's intensive care units. In this film, FRONTLINE gains access to the ICU of one of New York's biggest hospitals to examine the complicated reality of today's modern, medicalized death. Here, we find doctors and nurses struggling to guide families through the maze of end-of-life choices they now confront: whether to pull feeding and breathing tubes, when to perform expensive surgeries and therapies or to call for hospice. The film also offers an unusually intimate portrait of patients facing the prospect of dying in ways that they might never have wanted or imagined.

FRONTLINE: Flying Cheap

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

One year after the deadliest domestic airline accident in seven years, FRONTLINE investigates the crash of Continental 3407 in Buffalo, NY, and discovers a dramatically changed airline industry, where regional carriers now account for half of the nation's daily departures. The rise of the regionals and arrival of low-cost carriers have been a huge boon to consumers, and the industry insists that the skies remain safe. But many insiders are worried that now, thirty years after airline deregulation, the aviation system is being stretched beyond its capacity to deliver service that is both cheap and safe.

FRONTLINE: Law & Disorder

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

A story of law enforcement in crisis, even out of control, Law & Disorder investigates charges that New Orleans Police Department officers inappropriately used lethal force against citizens and then tried to cover up their actions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. FRONTLINE takes a fresh look at how the NOPD performed when the rules of civilized society collapsed.

FRONTLINE: Obama's Deal - Inside the Battle for Health Care Reform

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Health care reform was the first big policy deal taken on by the Obama administration. Many say the young president has bet the mid-term elections, possibly his presidency, on the outcome. In a new investigation FRONTLINE goes behind closed doors at the White House, in Congress and the boardrooms of the giant health-care lobby to examine the political battles and costly compromises that defined Barack Obama's endeavor. From early positive efforts, through the bitter battles with the Tea Party, the elation of apparent success at Christmas, to the crushing failure in the Massachusetts Senatorial election, FRONTLINE follows the story and reveals the first in-depth look at how the Obama administration operates. In Obama's Deal, FRONTLINE veteran producer Michael Kirk (Bush's War, Dreams of Obama, Inside the Meltdown, The Warning) provides a sobering expose' of the realities of American politics, the power of special interest groups, and the role of money in policy making.


(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was leveled by one of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history. Those responsible for handling the catastrophe were crippled by the magnitude of the disaster and struggled to respond, as survivors were left without food, water or shelter. Drawing on interviews with key officials and humanitarian experts from Port-au-Prince to New York, The Quake asks, can the world do better? And how?


(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

The true story of Bransk, a small Polish shtetl that died overnight when all its Jewish residents were transported to Treblinka's gas chambers. A haunting story with tragic consequences emerges through interviews, photographs and personal stories.


(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Over the past decade, BP vaulted from an energy "also-ran" to one of the biggest companies in the world, gobbling up competitors in a series of mergers that delivered handsome profits for shareholders. But an investigation by FRONTLINE and the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica shows that BP's leadership failed to create a culture of safety in the massive new company. As BP took increasingly big risks to find oil and extract it, the company left behind a trail of mounting problems: deadly accidents, disastrous spills, countless safety violations. Each time, BP acknowledged the wider flaws in its culture and promised to do better. The FRONTLINE/ProPublica investigation shows that the rhetoric was empty. From the refineries to the oil fields to the Gulf of Mexico, BP workers understood that profits came first.

FRONTLINE: Storm Over Everest

(Unrated 2008 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

As darkness fell on May 10, 1996, a fast moving storm of unimaginable ferocity trapped three climbing teams high on the slopes of Mount Everest. The climbers, exhausted from their summit climb, were soon lost in darkness, in a fierce blizzard, far from the safety of High Camp at 26,000 feet. World-renowned climber and filmmaker David Breashears, who aided the rescue efforts back in 1996, now returns to Everest to tell the fuller story of what really happened on that legendary climb. Through remarkably intimate interviews with the climbers and Sherpas, many who have never spoken before on American television, Breashears sheds new light on the worst climbing tragedy in Mount Everest's history.

FRONTLINE: The Suicide Tourist

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Do we have the right to end our lives if life itself becomes unbearable, or we are terminally ill? With unique access to Dignitas, the Swiss non-profit that has helped over one thousand people die, filmmaker John Zaritsky offers a revealing look at two couples facing the most difficult decision of their lives--and lets us see as one Chicago native makes the trip to Switzerland for what will become the last day of his life

FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Controversy surrounds vaccines for many ordinary Americans. On one side sits scientific medicine, and the public health establishment; on the other a populist coalition of parents, celebrities, politicians and activists. It's a war that increasingly takes place on the Internet with both sides using the latest social media tools, including Facebook and twitter, to win the hearts and minds of the public.

FRONTLINE: The Wounded Platoon

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios.)

Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. At least thirty-six servicemen based at the nearby Army post of Fort Carson have committed suicide. And fourteen Fort Carson soldiers have been charged or convicted in at least eleven killings. Many of the most violent crimes involved men who had served in the same battalion in Iraq. Three of them came from a single platoon of infantrymen. FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of Third Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry; and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army's mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers.

Drama and Mystery

Masterpiece Classic: Anna Karenina (2000)

(Unrated 2009 DVD 2 Pack, PBS DIRECT Studios)

A woman risks everything to follow her heart in this stunning adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's powerful tale of love, marriage, and betrayal in imperial Russia. Helen McCrory stars as literature's most tragic adulteress, with Kevin McKidd as her lover, the dashing Count Vronsky, and Stephen Dillane as her cold-hearted husband.

Masterpiece Classic: Bertie and Elizabeth

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Theirs was the rarest of royal marriages-a true love match-but their expected life of genteel obscurity vanished with his brother's abdication in 1936. Follow the remarkable story of Britain's King George VI, known to friends simply as Bertie, and his fun-loving wife, Elizabeth, later enshrined in British hearts as the Queen Mum during her daughter's reign.

Masterpiece Theatre: Frenchman's Creek

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In search of peace and solitude, wealthy Dona St. Columb retreats to her country estate in Cornwall and discovers the exact opposite. Tara Fitzgerald (The Woman in White) and Anthony Delon recreate classic romance in Daphne du Maurier's enduring story of piracy and betrayal.

Masterpiece Theatre: Goodbye Mr. Chips

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Martin Chipping is a young and earnest, if unremarkable, teacher of Latin. But he has potential, and the counsel of a wise, loving wife. How he grows to become the venerated icon of Brookfield School is a 50-year story of a good man and a better future. Martin Clunes stars as the beloved Mr. Chips in this acclaimed new adaptation of the classic book and film.

Masterpiece Mystery!: The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries

(Unrated 2004 DVD, 3 Disc Set, PBS Studios Direct)

Emmy Award-winner Diana Rigg (Rebecca, The Avengers) stars as stylish and outspoken sleuth Mrs. Adela Bradley in these sophisticated 1920s whodunits filled with blackmail, a shooting and plenty of devious twists and turns. In this set of five scintillating mysteries based on the novels by Gladys Mitchell, she gets the lowdown on the upper crust.

Masterpiece: Oliver Twist

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In this extraordinary production, storyteller Alan Bleasdale broadens the scope of Charles Dickens' classic tale of an orphan in 19th century England-- and the characters who influence his destiny. Oliver's mother, Agnes, struggles against the tragic circumstances that ultimately leave Oliver a penniless orphan. At the Parish Workhouse, he is forced by other boys to ask for more food, and as a result, is sold as an apprentice to a miserly undertaker. He runs away and is taken in by master thief Fagin, who is in league with a murderous pair determined to see that Oliver never inherits the fortune he deserves. Life twists and turns again and again for Oliver, landing him in alternately dangerous and hopeful circumstances. Oliver Twist is a drama of dark comedy, astonishing vivacity and soaring imagination, but ultimately, it is a story that celebrates the resilience and triumph of a little boy's spirit.

Masterpiece: The Blackheath Poisonings

(Unrated 2003 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Behind the shutters of a Victorian family's home lies a lethal potion of lust, corruption and greed. At first glance, the two toymaking families who share a spacious villa in the leafy London suburb of Blackheath appear to be the era's picture-perfect examples. But looks can be murderously deceiving. The Collards and Vandervents are not alone in their houseendash they are also living with wicked secrets. Thrown together for the sake of the family business, they each harbor dangerous emotionsemdash and equally dangerous habits. Led by the frosty hand of a diabolic matriarch, the extended family also includes a selfish, debauched son; a bitter spinster; an adulterous wife; and a sharp young man who suspects his father's sudden death wasn't caused by the hand of God, but by poison. A police investigation reveals unseemly secrets and an illicit affair that leads to a shockingemdash and rivetingemdash conclusion. The Blackheath Poisonings, based on the best-selling mystery novel by Julian Symons, and adapted by Simon Raven (Edward and Mrs. Simpson), boldly and brilliantly redefines the Victorian era.

Masterpiece Theatre: Warrior Queen

(Unrated 2003 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The Celtic queen who shook the Roman Empire. Wife of a king. Mother of two daughters. Leader of her tribe in first century Briton. Boudica (Alex Kingston, Moll Flanders and ER) is one of history’s first and fiercest women warriors. Sickened by ceaseless war, the king of the Iceni accepts a treaty with the Romans in exchange for his tribe’s continued independence. But oppressively high taxes impoverish the tribe and soon the Romans want something more—slaves. Refusing to submit, the Romans, led by the greedy and psychotic Emperor Nero, move to crush the Iceni and control their lands. When the king dies mysteriously, his wife, Boudica, is left alone to face the rapacious Romans and save her people. Taken from the pages of Roman history books, the spine-tingling tale of the fearsome Queen Boudica, who dared to take on the most powerful army on earth, bursts into life as a story of love, treachery, and unquenchable thirst for revenge.

Mystery!: The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 1

(Unrated 2003 DVD, 4 Films on 4 discs, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Love, life and murder. Just a few of Inspector Lynley's mysteries. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries feature the most celebrated British detective duo in years: Inspector Thomas Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Sergeant Barbara Havers (Sharon Small). Over the course of more than 10 intriguing Elizabeth George novels, beginning with A Great Deliverance, Lynley and Havers have won millions of loyal fans. It's no mystery why. Decidedly uppercrust detective Lynley and his partner Havers endure a marriage made at police headquarters. Lynley is suave, sophisticated, and the eighth Earl of Asherton. Havers is rumpled, resentful, and working class, with an inborn dislike of the highborn. Despite their differences, the sleuths evolve into a potent team, employing their cunning, intuition, and street smarts to unravel some of the most heinouse and suspenseful crimes. Well-Schooled In Murder: When a student from prestigious Bredgar Hall is found dead under bizarre circumstances, Lynley receives a call from an old school chum asking for help. The Inspector and Havers soon discover hints of impropriety among both masters and students and race to crack the case before more students come into harm's way. Payment in Blood: A playwright is murdered in her sleep on the eve of her new play's debut, forcing Lynley and Havers to select from an entire cast of suspects. The mysterious drama is further complicated by Lynley's deepening feelings for a woman involved with the play's director, who is himself a prime suspect. For The Sake Of Elena: The fog lifts over the green hills of Cambridge, revealing the lifeless body of a prominent professor's daughter, a young woman admired for being fun-loving, popular, daring and deaf. The mystery is far from academic as Lynley and Havers discover fatal twists that sealed the fate of one dysfunctional family. Missing Joseph: A rural vicar is the victim of hemlock poisoning. Lynley and Havers discover that everyone from the local herbalist and her troubled teenage daughter to the local constable has a motive. The duo combs the countryside sifting for clues, and finally uncovers the secrets behind the murder.

Mystery!: The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: A Great Deliverance

(Unrated 2003 DVD, 1 Film on 1 Disc, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Talk about a puzzling case. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard (Nathaniel Parker, Far from the Maddding Crowd) is assigned to investigate the gruesome murder of a farmer in a seemingly peaceful country village, but it's his new partner, Sgt. Barbara Havers (Sharon Small, About a Boy), whom he's finding indecipherable. Havers is as gritty, rumpled, and working-class as the Inspector is refined, well-heeled, and sophisticated. Is the murderer the farmer's shy daughter who was found next to her father's decapitated corpse? The nephew who stands to inherit the farm? The estranged wife who's protecting her new family from an unsightly past? Or is it a suspicious village resident with a shady past and a weak alibi? Based on the best-selling mystery by Elizabeth George, A Great Deliverance introduces Inspector Lynley with first-rate performances and abundant amounts of nail-biting suspense.


American Experience: Abraham and Mary Lincoln - A House Divided

(Unrated DVD with Audio Navigation/Talking Menu Feature, WGBH Boston)

From award-winning film-maker David Grubin, this miniseries weaves together the troubled lives of a dirt-farmer's son and a wealthy Southern slave-owner's daughter. Together, Abraham and Mary Lincoln ascended to the pinnacle of power at the most difficult time in the nation's history, the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln's legacy as the Great Emancipator reshaped the nation while his tragic death left Mary reclusive and forgotten.

American Experience: Chicago - City of the Century

(Unrated DVD with Audio Navigation/Talking Menu Feature, PBS Home Video)

This addition to the PBS American Experience series is based on David Miller's "City of Century," the history of Chicago's meteoric rise from a swamp on the edge of Lake Michigan to America's second largest metropolis at the end of the 19th Century. Between 1833-1899 Chicago stood at the center of, and symbolized America's rise from a rural republic to an industrial giant. The first modern city of the United States and, much as Manchester was to England's Industrial Revolution, the "shock city" of American capitalism.

American Experience: Marcus Garvey - Look for Me in the Whirlwind

(Unrated DVD with Audio Navigation/Talking Menu Feature, PBS Home Video)

Visionary yet enigmatic, brilliant yet manipulative, Marcus Garvey is one of the most controversial figures in American history. Both a powerful orator and a pompous autocrat, Garvey inspired the loyalty of millions of African-Americans while infuriating many black leaders. He was a strong advocate of black self-help, yet was willing to collaborate with the Ku Klux Klan. He inspired African-Americans to support his economic enterprises, then lost their hard-earned money through mismanagement. This film uses a wealth of archival footage, photographs and documents to uncover the story of this Jamaican immigrant who between 1916 and 1921 built what was the largest black mass movement in world history.

American Experience: Partners of the Heart

(Unrated DVD with Audio Navigation/Talking Menu Feature, PBS Home Video)

In 1944, two men at Johns Hopkins University Hospital pioneered a groundbreaking procedure that would save thousands of so-called blue babies' lives. One of them, Alfred Blalock, was a prominent white surgeon. The other, Vivien Thomas, was an African American with a high school education. Partners of the Heart tells the inspiring, little-known story of their collaboration. Blalock recognized Thomas' talents when the younger man came inquiring after a hospital janitor's job. But though Blalock came to treat Thomas with tremendous respect in the lab, the two men were rarely treated as equals in the outside world. Over time, Thomas would go on to train two generations of the country's premier heart surgeons. In 1976, more than three decades after the first blue baby's life had been saved, Johns Hopkins finally formally recognized Thomas' extraordinary achievements, awarding him an honorary doctorate.

The Battle of the Bulge

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In mid-1944, it looked as if the war in Europe was coming to an end. Hitler was on the run, and the Allies had triumphantly regained Paris, as well as Casablanca and Tripoli, Naples, and Rome. After five hard years of war, Allied soldiers were breathing easieremdash even stopping to enjoy dances and parties. Hitler, however, had one final card to play. In December 1944, he struck back with a brutal counterattack. The Battle of the Bulge was the single biggest and bloodiest battle U.S. soldiers have ever fought. Almost 80,000 Americans were killed, injured, or captured in an infernal test of courage and endurance that ultimately ended with a hard-won victory for the Allies. Battle of the Bulge looks at the battle through the eyes of the U.S. soldiers and combat officers in the fieldemdash the young men charged with holding the line and closing the bulge. They describe the events leading up to the attack and how the Allied forces were caught unpreparedemdash and talk with disarming honesty about the grueling physical and psychological conditions under which they fought and of the memories that still haunt them. Packed with rare archival newsreel and Army footage, this documentary offers a compelling chronicle of war that captures both the action on the front lines and the strategy behind the scenes.

Benjamin Latrobe: America's First Architect

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

A story of triumph and tragedy, the compelling saga of the man who designed much of official Washington, including the central portions of the United States Capitol. His ideas ultimately defined the first uniquely "American" architecture, but his life was a tumultuous series of creative successes and personal catastrophes, ending with his death in poverty in New Orleans. Featuring extensive computer-generated animation, interviews with architects and historians, and visits to the sites of Latrobe's works, Pulitzer Prize-winning host Paul Goldberger explores every aspect of Latrobe s extraordinary story, beginning with his early years in England, continuing through his immigration to the young Republic, his friendship with Thomas Jefferson, his work on major constructions such as the Baltimore Basilica, the first Catholic Cathedral built in the United States, and the stunning failures of his last years.

The Buddha - Blu-ray Version
The Buddha - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man, the Buddha, a mysterious Indian sage who famously gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. The Buddha never claimed to be God or his emissary on earth. He said only that he was a human being who, in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, had found a kind of serenity that others could find, too. This documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the story of his life, a journey especially relevant in our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. Richard Gere narrates.

Forgotten Ellis Island

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

A century ago, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, one of the world's greatest public hospitals was built. Massive and modern, the hospital's twenty-two state-of-the-art buildings were crammed onto two small islands, man-made from the rock and dirt excavated during the building of the New York subway. As America's first line of defense against immigrant-borne disease, the hospital was where the germs of the world converged. The Ellis Island hospital was at once welcoming and foreboding a fateful crossroad for hundreds of thousands of hopeful immigrants. Those nursed to health were allowed entry to America. Those deemed feeble of body or mind were deported. Three short decades after it opened, the Ellis Island hospital was all but abandoned. As America after World War I began shutting its border to all but a favored few, the hospital fell into disuse and decay, its medical wards left open only to the salt air of the New York Harbor.

God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America

(2010 DVD release, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

For those who know that in America, religion matters, and for those who wish it didn't matter so much, comes GOD IN AMERICA, a sweeping history of how religious faith has shaped America. Interweaving documentary footage, historical dramatizations, and interviews with religious historians, this documentary series is an in-depth exploration of the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States.

Ground War: The Evolution of the Battlefield

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Definitive four-part series exploring the technological innovations that have transformed warfare through the ages. Each episode will focus on one area where technology and science have influenced the unfolding evolution of ground combat. (Companion to War Plane and War Ship).

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The story of Daniel Burnham, a dreamer, who shaped some of America's best-known places and spaces. The film explores Burnham's fascinating career and complex legacy as public debate continues today about how and for whom cities are planned.

Secrets of the Dead: Churchill's Deadly Decision

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In the summer of 1940 Winston Churchill faced a terrible dilemma. France had just signed an armistice agreement with Hitler, and only the English Channel stood between the Nazi's and Britain. With Germany poised to seize the French Navy, an invasion seemed imminent. Churchill had to make a choice. He could either trust the promises of the new French government that they would never hand over their ships to Hitler. Or he could make sure that the ships never joined the German navy-and convince America that Britain was a strong and worthy ally to assist--by destroying them himself. Some call his decision a turning point in the war, others call it a terrible betrayal and a war crime. This is the story of what Churchill did next, and why; and how 1,300 French sailors died as a result of what the French still call 'our Pearl Harbor.' With newly-uncovered documents; recollections from French survivors, some of whom still regard Churchill as a war criminal; as well as from one of the British sailors who opened fire on his former allies, this is the forgotten story of Churchill's deadly decision-to sink the French Fleet.

Secrets of the Dead: Deadliest Battle

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

The Battle of Stalingrad, the deadliest single battle ever seen, has been lauded as a shining example of Stalin's military genius, and altered the course of World War II permanently. The battle established the Soviet Union as a superpower to be reckoned with in the long Cold War that lay ahead. More than a half-century later, with newly uncovered evidence the full impact of this horrific battle is revealed.

Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

A modern day quest to find the truth behind one of exploration's greatest mysteries: What happened to famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett who went looking for a city of gold -- the Lost City of "Z" -- in the Amazon in 1925 and disappeared in the jungles of Brazil forever? New archaeological digs, the science behind the discovery of "newly found" jungle cities and clues collected over the years reveal the fate of Fawcett. SECRETS OF THE DEAD unravels the truth of what really happened to Fawcett, and shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited Amazon rainforest -- a place that before Columbus may have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities.

Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures. So why hasn't the world heard about it? Archaeologists, using the hieroglyphs inside the tomb, pieced together the identity of the pharaoh, and further investigation reveals political intrigue, a lost city, and a leader who united a country in turmoil and became the Silver Pharaoh.

Secrets of the Dead: Slave Ship Mutiny

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

When the Meermin set sail South Africa in 1766, the slaves mutinied and overpowered the Dutch crew, ordering the ship be sailed back to Madagascar and freedom. This film tracks the efforts of archaeologists, historians, and slave descendants to discover what happened on the Meermin, how the slaves were able to overpower their captors, and why the ship ended up wrecked on a wild, windswept beach 200 miles east of Cape Town.

The Story of India - Blue-ray Version

(Unrated 2009 Blue-ray, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Sixty years after Indian independence, British historian Michael Wood presents the tale of the oldest and most diverse civilization, and largest democracy. A nuclear power and a rising giant, India's population will overtake China's within 10 years and its economy is predicted to overtake that of the U.S. in the 2030s. This journey of sights and sounds, and achievements takes him from the deserts of Turkmenistan to the Khyber Pass.

The Story of India - DVD Version

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness

(Unrate 2005 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Discover the impact of one man's extraordinary act of courage. In the fall of 1939 Hitler's murderous wave was sweeping through Eastern Europe. In the face of the Nazi onslaught, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara made a decision that would change his life and thousands of others. With no possible hope for reward and at great risk to his family and career, Sugihara acted on his innermost beliefs and used his diplomatic power to rescue desperate Jewish refugees. As Japanese Consul to Lithuania, Sugihara defied Tokyo authorities by writing transit visas that were the sole remaining hope of Jews facing extermination. More than 2,000 Sugihara-stamped passports allowed hundreds of families to flee Europe through Russia to Japan and safe havens abroad. Today it is estimated that at least 40,000 people owe their existence to Sugihara's heroism. Through unprecedented access to Sugihara's family and their personal home movies, photos, and papers, and interviews with Sugihara survivors and their descendants, viewers will discover an inspiring, little known story of personal courage, sacrifice, and dedication.

Walking The Bible

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Both a heart-racing adventure and an uplifting quest, Walking the Bible presents one man's epic journey--by foot, jeep, rowboat, and camel--through the greatest stories ever told. From crossing the Red Sea to climbing Mount Sinai to touching the burning bush, Bruce Feiler's inspiring odyssey will forever change your view of history's most legendary events. The stories in the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah, come alive as Feiler searches across three continents for the stories and heroes shared by Christians and Jews. You'll visit the slopes of Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark landed, trek to the desert outpost where Abraham first heard the words of God, and scale the summit where Moses received the Ten Commandments. A once-in-a-lifetime journey, Walking the Bible offers new insights into the roots of our common faith and uncovers fresh answers to the most profound questions of the human spirit. Bruce Feiler is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey. He is also a frequent contributor to NPR and is a contributing editor at Gourmet and Parade.

Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Worse Than War takes viewers on an extraordinary journey with noted Holocaust scholar Daniel Goldhagen, as he travels to the sites in over eight countries of the worst mass slaughters in the past century. Together we encounter killers, survivors, witnesses, journalists and political leaders whose stories provide powerful insights into why genocides continue to plague our planet. More than 60 years after the Holocaust inspired cries of "Never Again," is it possible for us to prevent genocide and save millions of lives? The film shows us how.


The Hidden Epidemic: Heart Disease in America

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Dramatic personal stories showcase the stunning scientific advances that are transforming the field of cardiology, and the effect these changes will have on people stricken with the disease.

Nature: Bears of the Last Frontier - DVD and Blu-ray

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Bears are an ultimate icon of the wild, regarded as among the most successful wild animals on the planet. Three of the eight bear species in the world - brown bears, black bears, and polar bears -can be found in Alaska, one of North America's last truly wild frontiers. Nature joins adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan on a year-long motorcycle odyssey deep into Alaska's bear country to explore the amazing resiliency and adaptability of these majestic animals as they struggle to make a living in five dramatically diverse Alaskan ecosystems: coastal, urban, mountain, tundra, and pack ice. Episodes include - Part 1: City of Bears Part 2: The Road North Part 3: Arctic Wanderers

Nature: Birds of the Gods - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Birds of the Gods - DVD Version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Living in the depths of the New Guinean Rainforest are birds of unimaginable color and beauty. When Europeans first saw the plumes of these fabulous creatures in the sixteenth century, they believed they must be from heaven and called them Birds of Paradise. The people of New Guinea make even greater claims. They say the birds possess supernatural powers and magic. But to find these birds in New Guinea is one of the toughest assignments, and to witness their extraordinary mating displays is even tougher. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film these Birds of Paradise; the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers.

Nature: Braving Iraq: Restoring the Garden of Eden - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Braving Iraq: Restoring the Garden of Eden - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

In the early 1990's, Saddam Hussein destroyed the Mesopotamian Marshes, once the richest wildlife habitat in the Middle East. Now one man is making an extraordinary effort to restore both animals and people to the scene of one of the greatest ecocides of the Twentieth Century. Is it a dream too far? Can man and animal live again in what remains one of the most politically troubled and dangerous place on earth?

Nature: Broken Tail: A Tiger's Last Journey - Blu-ray version
Nature: Broken Tail: A Tiger's Last Journey - DVD version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Broken Tail, was a charismatic tiger cub in Ranthambore, one of India's best protected tiger reserves. He suddenly and without warning abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run moving through farmland and scrub until he was killed by a train nearly 200 miles from its home. This film retraces the tiger's path and piece together the cub's last days - and through his story reveal the fate of the few surviving tigers in India.

Cuba: The Accidental Eden Blu-ray - Version
Cuba: The Accidental Eden - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

For decades, Cuba's wild landscapes lay untouched while its neighbors destroyed their ecological riches. Now, Cuba's priceless treasures are about to face an onslaught. Tourism is already on the rise and most experts predict tourism will double once the US trade embargo ends. What will happen to Cuba's stunning biodiversity--an island filled with amphibians, reptiles and the most biologically diverse freshwater fish in the region?

Nature: Echo: An Elephant to Remember - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Echo: An Elephant to Remember - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Echo, the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many films and the leader of a carefully studies herd of elephants in Africa. This past fall, she died of natural causes. This film is a look back at this remarkable animal through extraordinary footage and interviews with the researchers that cared for and studied this amazing herd.

Nature: Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story - DVD Version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Born Free - a book and then a film that changed forever the way we think about wildlife. Elsa, an orphaned lion cub raised by George and Joy Adamson then released back into the wild, captivated audiences around the world, and became a symbol for all animals' right to live free. But behind the film and book lies the real story of the Adamsons' life with Elsa. Their diaries, home movies and detailed records reveal an intimate look into their pioneering work and unique relationship with lions. Recollections of the actress who portrayed Joy in the film, and memories of people who knew and worked with the Adamsons leave us with a new appreciation for the world of animals we never knew until Elsa and Born Free opened our eyes.

Nature: A Murder of Crows - Blu-ray Version
Nature: A Murder of Crows - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

New research has shown that crows are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, able to recognize each other's voices and 250 distinct calls. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises, and present us with captivating new footage of crows as we have never seen them before.

Nature: Outback Pelicans - Blu-ray version
Nature: Outback Pelicans - DVD version

(Unrated 2011 Blu-ray release, PBS Direct Studios)

The Australian outback is the driest place on the driest inhabited continent on the planet. It is a place you might expect to see kangaroos but certainly not waterbirds. Yet once every ten years, rains flood into dried-up river beds and head inland to create the largest lake in Australia, and 100,000 pelicans -- a third of all the pelicans in Australia -- arrive for the event. Leaving their homes on coasts and harbors, they come to feed on fish washed in on the floods and on billions of brine shrimp and other crustaceans which hatch and grow to adulthood in a few days in water twice as salty as the Dead Sea. The pelicans have come home to court and raise as many families as possible before the water and the food disappear once more.

Nature: Revealing the Leopard - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Revealing the Leopard - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 Blu-ray release, PBS Direct Studios)

Leopards are the ultimate cat. They are the most feline, the most intelligent, the most dangerous, and, until recently, one of the least understood. This film will accumulate the evidence and put together a psychological profile of this extraordinarily cunning cat. From the Middle East and North Africa to the island of Sri Lanka, we'll learn how these cats rarely move without a completely pre-meditated strategy.

Nature: Salmon - Blu-ray version
Nature: Salmon - DVD version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

This film will investigate the parallel stories of collapsing Pacific salmon populations and how biologists and engineers have become instruments in audacious experiments to replicate every stage of the fish's life cycle. Each of our desperate efforts to save salmon has involved replacing their natural cycle of reproduction and death with a radically manipulated life history. Our once great runs of salmon are now conceived in laboratories, raised in tanks, driven in trucks, and farmed in pens. Here we go beyond the ongoing debate over how to save an endangered species. In its exposure of a wildly creative, hopelessly complex, and stunningly expensive approach to managing salmon, the film reveals one of the most ambitious plans ever conceived for taking the reins of the planet.

Nature: Survivors of the Firestorm - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Survivors of the Firestorm - DVD Version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

The bushfires that tore through the Australian state of Victoria in February 2009 incinerated over a million acres of land, including key mountain ash forest ecosystems. Fires are a natural force of nature which spur regeneration, but the immediate aftermath of this giant firestorm was devastation. Kangaroos and koalas, wombats and wallabies, endangered possums and gliders, lizards, echidnas, birds of all kinds, and even fish that lived among these eucalypts were overcome by the flames. Millions died. But burned and traumatized survivors tenderly nursed back to health at wildlife hospitals showed a remarkable ability to bounce back, and the environment an extraordinary capacity for healing.

Nature: Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom - Blu-ray Version
Nature: Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

This sixty-minute HD film for Nature will take viewers into the secretive world of the largest and least known member of the weasel family to reveal who this dynamic little devil truly is. Hard-wired to endure an environment of scarcity, the wolverine is one of the most efficient and resourceful carnivores on Earth.

NOVA: Absolute Zero

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Our mastery of cold is something we take for granted, whether it's air conditioning and frozen food or the liquefied gases and superconductivity at the heart of cutting-edge technology. But what is cold? How do you achieve it, and how cold can it get? This two-part NOVA special brings the history of this frosty fascination to life with brilliant dramatic recreations of high moments in low-temperature research and the quest for ever-lower notches on the thermometer. The first hour, The Conquest of Cold, opens in the 1600s when the nature of cold and heat was a complete mystery. Were they different aspects of the same phenomenon? The experiments that settled these questions helped stoke the Industrial Revolution. In the second hour, The Race For Absolute Zero dramatizes the titanic rivalry between Scottish researcher James Dewar and Dutch physicist Heike Onnes, who plunged cold science to the forbidding realm at which oxygen and then nitrogen turn into liquids. The race continues today as scientists pioneer super-fast computing near absolute zero the ultimate chill of -459.67 degrees F where atoms slow to a virtual standstill.

NOVA: Alien from Earth - The Little People of Flores

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In 2003 paleoanthropologists made a discovery on the Indonesian island of Flores that shook up the world of early human studies like no other in recent years. Inside a cave, under a thick blanket of sediments, they unearthed fossil bones of a three-foot-tall human. The fossil appeared for all the world not to have been that of a diseased modern human or Homo sapiens, but rather an entirely new species, which its discoverers named Homo floresiensis. The debate over just what this so-called hobbit and its kind were has only just begun.

NOVA: America's Stone Age Explorers

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The storm of controversy surrounding the population of the Americas. Who were the first Americans and where did they come from? The conventional view is that they arrived here around 13,500 years ago, but startling new archaeological discoveries suggest it may have been long before that. And experts are testing contentious theories regarding how they got here, including the idea of a dangerous canoe-born voyage from Asia down the west coat of the Americas, or even across the Atlantic from Europe. Since 1932 and the discovery of ancient weapons at Clovis, New Mexico, the "Clovis-first" theory held that Ice Age big-game hunters entered the continent by crossing a land bridge that spanned the Bering Strait between Asia and Alaska. Then archaeologists discovered a problem: massive ice sheets blocked the way south, and the search for an alternative explanation began. NOVA investigates controversial clues, including finds in an Alaskan bear cave hinting at a west coast voyage, and a stone tool from Virginia claimed to be evidence of a landing from Europe. Then visit an extraordinary Clovis dig in Texas with nearly half a million artifacts, which points to a completely different solution to the puzzle. Join archaeologists and other experts as they dig into prehistory and uncover a provocative Stone Age detective story.

NOVA: Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH/PBS Studios)

Will secrets buried in an ancient cave rewrite the story of a desperate time? Nearly 2,000 years ago, a dark, inhospitable cave located in a canyon near the Dead Sea was a secret refuge for Jewish refugees fleeing for their lives from the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. In 1960, archaeologists discovered dramatic letters written by Bar-Kokhba, the heroic Jewish rebel who led a guerrilla uprising against the Romans. Could the cave conceal more historical treasure from that desperate time? Armed with high-tech equipment, a new team led by archaeologist Richard Freund returns to explore a place that has intrigued the experts for decades. With the help of ingeniously improvised devices, they unearth long-lost artifacts and relics that provide tantalizing clues to turbulent times of messianic fervor, oppression, and revolt. The team's discoveries lead Freund to a radical new theory that he hopes will rewrite Holy Land history-- could the treasure concealed in the cave be a long-lost relic of the Great Temple in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans? Join NOVA for a fascinating detective story that will immerse you in the strong currents of archaeological controversy.

NOVA: Ape Genius

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

It's easy to feel empathy for the great apes chimps, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas which are our nearest relatives in the animal world. They have some of the largest brains in proportion to body size of any animals. For decades we've known that some of them can use simple tools and even be trained to communicate with us in sign language. But just how smart are these animals? In co-production with National Geographic, NOVA explores the provocative findings of a new generation of researchers investigating the secret mental lives of apes and the crucial gap between ape intellects and our own. It turns out that every time we've defined a mental ability that we think is uniquely human, the great apes have it too, everything from culture to planning ahead, empathy for others, and even simple math. But, as Ape Genius reveals with fascinating first-time footage from Africa and leading primate labs, the scientists are zeroing in on subtle and tantalizing hints of what that essential difference may be. Besides its hugely entertaining sequences of chimps staging pool parties and working vending machines, Ape Genius reveals a new and deeper understanding of our profound kinship with our primate relatives and exactly what it means to be human.

NOVA: Arctic Dinosaurs

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Most people imagine dinosaurs lurking in warm locales with swamps and jungles, dining on vegetation and each other. But "Arctic Dinosaurs" reveals that many species also thrived in the harsh environments of the north and south polar regions. NOVA follows two high-stakes expeditions and the paleontologists who push the limits of science to unearth 70 million-year-old fossils buried in the vast Alaskan tundra.

NOVA: Astrospies

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Millions remember the countdowns, launchings, splashdowns and parades as the U.S. raced the USSR to the Moon in the 1960s. Few know that both superpowers ran parallel covert space programs to launch military astronauts on spying missions. In Astrospies, NOVA delves into the untold story of this top-secret space race, which might easily have turned into a shooting war in orbit. In Astrospies, viewers meet the elite corps of U.S. military astronauts, several of whom have never before talked about their clandestine training missions during the 1960s. As seen in footage broadcast for the first time, they practiced in full-scale mock-ups of the spy station, complete with spy cameras capable of resolving three-inch objects on the earth below. While the Apollo astronauts enjoyed ticker-tape parades, their astrospy colleagues trained in total obscurity until cost overruns and the new satellite technology doomed the program. Meanwhile, in response, the Soviets actually built three manned spy stations named Almaz and flew five missions during the 1970s. NOVA gains first-time access to a surviving Almaz station in a restricted Russian space facility, where an ex-cosmonaut demonstrates the high-powered spy cameras that were trained on U.S. cities. With a cannon designed to destroy hostile satellites or attack American astrospies Almaz was probably the only manned spacecraft ever equipped for space war. Astrospies is co-produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Scott Willis and investigative journalist James Bamford, acclaimed best selling author of The Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets.

NOVA: Battle of the X-Planes

(Unrated 2003 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Inside the high-tech, high-stakes competition to create America's newest fighter plane. NOVA goes behind the doors of the world's two largest aerospace companies to record classified meetings, climbs into cockpits to fly the most revolutionary planes, and examines the high-stakes battle waged between Boeing and Lockheed Martin to build the most capable and versatile fighter ever created-- the Joint Strike Fighter. You're on the front line as the two aerospace giants fight for a contract that will make aviation history and help protect America, and that could provide the winner total domination of the U.S. defense fighter industry. Marking the first time filmmakers have been allowed inside a major weapons competition, NOVA enters Boeing's Phantom Works and Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works, and travels to the flight test centers at Edwards Air Force Base and Patuxnet Naval Air Station to document key moments of the competition. Join military brass, aviation engineers, and test pilots as they race to create a single aircraft that meets three criteria-- that the winning plane be stealthy, affordable, and adaptable to the widely varying needs of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Filmed over four years, Battle of the X-Planes reveals the breakthrough designs, heartbreaking setbacks, adrenaline-fueled test flights, and one final nail-biting decision-- the winner of the most lucrative contract in military history-- the Joint Strike Fighter.

NOVA: Battle Plan Under Fire

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Two wars rage on the Iraq battlefront. In one, laser-guided bombs, networked intelligence systems and unmanned aerial vehicles dominate an overwhelmed enemy. In the other, no-tech guerrilla insurgents play by their own rules, inflicting casualties and sowing chaos and mistrust. This clash of "smart" technology versus desperate terrorism is causing some experts and government leaders to seriously question America's battle plan, spending strategies, and political policies. NOVA offers a rare first-hand look at the remarkable innovations-- and lethal frustrations-- of the modern battlefield. With exclusive access to government and military decision-makers, go inside the Pentagon and key defense agencies and discover how ultra-advanced weapons and systems were rushed from blueprint to battlefront. See how "network-centric" warfare is changing the way we fight. Hear the military leaders and experts argue that sophisticated technology may not be enough to prevail in a guerilla war. Finally, face the bigger question: In the heat of war, can even the most advanced weapons assure victory?

NOVA: Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors - Blu-ray Version
NOVA: Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors - DVD Version

(Unrated 2010 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Nothing is more fascinating to us than, well, us. Where did we come from? What makes us human? NOVA's groundbreaking investigation explores how new discoveries are transforming views of our earliest ancestors. Featuring interviews with world-renowned scientists, footage shot in the trenches as fossils were unearthed, and stunning computer-generated animation, Becoming Human brings early hominids to life, examining how they lived and how we became the creative and adaptable modern humans of today. In the first episode, NOVA encounters Selam, the amazingly complete remains of a 3 million year-old child, packed with clues to why we split from the apes, came down from the trees, and started walking upright. In gripping forensic detail, the second episode investigates the riddle of Turkana Boy--a tantalizing fossil of Homo erectus, the first ancestor to leave Africa and colonize the globe. What led to this first great African exodus? In the final episode, Becoming Human explores the origins of us--where modern humans and our capacities for art, invention, and survival came from, and what happened when we encountered the mysterious Neanderthals. Crucial new evidence comes from the recent decoding of the Neanderthal genome. Did modern humans interbreed with Neanderthals? Exterminate them? Becoming Human examines why we survived while our other ancestral cousins-including Indonesia's bizarre 3 foot-high Hobbit-died out. And NOVA poses the intriguing question: are we still evolving today?

NOVA: The Bible's Buried Secrets: Archaeology's New Theories

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Go on a scientific journey to the beginnings of modern religion, and dig into both the Bible and the history of the Israelites through the artifacts they left behind. The film focuses on the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) as the foundation for the great monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This powerful exploration of science, scripture, and scholarship examines the most pressing issues in biblical archaeology

NOVA: The Big Energy Gamble

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

As he takes office on January 20, 2009, President Obama must deliver on an ambitious campaign pledge to fight global warming. He need look no farther than California, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is already leading the way with a dramatic and controversial program to slash carbon dioxide emissions and promote energy efficiency. In this program, NOVA explores the pros and cons of California's bold approach, which could be adopted nationwide during the Obama administration.

NOVA: The Boldest Hoax

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Who Created Piltdown Man-Science's Most Notorious Fraud? For 40 years, a fossil skull discovered in Piltdown, England, was hailed as the missing link between apes and humans. Then, in 1953, new scientific tests revealed the shocking truth-"Piltdown Man" was a fake! But who could have perpetrated the hoax? Was it the amateur archaeologist, Charles Dawson, who dug up most of the bones? Or the eminent museum curator, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward of Britain's Natural History Museum, who won fame by presenting the reconstructed skull to an eager public in 1912? Could it even have been Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, who lived near Piltdown? With more red herrings and false trails than an Agatha Christie whodunit, The Boldest Hoax digs into intriguing new clues from archives at the Natural History Museum, and delves into the skullduggery and national pride that led a handful of faked bones to hoodwink a generation of leading scientists. Go deep into the archives of Britain's Natural History Museum, where intriguing documents shed new light on this notorious case.

NOVA: Bone Diggers

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Deep beneath the Nullarbor Plain, one of Australia's most hostile and barren landscapes, lies an ancient cave that has remained untouched for hundreds of thousands of years. Littering the floor of this prehistoric grave site are the perfectly preserved remains of long extinct megafauna, including unknown kangaroo species and the first complete skeleton of the largest carnivorous marsupial ever found--Thylacoleo carnifex. Join NOVA on the first descent into the dark depths of this newly discovered cave and follow the detailed detective work done on the recovered skeletons that will help piece together the past of these fascinating creatures.

NOVA: Building the Great Cathedrals

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. NOVA investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.

Building Pharaoh's Ship

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

A magnificent trading vessel embarks on a royal expedition to a mysterious, treasure-laden land called Punt. Is this journey, intricately depicted on the wall of one of Egypt's most impressive temples, mere myth--or was it a reality? NOVA follows a team of archeologists and boat builders as they reconstruct the mighty vessel shown in the mysterious carving, and then finally launch it in to the Red Sea on a unique voyage of discovery.

NOVA: Car of the Future

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Tom Magliozzi has a problem. The wacky co-host of NPR's Car Talk needs to replace his beloved 1952 MG roadster. But where do you turn to in today's car market? Is new technology about to transform the way we drive? Join Tom and Brother Ray, Click and Clack, as they take a light-hearted but shrewd look at America's four-wheeled future.

NOVA: Columbia: Space Shuttle Disaster

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas. All seven astronauts aboard perished and the worldwide repercussions on the future of the space shuttle program were enormous. Take a new look at the Columbia tragedy--and at NASA itself. From the agency's creation through decades of technical and financial compromises, get to the heart of what went wrong--and how to make sure it never happens again.

NOVA: Cracking the Maya Code

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish suppressed nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology's fiercest challenges, until now. For the first time, NOVA presents the epic inside story of how the decoding was done, told by the experts at the center of one of archaeology's greatest detective stories. Cracking the Maya Code highlights the ingenious breakthroughs that opened the door to deciphering the elaborate and exotic script and finally cracked the code, unleashing a flood of dramatic new insights about the ancient civilization.

NOVA: Crash of Flight 111

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

What caused Swissair Flight 111 to plunge into waters off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1998, killing all 229 people aboard? NOVA was given unprecedented access to this intricate investigation that--after four years and almost $40 million--revealed the accident was caused by factors that continue to exist on many planes today.

NOVA: Crash of Flight 447

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios.)

On June 1st, 2009, Flight AF447, an Air France Airbus A330 disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean with the loss of all 228 lives. Using expert testimony, messages transmitted by the doomed plane's computer system, and multi-layered CGI weather reconstructions, NOVA pieces together the events leading up to the disaster and provides a forensic view of crucial events seen from all angles to reveal what really happened on Flight 447.

NOVA: Cuttlefish: Kings of Camouflage

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Call it a case of mistaken identity. When it comes to camouflage, chameleons get all the attention. But the often-overlooked cuttlefish is the real master of disguise. Cousins of the squid and octopus, cuttlefish are among the most unusual animals on our planet. These shape-shifting creatures can hypnotize their prey, impersonate the opposite sex and even kill with lightning-fast speed. More accomplished masters of disguise than any chameleon, they have an incredible ability to morph their skin color--even their shape--to blend into most any background. Cuttlefish also have one of the largest brain-to-body ratios among the invertebrates. With stunning underwater footage and in-depth expert interviews, NOVA gets up close and personal with this astonishing brainy bunch.

NOVA: A Daring Flight

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On July 25, 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot left the coast of France and landed 37 minutes later on the white cliffs of Dover, England, creating a sensation as big as the first Apollo moon landing. A Daring Flight captures the thrilling formative years of flight, and tells the story of present-day flying dreams, as Louis Bleriot's grandson tries to recreate his grandfather's epic flight in a nearly identical, now antique, aircraft.

NOVA: The Deadliest Plane Crash

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On March 27, 1977, on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, two fully loaded 747 jumbo jets collided on a fogbound runway, killing 583 people in what is still the deadliest crash in aviation history. NOVA looks back at the crucial final hours before the disaster. Despite new technology to improve runway safety, near-misses on the ground are still the leading cause of deadly aviation accidents.

NOVA: Deadly Ascent

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Alaska's Mount McKinley, commonly referred to as Denali, is the highest and coldest peak in North America, and one of the deadliest mountains on earth. Each year more than 1,000 people attempt to summit it; many never to return alive. While some climbers die in accidents--sliding off of icy cliffs, crushing bones against rocks, falling into hidden crevices, or losing their way and succumbing to the cold--others, often in top physical condition, die from a strange disease that strikes at extreme altitudes. Now, as a new season dawns on the mountain, a team of doctors, rescuers, world-class mountaineers, military special forces and an astronaut, return to save lives, and using themselves as subjects, decipher the deaths on Denali.

NOVA: Descent into the Ice: Exploring Mont Blanc's Hidden Glacial Lakes

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Join daredevil glacionauts for a plunge into a hidden waterworld. Mont Blanc, western Europe's highest peak, rises majestically in the Alps. But deep inside its massive glaciers lurks a hidden danger--killer lakes with the potential to burst free--just as they did in 1892 when a mid-summer torrent of cascading mud and water claimed 200 lives. Armed with high-tech gear and boundless courage, a NOVA team goes where no one has gone before--deep inside the sub-freezing waters of Mont Blanc's 1000-foot-thick Mer de Glace ("Sea of Ice"). Looking for clues to find out if Mt. Blanc's historic catastrophe is ready to repeat itself, scientists dive into the eerie inner world of glacial cracks, crevasses, ice shafts, water wells, and tunnels, searching for the dangerous hidden lakes. Descent Into the Ice gives you the most intimate look at mountain glaciers ever filmed. Spectacular footage captures these icy behemoths in motion from above and, most astoundingly, from below--while a new breed of explorers known as "glacionauts" reveal the mountain's uniquely beautiful and threatening waterworld.

NOVA: DNA: Secret of Photo 51

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On April 25, 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick published their groundbreaking discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, the molecule essential for passing on our genes and the "secret of life." But their crucial breakthrough depended on the pioneering work of another biologist--Rosalind Franklin. She would never know that Watson and Crick had seen a crucial piece of her data without her permission. This was an X-ray image, "Photo 51," that proved to be a vital clue in their decoding of the double helix. 50 years later, NOVA investigates the shocking truth behind one of the greatest scientific discoveries and presents a moving portrait of a brilliant woman in an era of male-dominated science. Sadly, Franklin never lived to see her vital role in the discovery vindicated. While Watson and Crick went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1962, Franklin died in 1958, at 37, from ovarian cancer; and the Nobel is not awarded posthumously. Hear the inside story from Maurice Wilkins, the colleague who showed her crucial x-ray to Watson; Raymond Gosling, Franklin's Ph.D. student with whom she made Photo 51; and Nobel Prize winner Sir Aaron Klug, Franklin's last collaborator, who shows new evidence of just how close Franklin came to making the vital double helix discovery herself.

NOVA: Doctors' Diaries

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Over the past 21 years, NOVA has followed a group of seven doctors from their first day at Harvard Medical School in 1987. All young, bright and accomplished, none of them could have predicted what it would take, personally and professionally, to become a member of the medical tribe. In this special two-part program, NOVA returns one last time to get an update on the kind of doctors, and people, they have become.

NOVA: Dogs and More Dogs

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

How did the fierce wolf become a playful puppy? And why are there so many varieties? We feed them, breed them, pet them and dress them, but how well do we really know them? John Lithgow narrates this insightful look at how dogs evolved from fierce wolves to playful pets--and why there are so many types of dogs today. Whether your dog person or not, there's no denying dogs are an evolutionary marvel, and thanks to human intervention, they are one of the most diverse species on earth. With an amazing array of sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments and other quirks, canis familiaris features one of the most tinkered-with gene pools in the animal kingdom. NOVA goes beyond the wagging tails and floppy ears to reveal surprising insights into the origin and evolutionary strategy of our canine companions. From a wolf research facility in rural Indiana to New York's Westminster Dog Show, your will discover some amazing dog facts. Did you know the Saluki can beat any other mammal on earth in a three-mile race? That dogs developed spots for a specific reason? And that their evolution is helping us learn about our own?

NOVA: Einstein's Big Idea

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Everyone's heard of it, but what does E=mc2--the world's most famous equation--really mean? And why did it change the world? With brilliant period recreations, NOVA dramatizes how an obscure young patent clerk, Albert Einstein, came up with his shattering 1905 discovery that the realms of matter and energy are inescapably linked. An accessible, suspenseful epic, Einstein's Big Idea reveals the roots of his astonishing breakthrough in the human stories of men and women whose innovative thinking across four centuries helped lead to E=mc2, and ultimately unleashed the power of the atom. Here are stories rich with achievement and failure, feuds and duplicity, love and rivalry, politics and revenge: Michael Faraday, the penniless blacksmith's son who fought the ridicule of the scientific establishment; Antoine Lavoisier, the cool-headed experimenter who fell victim to the guillotine; and Lise Meitner, the physicist who weathered Nazi persecution and personal betrayal on her path to discovering the splitting of the atom. As one discovery builds on the next, Einstein's Big Idea shows how Einstein's saga began with the personal lives of these pioneers and their years of persistence, ingenuity, sacrifice, and heroic struggle against the odds.

NOVA: The Elegant Universe

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

One of the most ambitious and exciting scientific theories ever posed, one that may be the long-sought "Theory of Everything," gets a masterful and lavishly animated explanation that will excite scientists and non-scientists alike. Beginning with simple and clear explanations of major concepts of physics, including gravity, electromagnetism, and relativity, The Elegant Universe illuminates one of the most revolutionary theories in physics today. Known as string theory or superstring theory, this startling idea proposes that the fundamental ingredients of nature are inconceivably tiny strands of energy, whose different modes of vibration underlie everything that happens in the universe. The theory attempts to unite the laws of the large--general relativity--and the laws of the small--quantum mechanics--breaking a conceptual logjam that has frustrated scientists for nearly a century. If string theory proves correct, the universe we see obscures a reality that is far richer and more complex than anyone ever imagined--a universe with numerous hidden dimensions, a universe in which the fabric of space can rip and tear, a universe that may be but one of many parallel universes. Join host Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe, for this exciting and in-depth exploration of this groundbreaking new theory.

Nova: Engineering Ground Zero

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct)

On the tenth anniversary of 9-11, NOVA presents an epic story of engineering, innovation, and the perseverance of the human spirit. With extraordinary access granted by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Engineering Ground Zero follows the five-year construction of One World Trade Center (1 WTC) and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. NOVA captures the behind-the-scenes struggle of architects and engineers to make the buildings safe and highly secure under the pressures of a tight schedule, the demands of practical office space and efficient, "green" architecture, and the public's expectations of a fitting site for national remembrance. Featuring interviews with 1 WTC architect David Childs; Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9-11 Memorial Foundation; and Michael Arad, the man behind the breakthrough concept for the 9-11 Memorial.

NOVA: Extreme Cave Diving

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH/National Geographic Television Studios)

Extreme Cave Diving follows the charismatic Dr. Kenny Broad as he dives into blue holes-underwater caves that formed during the last ice age when sea level was nearly 400 feet below what it is today. They are Earth's least explored and perhaps most dangerous frontiers. With an interdisciplinary team of climatologists, paleontologists and anthropologists, Broad investigates the hidden history of Earth's climate as revealed by finds in this spectacularly beautiful alternate universe.

Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos - Blu-ray version
Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos - DVD version

(Unrated 2011 DVD and Blu-ray release, PBS Direct)

'The Fabric of the Cosmos, based on the book by physicist and author Brian Greene, takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. With each step, audiences will discover that just beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world we d hardly recognize, a startling world far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.

NOVA: Family That Walks on All Fours

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

What might initially seem like a sideshow oddity raises profound questions about genetics and evolution in the NOVA science special The Family that Walks on All Fours. In rural Turkey, five children (now ranging from 18 to 34 years old) out of a family of nineteen kids have never learned to walk on their legs. Some scientists believe this is due to an evolutionary throwback, providing an insight into our ancestors; others argue this behavior can be explained by environmental factors--among them, that the parents are cousins, making their offspring more vulnerable to faulty genes. This hour long program takes fascinating side journeys, including the startling sight of a dog born without forelegs that walks upright and in-depth discussions of the genes that govern language and brain size. The Family that Walks on All Fours is a fascinating, sometimes unsettling show that ultimately will leave you with a wrenching compassion for these five young adults grappling with their strange condition.

NOVA: Fire Wars

(Unrated 2002 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Every year, thousands of men and women wage America's war on fire in our majestic wildlands. Armed with special training and the best technology, and with their hearts full of determination, they battle the blazes. But in spite of all their efforts, we are not winning the fire wars. In the year 2000 alone, wildfires ignited over six million acres across the United States, destroying homes, scorching lives—and burning through over $1 billion in firefighting costs. And years of fire suppression have left a dangerous legacy: forest conditions that lead to more catastrophic fires than ever before. Now, the firefighting community is asking new questions: can we win, if we only fight fire as a war? Should we fight all fires? Ecologists point to another side of fire—as one of the key elements in healthy ecosystems, necessary and revitalizing. What would happen to our forests if we did eliminate all wildfires?

To find out what's wrong with America's war on wildfires, travel to the fire line with the Arrowhead Hotshots, a top firefighting team pushed to its limit in "the fire summer from hell." Take the first jump with a group of rookie smokejumpers training to fight fires in remote terrains. Trace the dramatic and often tragic history of American wildfires. See how deliberately set "prescribed fires" may help America avoid out-of-control blazes—or may lead to disasters like the fire that burned Los Alamos, New Mexico. And explore the science of fire, from the smallest burning match to uncontrollable, landscape-sized conflagrations.

NOVA: First Flower

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In a vivid story, blooming with beauty and scientific mystery, NOVA goes hunting for the world's earliest flower. Although flowers have long been at the center of human life, gracing our gardens and expressing our emotions--not to mention providing us with food, crops, and medicines--the question of how flowers evolved has long baffled scientists. Charles Darwin called it "an abominable mystery." But now a tantalizing fossil that bloomed during the reign of the dinosaurs has surfaced in China. In First Flower, NOVA probes the controversy ignited by this unique fossil, and pursues the trail through the stunning lost world of China's remote Hengduan Mountains. In this spectacular landscape--dubbed the "Mother of All Gardens"--lie the origins of dozens of plants we take for granted today, including forsythia, clematis, rhododendrons, dogwoods, primroses, and the regal lily. How did they reach our gardens? The detective story behind the evolution of our favorite flowers continues to unfold. Join NOVA on the trail of botany's most beguiling mystery.

NOVA: The Four Winged Dinosaur

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Imagine a moment from the age of dinosaurs frozen in time: primitive birds, bees, insects, early mammals, the first known flowering plants, and of course, dinosaurs, all exquisitely preserved in fine-grained fossils from China's Liaoning province. Volcanic eruptions in this dinosaur Pompeii killed and buried victims quickly, capturing soft, fragile features not normally preserved in fossils notably the feathers on animals that had never been known to have them before. Now, with state-of-the-art animation to bring this lost world to life, NOVA investigates the mysterious feathered dinosaurs that are challenging old ideas about the origin of bird flight. The central character in this drama is a strange little dinosaur with wings on its legs as well as its arms. The pigeon-sized Microraptor is the smallest adult dinosaur ever found, perhaps the first known tree-dweller. But could it really fly? Is it the key to understanding the origin of flight or merely an evolutionary dead end unrelated to the ancestry of birds? To help solve the riddle, NOVA assembles a team of top paleontologists, aeronautical engineers, and paleo-artists to reconstruct Microraptor and build a sophisticated model for a wind tunnel experiment. The results have surprising implications for long-accepted ideas about how winged flight began.

NOVA: Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

What do movie special effects, the stock market, and heart attacks have in common? They are connected by a revolutionary new branch of math called fractals, which changed the way we see the world and opened up a vast new territory to scientific analysis and understanding. Meet the mathematicians who developed fractals from a mere curiosity to an approach that touches nearly every branch of understanding, including the fate of our universe.

NOVA: Galileo's Battle for the Heavens

(Unrated 2006 DVD,WGBH BOSTON Studios)

At a time when heretics were burned alive for dissent, scientist Galileo Galilei risked his life to advance his revolutionary concepts of the universe. British actor Simon Callow (Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral) brings Galileo to life, humanizing the great thinker's passion, intelligence, and arrogance while depicting his frustrations with fellow philosophers and scientists, and with Roman Catholic church leaders. Based on Dava Sobel's best-selling biography Galileo's Daughter, this two-hour film offers a vivid re-imagining of Galileo's incredible achievements that forever changed the way we view our place in the universe. It also investigates the momentous personal and spiritual conflicts Galileo faced--most especially in defending the controversial theory that the earth revolves around the sun. Join noted Galileo authorities and experience the remarkable life behind the discoveries, and see letters from his illegitimate daughter, Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun, have shed new light on Galileo's pioneering telescopic observations, his fateful Inquisition trial for heresy, and life in the seventeenth century.

NOVA: The Great Escape

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

New secrets revealed about World War II's most daring prison escape. The movie The Great Escape captured the courage and remarkable genius behind World War II's most infamous prison break. Now join three former Allied prisoners and a team of archaeologists as they travel back to the site of the high-security POW camp Stalag Luft III to search for the secret tunnel the Nazis never found. More than sixty years ago, over six hundred Allied prisoners banded together to dig three highly sophisticated tunnels, code-named Tom, Dick, and Harry. Each tunnel was outfitted with railways, electric lights, and underground air pumps--all under the noses of the German guards. The detainees were planning to spring two hundred men via Harry on the moonless night of March 24, 1944. Unfortunately, a guard spotted the seventy-seventh man as he exited the tunnel beyond the perimeter fence, but seventy-six managed to get away, fanning out in all directions and forcing the Germany army to undertake a massive manhunt. And in the ensuing search of the camp, the guards never found the ingeniously hidden tunnel called Dick. Today, a truly historic past is buried deep below the surface of the tranquil countryside of what was Stalag Luft III. As heavy equipment removes treacherously sandy soil, dramatic recreations and candid recollections from the veterans offer stunning details about the prisoners' ingenious and ambitious tunneling plans, and retells the tragic story of the many of the escapees who were recaptured by the Germans.

NOVA: The Great Robot Race

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

The Defense Department is offering two million dollars to the builders of the first robotic vehicle to cover a 210-mile stretch of desert in California and Nevada. NOVA goes behind the scenes as top engineering teams struggle to solve the daunting problems of making a vehicle drive itself. Will legions of robot vehicles fight our future wars?

NOVA: Ghosts of Machu Picchu

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this Lost City of the Incas, yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces, and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burials of the people who built the sacred site. Ghosts of Machu Picchu explores the extraordinary trail of clues that began on that fateful day in 1911 and continues to the present.

NOVA: Ghost in Your Genes

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH Boston Studios)

Identical twins share the same genes and are often startlingly alike. Why, then, should they often meet such different fates-- one twin developing a serious disease like cancer while the other remains unscathed? In a compelling scientific detective story, The Ghost in Your Genes explores the provocative idea that there may be more to inheritance than genes alone. New clues reveal that a second epigenetic chemical code sits on top of our regular DNA and controls how our genes are expressed, turning them on or off with dramatic consequences for our health. This revolutionary finding has vital implications not only for treating disease but for how we take care of ourselves. While we inherit the epigenome much as we do DNA, it appears to respond far more to our environment and lifestyles. So our stress levels and what we eat, drink, and breathe may leave an enduring imprint, not just on our own bodies but on the generations to come. In a tour-de-force of scientific sleuthing, NOVA reveals the discoveries that have overturned the old story of inheritance and have profound relevance for how we choose to lead our lives.

NOVA/National Geographic: The Great Inca Rebellion

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH Boston Studios)

Here, in the first ever NOVA/National Geographic Television collaboration, The Great Inca Rebellion presents stunning new evidence that is changing what we know about the final days of the once-mighty Inca Empire.

NOVA: Hitler's Lost Sub

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The true story behind the cataclysmic World War II naval battle that took place just off American shores. 1941. America had just entered World War II, but terrifying unseen weapons were stalking US targets, sinking over 400 ships just miles from American shores in the worst naval defeat in United States history. The stealthy predators were German U-boats, Hitler's deadly warships of the deep. It was cataclysmic--with bodies and wreckage washed ashore on the eastern seaboard. But the Allies ultimately triumphed, sinking over 700 enemy submarines. Fifty years later, the personal drama behind this wartime state of siege resurfaced when a team of divers discovered an unidentified German U-boat deep in the waters off the New Jersey coast. What boat was it? And what secret mission brought it there? The divers embarked on a dangerous, six-year quest to uncover the secret of the mysterious wreck. Three divers lost their lives in the search, but the clues uncovered have shed remarkable new light on the struggles and triumphs from this undersea war. There's more in this spectacular two-hour video journey. Trace the history of submarines and undersea warfare from the American Revolution through World War II, and tour the sophisticated--and cramped--interior of a captured U-boat. Dive in dangerous waters with deep sea detectives as they attempt to retrieve clues that will reveal the decaying U-boat's identity. See how the breaking of secret Nazi codes by the Allies altered the outcome of the waremdash and helped unravel the mystery behind this German U-boat. And finally, travel to Germany with the divers as they rewrite a part of World War II history, bring closure to families of the lost crew and discover how one man's life was spared.

NOVA: Hitler's Sunken Secret

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

One of the most daring resistance operations of World War II was the 1944 sinking of the Norwegian ferry Hydro, with its cargo of "heavy water" destined for the Nazi's secret atomic bomb project. If the Germans had obtained a large supply, it could have helped their physicists develop nuclear weapons that would have made the Third Reich invincible. Fear of that outcome sparked the Allies to undertake the Manhattan Project, which ultimately produced the first atomic bomb. But was the blowing up of the Hydro a crucial defeat for Hitler's nuclear ambitions? An exclusive NOVA salvage expedition sets out to explore the bottom of a Norwegian lake with a remotely operated vehicle--its goal is to discover the sunken ferry and haul up one of the barrels believed to contain heavy water. Testing the barrel's contents will provide a crucial clue to resolving the riddles surrounding Nazi Germany's push to build the bomb. Hitler's Sunken Secret features gripping first-person interviews with the sole living Norwegian saboteur and survivors who were on board the Hydro when it blew up. Among the NOVA team's startling new discoveries is evidence that a second secret consignment of barrels eluded the saboteurs and made it all the way to Germany, but arrived too late to make a Nazi bomb feasible.

NOVA: Hubble's Amazing Rescue

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The best-known scientific instrument in history was dying. After nearly 20 years in space and hundreds of thousands of spectacular images, the Hubble Space Telescope's gyroscopes and sensors were failing, its batteries running down, and some of its instruments were already dead. The only hope to save Hubble was a mission so dangerous that in 2004 NASA cancelled it because it was considered too risky.

Scientists and the general public alike stubbornly refused to abandon the telescope, and a new NASA administrator revived the mission. This program takes viewers behind the scenes on a riveting journey with the team of astronauts and engineers charged with saving the famous "orbiting observatory" against all odds.

NOVA: Hunt for the Supertwister

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Can technology help us tame nature’s most violent tornadoes? Little on this earth can withstand the violent fury of an F5 tornado. A churning vortex with winds over 300 miles an hour, these tornadoes create immense swaths of death and destruction in a matter of seconds. But today, experts are exploring the supertwister's complex inner workings in bold new ways in the hopes of one day being able to accurately predict the occurrences of tornadoes.

Armed with the latest high-tech mobile radar and computer technology as well as large amounts of courage, the world's top scientists and meteorologists take part in some of the most dangerous fieldwork imaginable. Operating just miles from ferocious twisters, they gather data and create forecasting models that may someday save countless lives.

NOVA: Hurricane Katrina: The Storm That Drowned a City

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, killing at least 1,300, destroying over 600,000 houses, and turning downtown New Orleans into an uninhabitable swamp. In a compelling hour-by-hour reconstruction of the ferocious storm, NOVA exposes crucial failures in preparation and engineering that led to the worst disaster in U.S. history. The film probes the titanic forces behind hurricanes and the latest technology for tracking and predicting them, showing how scientists precisely foresaw the impact of a strong hurricane on New Orleans a year before Katrina struck. NOVA investigates the fatal flaws in New Orleans' levees and the huge challenge posed by protecting and rebuilding the city. As global temperatures rise, are killer storms like Katrina a growing threat? Hurricane Katrina: The Storm that Drowned a City presents astonishing storm footage, suspenseful eyewitness testimony, and a penetrating analysis of what went wrong. Viewers relive the storm through the eyes of survivors and the stories of top engineers, hurricane experts, and emergency officials as they grappled with the arrival of the storm and its traumatic aftermath.

NOVA: The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies - Blu-ray version
NOVA: The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies - DVD version

(Unrated 2009 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Nowhere in nature is there a more powerful mix of scientific marvel, awesome beauty and epic struggle for survival than the Monarch butterfly. Journey into the Monarch's secret and fascinating world as NOVA visits the spectacular locations the Monarch calls home, meets its friends and enemies (including humans in both camps) and flies with it on one of the most inspiring migratory odysseys imaginable.

NOVA: Infinite Secrets: The Genius of Archimedes

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

n 1991, a small Medieval prayer book was sold at auction. Miraculously, some original writings of Archimedes, the brilliant Greek mathematician, were discovered hidden beneath the religious text. Through scholarly detective work with the help of modern technology, this book now reveals Archimedes’ stunningly original concepts, ideas, and theories—revelations that, if known sooner, might have reshaped our world.

NOVA: Is There Life On Mars?

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Four years after they landed on Mars, NASAs twin robot explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, have lasted 16 times longer and driven 20 times farther than expected. Today they are joined by an aerial armada of hi-tech satellites, surveying Mars from orbit to reconstruct the planet's mysterious history. And on May 25, 2008, they also got company on the ground: NASA's Phoenix probe. NOVA's Is There Life on Mars? showcases the latest scientific revelations from a planet, once alien, now poised to reveal provocative new clues in the tantalizing quest to plumb its past for signs of water and, perhaps, even life.

NOVA: Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in a landmark battle over the teaching of evolution in public schools. In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to high school biology students about an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution called intelligent design--the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and so must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply, and both parents and teachers filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state. Now, NOVA explores the arguments by lawyers and expert witnesses in riveting detail and provides an eye-opening crash course on questions such as What is evolution? and Is intelligent design a scientifically valid alternative? Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants and expert scientists, this gripping program presents the celebrated case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.

NOVA: Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

NOVA looks into new clues to one of the most tragic events of World War II, the sinking of the USS Arizona. It has been thought that the Arizona was sunk by a bomb dropped by a Japanese aircraft, but the discovery of five Japanese midget subs just outside Pearl Harbor raises new questions about the Arizona's final hours. Could these tiny but lethal subs have played a crucial and previously unsuspected part in the day's tragic events?

NOVA: The Last Extinction: Megabeasts' Sudden Death

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Fifteen thousand years ago, North America was like the Serengeti on steroids, with mega-creatures roaming a continent teeming with incredible wildlife. But then, in a blip of geologic time, between 15 and 35 magnificent large types of animals went extinct. In this television exclusive, NOVA joins forces with prominent scientists to test a startling hypothesis that may finally explain these sudden and widespread extinctions—that a comet broke apart in the atmosphere and devastated North America 12,900 years ago.

NOVA: Life and Death in the War Zone

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Military Medicine on the Front Lines. Treating patients with life-threatening injuries is always a challenge. Now imagine handling a medical emergency at the height of the Iraq War, beset by heat, sand, and frequent enemy attacks. NOVA heads into battle with the medics, nurses, doctors, and military staff of the 10th and 21st CaSH units, following them from their intense prewar preparations to their deployments in Kuwait and the desert north of Baghdad. Shortly after their doors open, the medical and ethical dramas begin. Prepared for everything from chemical and biological attack to mass U.S. casualties, the CaSH staff quickly find that their biggest challenge is taking up the slack from devastated Iraqi hospitals. When Iraqi military and civilian victims--some of them children with horrific injuries--begin taxing supplies and manpower, heart-wrenching ethical decisions must be made. Experience Life and Death in the War Zone, an intimate story of survival in a combat hospital.

NOVA: Lizard Kings: On the Trail of the Monitor Lizards

(Unrated 2010 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

They look like dragons, inspiring stories of man-eating, fire-spitting monsters with long claws and razor-sharp teeth. But these creatures are actually monitor lizards, members of an ancient family that includes massive Komodos, the largest lizards to walk the planet. With their acute intelligence, these lizards are a very different kind of reptile, blurring the line between reptiles and mammals. NOVA follows expert lizard hunter Dr. Eric Pianka as he tracks elusive monitors through Australia's heartland, and cutting-edge lizard cam technology provides a lizard's-eye view for an unparalleled close encounter with these amazing living dragons.

NOVA: Lost King of the Maya Set

(Unrated 1974 DVD Set, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Lost King of the Maya - In an ancient Mayan arena, enemies of notorious King Yax K'uk Mo square off in a ball game that appears much like modern soccer. But in this fateful contest, winners live, and losers lose their heads. From 200 to 900 A.D., Yax K'uk Mo's dynasty of Blood Lords presided over the Maya city of Copan, conducting hallucinogenic vision quests, ritual warfare and human sacrifice. Join a team of archaeologists and historians who are piecing together the fascinating rise and fall of this ancient city, its legendary founder, Yax K'uk Mo and its amazingly advanced culture.

Maya Lords of the Jungle - The civilization of the Maya, which rose out of Central America's rain forests more than 2000 years ago, grew to dizzying heights of achievement before declining precipitously in the ninth century AD. No one yet knows why Maya civilization collapsed, but in Maya Lords of the Jungle, we witness the quest for an answer as archaeologists investigate temples and monuments, piece together the meaning of a complex hieroglyphic language, and analyze Maya trade routes and agricultural techniques.

NOVA: Lost Treasures of Tibet

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Join the race to save the surviving sacred masterpieces of an ancient Buddhist kingdom. Mustang (moo-stahn), one of the last outposts of Tibetan culture, is so isolated and protected, no Westerner set foot inside its borders for centuries. But in the early 1990s, this untouched society set high in the Himalayas opened its borders for the first time, exposing an ancient world's dazzling sacred relics long damaged by the elements and neglect. Today, outsiders are working with local townspeople to rescue priceless masterpieces dating back to the 13th century--but can these efforts preserve history in a way that is acceptable to the local culture? Join the race against time as art and restoration experts mix history, science, and politics in a complicated and daunting mission to preserve these religious works of art. Travel to a remote part of the world for a remarkably rare look at the spectacular art created by a clandestine Buddhist culture. See astonishingly intricate and expressive Medieval wall paintings, woodcarvings, and a gravity-defying monastery built atop a cliff. And watch as science helps reveal vibrantly colored treasures from the past. With gods literally peeling off the walls, will outsiders be trusted with saving the sacred art of Mustang?

NOVA: Magnetic Storm

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

What is weakening Earth's invisible shield? Magnets have the power to attract and repelemdash sometimes on a massive scale. The Earth's molten core--a violent mix of searing heat, crushing pressure, and a billion trillion tons of liquid iron--creates an invisible shield that surrounds the globe, guarding against a constant barrage of deadly radiation from space. But over the last few decades, the Earth's magnetic field has weakened dramatically, intriguing scientists across the globe. The power generated 2000 miles beneath our feet protects us every day, but the loss of Earth's magnetic field is a brewing storm that affects us all. While experts research and debate, persistent questions remain. Is a rare geomagnetic reversal the cause of earth's inner turmoil? And if the magnetic field were to vanish altogether, would Earth become as lifeless as Mars? Travel from Hawaii's molten lava flows to the mountains of Oregon and into the far reaches of outer space for a charged look at Earth's magnetic history and potentially deadly future.

Nova: Making Stuff - Blu-ray version
Nova: Making Stuff - DVD version

(Unrated 2011 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Our world is poised on the edge of a revolution in the science of materials. From carbon nanotubes to spider silk, sticky gecko feet to bulletproof foam, scientists are combining high-technology with nature's most incredible inventions to create a new generation of materials which are stronger, smaller, cleaner, and smarter than anything we've seen before. Hosted by the New York Times' lively technology correspondent David Pogue, each hour in this four-part series explores the talent, luck, and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Episodes include Making Stuff: Stronger, Making Stuff: Smaller, Making Stuff: Smarter, Making Stuff: Cleaner.

NOVA: Marathon Challenge

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Every year thousands of athletes from across the globe flock to Boston to run the city's marathon, known worldwide as the ultimate test of stamina and endurance. But how do you run 26 miles if you have trouble making it around the block? With good coaching, discipline, and lots of group support, as NOVA shows when it follows 13 sedentary people through a nine-month regimen designed to prepare them for the grueling Boston Marathon. Filled with personal drama, Marathon Challenge also takes viewers on a scientific adventure inside the human body. What happens to our muscles and hearts when couch potatoes become endurance runners? And what are the hidden risks? NOVA's behind-the-scenes portrait of the trials, tribulations, and joys of marathon training reaches a climax at the 2007 Boston Marathon. Here our 13 rookie athletes put all their hopes and hard work to the final test, experiencing hidden rewards and floods of emotion at the finish line.

NOVA: Mars: Dead or Alive

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Inside NASA's risky field trip to the Red Planet. Two-thirds of all spacecraft previously launched to Mars never reached their destination. Now, in a pioneering and risky mission, twin rovers named Spirit and Opportunity hurtle toward Mars at 12,000 miles per hour, with Spirit scheduled to touch down first. In the final "six minutes of terror" a parachute will open, giant protective airbags will inflate around the lander, and retrorockets will fire for a few seconds before Spirit is cut loose, bouncing its way to what everyone hopes will be a safe landing. To survive, Spirit will have to function perfectly. It will also have to be lucky, since there's no way of knowing when a sharp rock or a gust of wind will ruin your day on Mars. Only then will Spirit be able to roll off the lander and begin its mission as a robot geologist, searching for clues that can tell us whether this harsh and barren planet was ever a place that could have supported life. Join NOVA for a tense and dramatic behind-the-scenes chronicle of the $820 million Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Beginning a year before launch, NOVA's cameras follow MER scientists and engineers through a gauntlet of potentially fatal problems such as shredding parachutes, punctured airbags, and short circuits, any one of which could scuttle the mission before the rovers ever reach the launchpad. Then, seven months after launch, re-join NOVA and the NASA team in mission control for the final nail-biting minutes of the journey, as Spirit successfully lands on Mars and begins sending back its first spectacular images of the Martian landscape.

PBS Explorer Collection: Mars: The Red Planet

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct)

This PBS Explorer Collection includes: Mars: Dead or Alive (NOVA), Welcome to Mars (NOVA), Is There Life on Mars? (NOVA) and Can We Make it to Mars? (NOVA scienceNOW).

NOVA: Master of the Killer Ants

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Filmed in an intimate style that exposes viewers to the traditional customs of the Mofu tribe, Master of the Killer Ants uses high-tech macro shooting techniques to go underground, giving us a terrifying up-close look at a termite's fortress and the war that rages between termites and Jaglavak, a ferocious army ant.

NOVA: Missing in MiG Alley

(Rated: NR (Not Rated) 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In 1950, Russian and American fighters clashed over Korea in the fastest dogfights ever seen. It was the world's first jet war, pitting the American F-86 Sabre against the Soviet MiG-15, the two most advanced planes of their day. The heart of the air campaign was MiG Alley, a strip of airspace along the Korean-Chinese border. NOVA puts viewers in the cockpit to experience the danger and drama of MiG Alley.

NOVA: Monster of the Milky Way

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Join NOVA on a mind-bending hunt for a monster lurking at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. For a long time, black holes were dismissed as pure science fiction. Even Albert Einstein could not bring himself to accept them, despite pioneering the theory o

NOVA: Mountain of Ice

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In January 2001 an eight-person NOVA team stood atop the highest peak in Antarctica, having arrived by a difficult, unexplored route over glaciers that hold clues to the future of Earth's climate. Shot in high definition, "Mountain of Ice" recounts this expedition to one of the most stunningly beautiful parts of the planet.

NOVA's expedition up the unclimbed east face of Vinson Massif included Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer and was led by noted mountaineer Conrad Anker. In 1999 Anker discovered the body of legendary 1920s climber George Mallory on Mount Everest during a search that produced the acclaimed NOVA film "Lost on Everest."

NOVA: Mt St. Helens: Back from the Dead

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, every living thing in the blast zone was buried. However, life began to bloom again, and biologist Charlie Crisafulli has been documenting the return of plant and animal life. Also, the mountain, like the wildlife, is coming back to life. NOVA presents a pioneering look at the interplay between biology and geology that may help scientists predict future volcanic eruptions.

NOVA: The Mummy Who Would Be King

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

It is a tantalizing idea: a shriveled mummy that has lain neglected on a dusty museum shelf at Niagara Falls could be the remnants of a long-lost Egyptian pharaoh. While a trail of clues hints at how the looted mummy made its way to North America a century and a half ago, archaeologists go to Emory University to employ the latest imaging and DNA techniques in hopes of confirming the body's hidden identity. Their results provide compelling evidence that the mummy may indeed be that of Ramesses I, founder of ancient Egypt's most illustrious dynasty. This amazing story of historical intrigue and forensic science concludes as the mummy takes its rightful place alongside royal relatives in an Egyptian museum, a fitting solution to a 3,000 year-old puzzle.

NOVA: Mystery of the Megaflood

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

It was the greatest flood of the past two million years, and it posed a giant scientific riddle. A maverick geologist became convinced that thousand-foot-deep floodwaters had scoured out vast areas of the American northwest near the end of the last ice age. Mainstream scientists scorned his theory while he searched patiently for answers to what could have triggered such an inconceivably violent event. Finally, an ingenious solution silenced the skeptics: traces of an enormous ice dam half a mile high, which had blocked a valley in present-day Montana and created an enormous lake behind it. With the help of stunningly realistic animation, NOVA takes viewers back to the Ice Age to reveal what happened when the dam broke, unleashing a titanic flood that swept herds of woolly mammoth and everything else into oblivion.

NOVA: Mystery of the Megavolcano

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Scientists confront on an astounding possibility: that a single ancient cataclysmic volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago blasted ash and rock across an entire continent, spewing so much sulfuric acid into the atmosphere that Earth was plunged into a global conflict.

NOVA: Naturalist E.O. Wilson: Lord of the Ants

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Every so often a giant emerges on the stage of science, someone who transcends the narrow boundaries of a particular line of research and alters our perspective on the world. E.O. Wilson is such a man. NOVA's Lord of the Ants profiles this soft-spoken Southerner renowned for his scientific study of ants that led to his 1975 book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, where he put forth the notion that evolutionary principles could explain social behavior throughout the animal kingdom, including in humans. Though sociobiology was a controversial new discipline at the time, today experimental science shows that genes do play a role in aspects of human behavior.E.O. Wilson is an icon of our times: a lord of the ants who sought to explain nature on earth and who now fights for its survival through his worldwide conservation efforts. Actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford narrates this engaging portrait of a ceaselessly active scientist and eloquent writer, who has accumulated two Pulitzer Prizes among his many other honors.

NOVA: Nazi Secrets Revealed 3 PK DVD

(Unrated 2007 DVD 3 PK, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Includes five NOVA programs: Decoding Nazi Secrets, Hitler's Lost Sub, Hitler's Sunken Secret, The Great Escape, and Nazi Prison Escape.

NOVA: Newton's Dark Secrets

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

He was a 17th century Einstein, who reduced nature's chaos to a single set of laws and revolutionized the thinking and outlook of his age. But in the midst of his astonishing breakthroughs in physics, optics, and calculus, Isaac Newton was also searching out hidden meanings in the Bible and pursuing the covert art of alchemy, or the changing of base metals into gold. With vivid docudrama scenes starring Scott Handy (Henry VIII) as Newton, NOVA recreates the unique climate of late 17th-century England, where a newfound fascination with science and mathematics coexisted with extreme views on religious doctrine. Unknown to most, Newton shared both obsessions. Besides revealing his secretive and vindictive personality, this NOVA special shows how he made the bold intellectual leaps that transformed science, such as the universal law of gravitation. Newton's Dark Secrets also recreates one of Newton's little-known alchemical experiments using his secret recipes, which have only recently been deciphered. With these lively glimpses of a brilliant and obsessive mind, NOVA explores how Newton became the giant on whose shoulders all later scientists would find a place to stand.

NOVA: Ocean Animal Emergency: Troubled waters for Marine Mammals?

(Unrated DVD, WGBH BOSTON, Item No. WG42939, shoppbs.org, Order by calling toll free 800 531-4727)

The world's oceans are in trouble. Warming seas and man-made pollutants are combining to unleash toxic algae blooms that are decimating whales, sea lions and other marine mammals. NOVA explores this crisis through the exploits of Dr. Frances Gulland, a San Francisco veterinarian who runs an ER for marine mammals. Committed to saving these sick animals one at a time, she is also desperately trying to figure out what's killing them.

NOVA: Origins

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Has the universe always existed? How did it become a place that could harbor life? Are we alone, or are there alien worlds waiting to be discovered? NOVA presents some startling new answers in Origins, a groundbreaking four-part NOVA miniseries. New clues from the frontiers of science are presented by dynamic astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. As the host of Origins, Tyson leads viewers on a cosmic journey to the beginning of time and to the depths of space, in search of the first stirrings of life and its traces on other worlds. The series' first hour, Origins: Earth is Born, gives viewers a spectacular glimpse of the tumultuous first billion years of Earth--a time of continuous catastrophe. Episode two, Origins: How Life Began, zeroes in on the mystery of exactly how it happened. Join the hunt for hardy microbes that flourish in the most unlikely places: inside rocks in a mine shaft two miles down, inside a cave dripping with acid as strong as a car battery's, and in noxious gas bubbles erupting from the Pacific Ocean's floor. The survival of these tough microorganisms suggests they may be related to the planet's first primitive life forms. Hour three starts with a bang--the Big Bang in which everything began. Origins: Back to the Beginning explores how the colossal, mind-boggling forces of the early universe made it possible for habitable worlds to emerge. In episode four, Origins: Where are the Aliens?, Tyson explores such provocative questions as: Would "E.T.s" resemble "us" or the creatures of science fiction? And are there planets on which life can flourish rare or common in our universe?

NOVA: Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

His house was firebombed. He lost his job on the eve of the Depression. He took on powerful, entrenched interests in the scientific establishment and overcame countless obstacles to become a world-class chemist, a self-made millionaire, and a humanitarian. Yet despite his achievements, Percy Julian's story is largely unknown. The grandson of Alabama slaves, Julian broke the color barrier in American science more than a decade before Jackie Robinson did in baseball. A brilliant innovator, he discovered a way to turn soybeans into synthetic steroids on an industrial scale, helping to make drugs like cortisone available to millions. In Forgotten Genius, a special two-hour presentation starring Tony-award winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, NOVA brings Julian's scientific breakthroughs and gripping biography to life, with vivid period reenactments based on newly opened family archives and interviews with dozens of colleagues and relatives.

NOVA: The Perfect Corpse

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Central Ireland's waterlogged landscape is no ordinary ground. Here, the moist earth halts decomposition, perfectly preserving stunning evidence of brutal ritualistic killings, corpses from the prehistoric Iron Age, over 2,000 years ago. Make no mistake, these are not skeletons or mummies, but the soft tissue and remains of people trapped in time. The perpetrators of this ancient violence are well beyond the reach of law, but there are still many fascinating secrets their victims will share if only modern science knows how to ask. NOVA is granted exclusive access to the investigation of two recently unearthed and exceedingly rare bog bodies. Enter the lab with the experts as they push archaeological forensics to its limits, aiming to enlighten how these people lived and establish how and why they died.

NOVA: The Pluto Files

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has held a warm place in the public imagination. So, when the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium stopped calling Pluto a planet, director Neil deGrasse Tyson found himself at the center of a firestorm led by angry, Pluto-loving elementary school students. But what is it about this cold, distant rock that captures so many hearts? NOVA joins Tyson as he follows the amazing story of its discovery and the captivating science that surrounds this former planet, including the possibility of finding more Pluto-like planets in the mysterious Kuiper belt, an area of icy rocks at the edge of the solar system. From the scientists trying to classify Pluto to die-hard Pluto-philes, Tyson meets a fascinating cast of characters with just one thing in common: Strong opinions about Pluto. Based on Tyson's book of the same name, The Pluto Files is an exciting and entertaining look at the solar system's best-loved non-planet.

NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

On May 13, 1607, three English sailing vessels dropped anchor beside a small island fringed by swamps in the James River, Virginia. On board: 104 colonists who will establish the first successful English settlement in the New World at Jamestown. The exploits of the brash, swashbuckling John Smith; the wily, venerable chief Powhatan; and his infatuated daughter Pocahontas will be recited, retold, and embroidered until they gather the status of an epic founding myth of the new nation. Now, on the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, science is revealing the truth behind the myth. Virginia archaeologists have recently discovered the site of Chief Powhatan's capital, Werowocomoco, some 17 miles from Jamestown beside the York River. This is the very spot where the captive John Smith had his famous life-and-death encounter with the mighty chief, in which (so the story goes) the smitten Pocahontas begged her father to spare the Englishman. The unique investigation of the site will be followed in depth exclusively by NOVA as archeologists for the first time reveal the Native American side of the Jamestown story.

Nova: Power Surge: Are We Finally on the Brink of a clean energy revolution?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Can emerging technology defeat global warming? The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects as our leaders try to save our crumbling economy and our poisoned planet in a single bold, green stroke. Are we finally on the brink of a green-energy Power Surge, or is it all a case of too little, too late? From solar panel factories in China to a carbon capture and storage facility in the Sahara desert--to massive wind and solar installations in the United States--NOVA travels the globe to reveal the surprising technologies that just might turn back the clock on climate change. Focusing on the latest and greatest innovations, including everything from artificial trees to green reboots of familiar technologies like coal and nuclear energy, NOVA asks: "Can our technology, which helped create this problem, now solve it?"

NOVA: Rat Attack

(Unrated 2009 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

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 only once every half-century, spurring an explosion in the black rat population that 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.

NOVA: Riddles of the Sphinx

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

For 45 centuries, the Great Sphinx has cast its enigmatic gaze over Egypt's Giza plateau. The biggest and oldest statue in a land of colossal ancient monuments, its scale is staggering. How was it built, and who or what does it represent? NOVA's expert team of archaeologists carries out experiments that reveal the techniques and incredible labor that was invested in the carving of this gigantic sculpture.

NOVA: Runaway Universe

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Runaway Universe presents the dramatic quest to unlock the secrets of the stars as two rival astronomy teams search for exploding stars, map gigantic cosmic patterns of galaxies, and grapple with the ultimate question: What is the fate of the universe? With the use of stunning three-dimensional cosmic simulations captured with revolutionary high-definition technology, NOVA presents the first attempt to explore the riddle of "dark energy"- the mysterious repulsive force that some scientists believe counteracts gravity. How big is the universe? What does a supernova look like? Was Einstein's greatest blunder actually correct? Explore these questions and other fascinating mysteries of the universe with this thrilling intergalactic adventure.

NOVA: Saturn's Titan: Voyage to the Mystery Moon

(Unrated DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

What hides beneath the clouds of Titan? When the best scientific minds in Europe and America collaborated, they created a probe to make the billion-mile trek to finally reveal the moon's secrets. This NOVA documentary explores this satellite of Saturn in impressive detail with footage of the surface. With its similarity to ancient Earth, Titan may hold the key to how life began on the third rock from the sun.

NOVA: Saving the National Treasures

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

History meets technology in the ultimate preservation project. The nation's charters of freedom are in trouble. Since its creation over 200 years ago, the Declaration of Independence has seen plenty of abuse--escaping British armies rolled up in a saddlebag, traveling the country with the Continental Army, and baking in the window of the U.S. Patent Office. Now, the ink has faded so badly, it's rapidly disappearing. On top of that, the glass casements built to exhibit the Declaration in the National Archives started disintegrating, adding a new threat to the venerable parchment.

A unique team of leading conservators, engineers, and historians came to the rescue. Over five years, NOVA's cameras followed their challenging, controversial plan to save the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. NOVA captured behind-the-scenes debates and intricate engineering tests as the team figured out how to design state-of-the-art casements that would protect these precious documents from further damage. Saving the National Treasures is a compelling evocation of their turbulent history and an insider's look at the extraordinary technology that now safeguards America's charters of freedom.

Nova: Secrets Beneath the Ice

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Can Antarctica's climate past offer clues to what may happen to our warming planet? To gather crucial evidence, NOVA follows an ambitious Antarctic investigation -- a state-of-the-art drill¬ing probe known as ANDRILL. Drilling deep beneath the Antarctic ice, down through the sea and three-fourths of a mile into the seafloor, ANDRILL recovers rock cores that reveal intimate details of climate and fauna from a time in the distant past when the Earth was just a few degrees warmer than it is today. As researchers grapple with the harshest conditions on the planet, they discover astonishing new clues -- not only about Antarctica's past, but also Earth's future.

NOVA: Secrets of the Crocodile Caves

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Travel to Ankarana, a nature reserve in Madagascar that puts the "wild" in wilderness. The remote Ankarana preserve on the island of Madagascar, a few hundred miles off the coast of Africa, shelters an astonishing array of exotic wild animals. Protected by a fortress of ancient coral mountains with forbidding razor-sharp spires, some of these unusual creatures have thrived unscathed and unchanged for thousands of years. Aggressive Nile crocodiles, incredibly rare crowned lemurs, countless chameleons, and the lethal fossa, described as a "mongoose on steroids," share the lush forests and deep, forbidding caves of Ankarana. In Ankarana, strange sights and puzzling biological mysteries abound, and noted wildlife experts and top biologists are your guides as NOVA brings you an exclusive insider's look at this rarely seen corner of the world. Find out why normally sun-loving crocodiles lurk in cool, dark caves. See how the hyena-like fossa leaps from branch to branch as it rules its jungle habitat. And join the Ankarana locals and discover how they co-exist alongside animals that sometimes hunt humans. Explore Secrets of the Crocodile Caves and discover some of the most unusual creatures ever to evolve on earth.

NOVA: Secrets of the Mind

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In this remarkable NOVA, pioneering brain detective V.S. Ramachandran, hailed as "the Sherlock Holmes of neuroscience," tackles four mysterious cases and delivers mind-boggling conclusions. Investigate his breakthrough research in phantom limb syndrome, and how he discovered how the brain undergoes a massive "re-wiring" when a person loses a limb.

NOVA: Secrets of the Parthenon

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Erected by the ancient Greeks as a temple to Athena, the Parthenon has served as a church, a fortress, an ammunition dump, and the model for countless banks, courthouses, and museums across the world. It has been shot at, exploded, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its magnificent sculptures, and subjected to restorations that have been termed catastrophic. Surprisingly, despite much abuse and renown as an icon of Western civilization, the question of how the Parthenon was built has been largely ignored until recently. Thanks to the Greek government's $10 billion restoration program, scholars are finally probing the enigmas of its planning and construction. With unprecedented access, NOVA presents the inside story of the official restoration, which reaches far beyond the challenges and controversies of conserving one of the world's best-known buildings. The researchers are confronting some truly monumental riddles: How did the ancient Athenians build their great temple with incredible precision in a mere eight years? How did they manage to incorporate subtle, eye-pleasing distortions into the Parthenon's layout, such that there are few straight lines or right angles to be seen? And, most baffling of all, how did they accomplish all of this without an overall building plan or blueprint, which would be indispensable to a modern architect?

NOVA: Secrets of the Samurai Sword

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

For over a thousand years the Samurai sword has dominated the battlefields of Japan, instilled fear and terror into every enemy it faced, and evoked a spiritual way of life that continues even today. With unparalleled access, NOVA travels deep into Japan's ancient foundries, follows the craft of the traditional sword-smiths and attends Samurai fighting school to reveal the art and science behind making what many call the perfect sword.

NOVA: Secrets of Stonehenge

(2010 Unrated DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios.)

Every year, a million visitors are drawn to the Salisbury Plain, in southern England, to gaze upon a mysterious circle of stones. Who built Stonehenge? What was its purpose? A new generation of researchers is tackling these questions, finding important clues in the landscape surrounding Stonehenge -one of the densest concentrations of prehistoric structures in the world. The story of Stonehenge is being rewritten.

NOVA: Sinking the Supership

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The Yamato was the biggest battleship ever to sail the world's oceans. But it only saw action once--in a final, desperate suicide mission that is one of the most dramatic stories of World War II. Today, Yamato lies at the bottom of the East China Sea, sunk by a massive explosion that entombed 3,000 Japanese sailors in a colossal naval disaster. Built in secrecy and launched just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yamato was almost twice the size of her American counterparts, with the largest guns ever mounted on a warship. However, the Japanese supership was obsolete the day she was launched. As it sank below the waves, the golden age of the battleship, the 20th century's first superweapon, had already faded from history. NOVA joins an international team exploring the grave of this titanic vessel to unlock the secrets of her design and final mission. Featuring powerful interviews with two of the Japanese survivors of the sinking, NOVA reconstructs the fateful last hours that led to the supership's doom.

NOVA: Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

In the face of steeply rising oil prices and political turmoil in the Middle East, there is new urgency in finding a solution to our uncertain energy future. Breakthroughs in new materials and ingenious designs for solar collectors are transforming the technology into a vastly cheaper, more efficient alternative. NOVA presents the latest thinking from solar enthusiasts and skeptics as it investigates cutting-edge research developments. The film introduces viewers to the scientists and businesspeople who are racing to make solar power practical--for lighting, heating, and running power plants.

NOVA: Spies that Fly

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

It has no pilot no windows and it's flown by remote control. But this odd-looking plane is already credited with helping destroy nearly 750 enemy targets. It's the Predator, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with powerful surveillance cameras that spy on our enemies day or night and keep our military personnel out of harm's way. The Predator is changing America's battle plans and more advanced UAVs are close behind. From flying spies the size of a CD player to fully armed pilotless jets that roam halfway around the world, get a close look at the revolutionary UAVs from the past 50 years including the Lightning Bug Pioneer and Predator. Follow military specialists scientists and engineers as they examine some of the revolutionary vehicles currently under development such as the Global Hawk, a long endurance jet programmed to fly itself from takeoff to landing. Join NOVA for this rare look at some of the most significant developments in military weaponry and learn about the UAV's dangerous and costly history, how flying insects are helping researchers create the first micro UAV, and how the military's unmanned aerial vehicles may someday lead to pilotless commercial air travel.

NOVA: Sputnik Declassified

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

The world changed fifty years ago, on October 4, 1957, when the U.S. public heard the shocking news that the Soviet Union had successfully launched the first satellite, Sputnik I. Why didn't the U.S. beat the Soviets in this first crucial round of the space race? NOVA reveals an astonishing behind-the-scenes story of the politics and personalities that collided over the earliest efforts to get America into space, long before the founding of NASA. Anticommunist witch-hunts drove some of the nation's most talented rocketry pioneers out of the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his former Nazi colleagues. With help from Walt Disney, von Braun's vision of future space travel swiftly captivated U.S. TV watchers. But even as he became the first media star of the Space Age, von Braun's attempts to build space probes were hobbled by inter-service rivalries. In the Secrets of the Sputnik Race, NOVA details the previously untold story of the technological and political missteps that made the U.S. lose out to the Soviets' bleeping electronic basketball.

NOVA: The Spy Factory

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

NOVA exposes the hidden, high-tech workings of the world's largest intelligence agency, the National Security Agency (NSA). Their mission is to eavesdrop on the world -- from phone calls in Europe and Afghanistan to email messages from Pakistan to Baghdad. Based on the best-seller by James Bamford, this is a report on the threat to privacy and the effectiveness of high-tech surveillance in the age of terrorism.

NOVA: Trapped in an Elevator

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Elevators move millions of passengers every day. In Trapped in an Elevator, NOVA reveals the secret life of these ubiquitous machines. Once brawny but simple machines, elevators are getting a brainy makeover. Computer controls 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?

NOVA: Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Interweaving biography and social history, The Most Dangerous Woman in America tells the extraordinary story of Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary. She gained this notoriety by being the first person in North America to be identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. Despite her indignant protests of innocence, she was incarcerated for years on an island in New York's East River. Mary Mallon's saga throws into vivid relief the emerging science of public health and the social, ethical, and legal dilemmas it posed to its pioneers at the turn of the twentieth century.

NOVA: Underwater Dream Machine

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

"Exercise Tiger" was planned as the top-secret rehearsal for D-Day. In early 1944, the United States Army conducted various exercises to prepare for the Normandy invasion at Slapton Sands and nearby Tor Bay in southwest England. "Tiger" was the largest operation of them all. Eight American landing ships packed with men left harbor and anchored in a line offshore to prepare for the next day's exercise. At 2AM, eight German patrol boats made a surprise attack on the heavily loaded troop transporters, three of which burst into flames. In the worst single military disaster since Pearl Harbor, 749 GIs died that night. The tragedy was kept secret for forty years and those who drowned in agony were forgotten. Now after nearly 60 years, GI veteran Ken Dawson has returned to the Channel and the spot that was very nearly his grave to spotlight this untold story and to uncover the final resting place of his brothers in arms.

Nova: Venom: Nature's Killer

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct)

Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extreme toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work? NOVA reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature's most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer. VENOM follows two scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet's most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature's deadliest cocktails could be medicine's brightest new hope.

NOVA: The Viking Deception

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

There are few more tantalizing or notorious historical documents than the Vinland map. A faded, yellowing scrap of parchment bearing a faint tracery of lines, the map apparently shows the eastern seaboard of North America--yet it was drawn at least half a century before Columbus reached the New World. It seems to present unshakeable proof that the Vikings were the real discoverers of the Americas. But for 40 years, a bitter debate over its authenticity has raged among cartographers, historians, and scientists. Despite chemical analysis and radiocarbon tests, the case remained unresolved. Now, in an exclusive investigation, NOVA presents fresh evidence confirming that the map was probably one of the cleverest forgeries of all time, and probes who might have wanted to carry out the deception. In this enthralling cartographic detective story, NOVA pursues a trail from Scandinavia to Austria, Switzerland, London, and the U.S.

NOVA: Volcano Above the Clouds

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Explore Kilimanjaro--the breathtaking island in the sky. At 20,000 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak and also the world's tallest volcano. Rising through a shroud of mist and clouds, Kilimanjaro floats like a mirage above the African savannah. A trek up its steep flanks takes climbers through five different worlds of climate and vegetation, ranging from rainforest near the bottom to arctic ramparts of ice surrounding a rocky crater at the peak. Kilimanjaro is not only a nature-lover's paradise, but also a tantalizing mystery for many scientists. The glacier atop the mountain has shrunk by over a third in the last decade due to global warming, and could disappear altogether by 2015. And although classified as dormant, Kilimanjaro has begun to stir, and evidence suggests that a massive landslide could rip open the side of the mountain causing a cataclysmic flow of hot gases and rock, similar to Mount St. Helens. NOVA takes an unusual expedition to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to investigate these two scientific mysteries, and to explore the unique beauty of this "island in the sky." Joining NOVA on this breathtaking adventure is African-born naturalist Robin Buxton, who was disabled by polio at age two, and who now dreams of summiting a mountain he has long studied.

NOVA: Volcano Under the City

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

A team of scientists clambers down into the steep crater of an active volcano in central Africa, a lake of molten lava seething far below. The team's mission is to explore this deadly mountain up close to find out when and why it is likely to erupt next. The lives of half a million people living directly in its shadow are at stake. In January 2002, the ground close to the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo split open and rivers of lava swept through entire neighborhoods, killing some 100 people and leaving 120,000 homeless. The volcano towering over the city, Mount Nyirangongo, had awoken again. Now French volcanologist Jacques Durieux and his team worry that, next time, deadly lava could erupt from cracks directly under the city itself. Volcano Under the City reaches a stunning climax as Durieux's team struggles to capture a sample of furiously boiling lava from the heart of the volcano. The crater walls crumble and Mount Nyirangongo belches poisonous gas as the scientists put their lives on the line to retrieve their vital data.

NOVA: A Walk to Beautiful

(Unrated 2008 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

A difficult journey that begins in loneliness and shame for thousands of Ethiopian women ends in a productive new life and hope for the future in this award-winning film. Shot against a starkly beautiful landscape, A Walk to Beautiful shares the inspiring stories of three women, rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, who leave home in search of treatment for obstetric fistula. Once common in the pre-industrial United States, this life-shattering complication of childbirth is now relegated to the poorest regions of the world. In Ethiopia alone, there are an estimated 100,000 women suffering from untreated fistulas. In a courageous attempt to reclaim their lives, these women embark on a journey to a remarkable hospital, walking for hours to the nearest road; searching for public transportation to the capital, Addis Ababa. Finally, surrounded by women like themselves and a compassionate medical team of Western and African doctors who treat them with respect, they find a haven that they never imagined, transforming their long and arduous trek into a "walk to beautiful."

NOVA: Welcome to Mars

(Unrated 2005 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Go inside mission control and explore Mars with rovers Spirit & Opportunity. Take an astounding look at the red planet in this interplanetary adventure that picks up where the acclaimed film MARS Dead or Alive left off. From the white-knuckle landings of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, through months of frustrating setbacks and elating discoveries, Welcome to Mars captures the gripping drama and the breathtaking images of the most significant mission events. Mission Control and its two robotic explorers face a daunting task--find proof that liquid water, the essential ingredient of life, once existed on Mars. Just days into the mission, euphoria turns to despair as Spirit suddenly stops communicating with NASA. With the mission on the line, restoring communications with the rover becomes a nerve-shredding ordeal before the problem is solved. Then, Opportunity serendipitously lands near a scientifically valuable rock outcrop that provides crucial evidence allowing NASA to announce solid proof that Mars was once awash in water. Through unprecedented access, Welcome to Mars presents a compelling inside story of triumph, technical ingenuity, and emotional drama packed with stunning images from an alien world.

NOVA: What Are Dreams?

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS DIRECT Studios)

What are dreams and why do we have them? NOVA joins the leading dream researchers as they embark on a variety of neurological and psychological experiments to investigate the world of sleep and dreams. Delving deep into the thoughts and brains of a variety of dreamers, scientists are asking important questions about the purpose of this mysterious world we escape to at night. Do dreams allow us to get a good night's sleep? Do they improve our memory? Do they allow us to be more creative? Can they solve our problems or even help us survive the hazards of everyday life? NOVA follows researchers like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Matthew Wilson who is literally eavesdropping on the dreams of rats and takes viewers into a sleep lab for a first-hand look at how scientists do their best to eavesdrop on human dreams. From those who violently act out their dreams to those who can't stop their nightmares, from sleepwalking cats to people who can't dream, each fascinating experiment contains a vital clue to the age-old question: What are dreams?

NOVA: What Darwin Never Knew - Blu-ray Version
NOVA: What Darwin Never Knew - DVD Version

(Unrated 2009 Release, PBS Direct Studios)

Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals. The source of life's endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin's revolutionary idea of natural selection. NOVA reveals answers to the riddles that Darwin couldn't explain. Stunning breakthroughs in a brand new science nicknamed 'evo devo' are linking the enigma of origins to another of nature's great mysteries, the development of an embryo

NOVA: Who Killed the Red Baron?

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On April 21, 1918, during one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, Manfred von Richthofen took off in his bright red Fokker triplane on what was to be his final mission. The legendary Red Baron plunged into a furious dogfight against Allied fighters, and was last seen hotly pursuing a Sopwith Camel deep into Allied territory. What happened next has been debated and disputed for more than 80 years. The triplane landed roughly in a field with the famous ace, who had an astounding 80 kills to his name, shot dead through the chest by a single bullet. But who was the triggerman who downed the Red Baron? Since that fateful day, many have received or claimed credit for the Red Baron's demise. But now, with the help of modern forensics and recently discovered eyewitness accounts, NOVA discloses a probable new identity for his killer. Featuring state-of-the-art animation and vivid aerial footage of original and replica fighters re-enacting the ferocious dogfights of World War I, NOVA cracks one of the most puzzling of all aviation mysteries. Along the way, NOVA also reveals the extraordinary story of how World War I air combat advanced from a gentlemanly sport to a grim and deadly science in just four short years.

NOVA: Wings of Madness

(Unrated 2007 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

On October 19, 1901, the people of Paris turned out by the thousands to watch a dashing impeccably dressed Brazilian-born inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont conquer the skies. His fragile gas-powered balloon made an astounding half-hour flight over the city and around the Eiffel Tower and later he piloted Europe's first ever airplane flight. For a brief moment of glory Santos-Dumont was the toast of Paris and acclaimed around the world. Then eclipsed by the growing fame of the Wright Brothers Santos-Dumont began slipping into illness and depression. During World War I the airplane which he believed to be his own invention became a lethal weapon eventually driving him to despair and suicide. Featuring captivating recreations and replicas of Santos pioneering balloons and airplanes NOVA reveals the daring flights and dramatic life of a neglected genius.

NOVA: World in the Balance

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

It took all of human history until 1800 for the world's population to reach its first billion. Now we add a new billion nearly every dozen years. Over the next half century, 98 percent of that growth will take place in our planet's poorest regions. And as the global total swells to nearly 9 billion by 2050, the social and environmental strains will be enormous. Through vivid personal stories, The People Paradox reveals many startling trends. In Japan, Europe and Russia, birth rates are shrinking and the population is aging. But in parts of India and Africa, more than half of the still growing population is under 25. The surprising conclusion: world population is now careening in two dramatically different directions. The second hour, China Revs Up, is an insider's look at China's booming economy and its growing impact on the environment. What will happen as China follows America's affluent lifestyle and begins to rival the U.S. as the world's biggest polluter? In this groundbreaking, worldwide investigation of humanity's future, NOVA shows how decisions made now will change the fate of everyone over the next fifty years.

NOVA: Wright Brothers's Flying Machine

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

The challenge of rebuilding the Wright Brothers' Flying Machine. Orville and Wilbur Wright were remarkable inventors, mechanics, risk-takers, and visionaries. They designed and built their own wings, steering devices, engines, and wind tunnel. But just how did they construct such an impressive flying machine? It takes a team of modern pilots, builders, aviation experts, and historians joined together to retrace, rebuild and re-fly planes built to the specifications developed by the Wright Brothers a century ago. Vivid footage captures both the Wrights' own historic flights and the team's attempt to fly an authentically recreated Wright "Model B." As modern computer technology meets dusty artifacts, the Wrights' aviation secrets emerge from the past and seem more impressive than ever. Discover how the Wright Brothers transformed themselves from bicycle mechanics to high-flying inventors who built a machine that changed the world during a mythical flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903, and see how they contrived to refine their incredible aircraft.

NOVA scienceNOW: Algae Fuel

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW weighs the risks against the benefits of getting a personal genetic profile; takes a closer look at algae, and asks if it may be our biofuel of the future; explores the undersea Gakkel Ridge, deep in the Arctic Ocean, for clues that one of Jupiter's moons may host life; and profiles Yoky Matsuoka, a leader in the emerging field of neurobotics--the fusion of neuroscience and robotics.

NOVA scienceNOW: Autism Genes

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW visits astronomers on the brink of finding "another Earth" with the soon-to-be-operational Kepler telescope; introduces Rudy Tanzi, a pioneer in discovering genes for Alzheimer's disease, now turning his attention to autism; ask if computers can identify forged works of art; and profiles Maydianne Andrade, a scientist studying the cannibalistic behavior of the Australian redback spider.

NOVA scienceNOW: Can We Live Forever? - New Technology for a Longer Life

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Host Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles one of science's major challenges in each episode of Can We Live Forever? He will guide us as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central, provocative mystery. Program episodes include: Can My Car Live Forever--; Replacing Body Parts; Can We Slow Aging--; Profile: Jason Leigh; and Human Hibernation.

NOVA scienceNOW: Can We Make It to Mars?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - Can we Make it to Mars? - and the episodes explore it from different angles. Program episodes include: Space Dangers; Next-Generation Space Suits; Space Food; Profile: Vandi Verma; and Plasma Rockets.

NOVA scienceNOW: Capturing Carbon

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW follows host Neil deGrasse Tyson on a quest to learn about the science of taste; looks to an eighth grader's science fair project to help tackle rising levels of carbon dioxide; studies new evidence that reveals sea lions and walruses to be remarkably intelligent; and profiles Sangeeta Bhatia, a tissue engineer at MIT who has started an outreach program to get young girls into labs--and loving science.

NOVA scienceNOW: Climate Scientist Lonnie Thompson

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW looks at NASA's LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite); joins microbiologist Jack Griffith on a hunt for the oldest organic molecules on earth; asks what the songs of zebra finches can tell us about human language; and profiles climatologist Lonnie Thompson, a recent winner of the prestigious National Medal of Science, who has been drilling tropical ice cores at high elevations since 1976.

NOVA scienceNOW: Diamond Factory

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW travels to a top-secret "diamond farm" to investigate breakthroughs in engineering artificial diamonds; looks at pitch correction software that turns sour notes sweet; highlights a technique that could use genetic "fingerprinting" to trace the microbial source of anything from food poisoning to deadly epidemics; and profiles Luis von Ahn, a Carnegie Mellon University professor and human computation expert.

NOVA scienceNOW: Earthquakes in the Midwest

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW explores new data from cave stalagmites and the Mississippi riverbed to understand earthquakes that strike in the heartland; the crucial role sleep plays in strengthening memories and facilitating learning; a profile of marine geologist Sang-Mook Lee; and paleontologist Jonathan Bloch, who thinks that tiny bones embedded in limestone may be the evolutionary evidence of the creatures that evolved into primates.

NOVA scienceNOW: How Does the Brain Work?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Host Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles one of science's major challenges in each episode of How Does the Brain Work? He will guide us as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central, provocative mystery. Program episodes include: Magic and the Brain; Can Machines Think Like Us--; Magnetic Mind Control; and Profile: David Eagleman.

NOVA scienceNOW: How Smart Are Animals?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - How Smart are Animals? - and host Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles one of science's major challenges in each episode. He will guide us as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central, provocative mystery. Program episodes include: How Smart Are Dogs, How Smart Are Dolphins, How Smart Is an Octopus, Profile: Irene Pepperberg & Alex.

NOVA scienceNOW: Rocket Scientist Franklin Chang-Diaz

(Unrated 2009 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This episode of NOVA scienceNOW introduces renowned paleontologist George Poinar, whose study of extinct creatures preserved in amber partly inspired Jurassic Park; examines the northern lights and "space weather"; studies mice that Ron Evans and his team genetically altered for heightened endurance; and profiles Franklin Chang-Diaz, designer of a revolutionary new rocket that could power a new generation of space explorers.

NOVA scienceNOW: What's the Next Big Thing?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - What's the Next Big Thing? Host Neil deGrasse Tyson guides us as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central, provocative mystery. Program episodes include: Social Robots; Robotic Cars; Detecting Earthquakes; Smart Grid; and Profile: Jay Keasling..

NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From?

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - Where Did We Come From? - and host Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles one of science's major challenges in each episode. Where did the very first living thing on Earth come from? Scientists have long argued that billions of years ago, life emerged on its own--but no one knows exactly how. Now, in a landmark discovery, chemist John Sutherland has created the conditions in which the building blocks of RNA, one of the key molecules of life and the probable precursor to DNA, assemble themselves naturally.

Prohibition - Blu-ray Version
Prohibition - DVD Version

(Unrated 2011 DVD and Blu-ray release, PBS Direct Studios)

PROHIBITION, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the rise, rule and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The film starts with the early history of alcohol in America and examines the 19th-century temperance and progressive movements through the repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933. This six-hour three part documentary also includes over two hours of bonus content.

Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

Emmy Nominated! Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge examines critical worldwide threats from old diseases and bizarre new ailments resistant to modern medicine. The six-episode series profiles such diseases as Ebola fever, SARS, the West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS, and the avian flu.

Rx for Survival: Bird Flu: How Safe Are We?

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

During the past 100 years, life expectancy more than doubled in developed countries. In the last few decades, however, thirty new infectious diseases have emerged and one of them--AIDS--is becoming perhaps the most devastating epidemic in history. New diseases travel the globe with unprecedented rapidity, and older killers that once seemed controllable are roaring back with a vengeance. How Safe Are We? examines the most critical threats we face today, including avian flu, and the pressing need to strengthen global public health systems.

Rx for Survival: The Heroes

(Unrated 2006 DVD, WGBH / PBS Studios)

The Heroes tells the real-life stories of unsung champions who protect people worldwide from the ravages of disease. Using highlights from the acclaimed six-hour Rx for Survival series, this unique two-hour program takes viewers inside the stirring campaigns that have saved countless lives and renewed hope for poor communities around the world. The Heroes shares the inspiring stories of individuals whose tireless perseverance and ingenuity are building a safer and healthier future for humanity.

Seeing in the Dark - Blu-ray Version
Seeing in the Dark - DVD Version

(Unrated 2009 release, PBS Direct Studios)

Seeing in the Dark aims to redefine the standards of quality in nonfiction science programming for television, and is meant to introduce viewers to the wonders of the night sky, making casual stargazing or serious amateur astronomy a part of their lives. This program follows in the footsteps of Timothy Ferris' two prior PBS specials The Creation of the Universe and Life Beyond Earth.


Black in Latin America - DVD version
Black in Latin America - Blu-ray version

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct)

Black in Latin America, a new four-part series about the influence of African descent on Latin America, is the latest production from renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The series examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. Latin America is often associated with music, monuments and sun, but each of the six countries featured in Black in Latin America including, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, has a secret history. On his journey, Professor Gates discovers, behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest concentration of people with African ancestry outside Africa -- up to 70 percent of the population in some countries. The region imported more than ten times as many slaves as the United States, and kept them in bondage far longer. On this series of journeys, Professor Gates celebrates the massive influence of millions of people of African descent on the history and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean, and considers why and how their contribution is often forgotten or ignored. Episode titles - Haiti & the Dominican Republic An Island Divided Cuba: The Next Revolution Brazil: A Racial Paradise? Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race

Craft in America: Season 3 - Messages

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct)

CRAFT IN AMERICA promotes and advances original handcrafted work and will inspire people of all ages to pursue their own creativity. Messages looks at the ways many craft artists go beyond skill to personal and political expression. They use craft to tell a story, prove a point, or bring attention to issues. Often their work is passionate and provocative. The artist selected for Messages express many different interests and points of view, but they have one thing in common; their skill and creativity are of the highest level.

Family Cooking: From the Blanchard's Kitchen

(Unrated 2004 DVD, WGBH BOSTON Studios)

Bob and Melinda Blanchard have been married for over thirty years and are the co-owners of Blanchard's Restaurant on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. In this special, they will inspire families and friends not only to eat together, but to roll up their sleeves and experience the joy of cooking together.

Journey of the Bonesetters Daughter

(Unrated 2011 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

Journey of the Bonesetter's Daughter follows the creation of the San Francisco Opera's celebrated production of The Bonesetter's Daughter, based on Amy Tan's bestselling book of the same name. An ambitious, cross-cultural tour de force that brings together artists from China and the U.S, the opera tells a deeply moving story about the difficult but unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters--inspired by Tan's own family history. Through intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this film captures the challenges and triumphs of a collaboration with such high emotional and artistic stakes. American composer Stewart Wallace's score integrates a Western orchestra with Chinese musicians performing on traditional instruments; Chinese opera director Chen Shi-Zheng uses virtuoso acrobats and lush video to add visual drama. As the production is mounted with more than 300 cast and crew, librettist Tan grapples with how best to capture and preserve the emotional truth of her family story in the drama unfolding on stage. .

This Emotional Life

(Unrated 2010 DVD, PBS Direct Studios)

How can we all live happier, more fulfilling lives? This Emotional Life explores ways we can improve our social relationships, learn to cope with problems like depression and anxiety, and become more positive and resilient individuals. Host Daniel Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness, talks with experts about the latest scientific understanding of our emotions and how we can find support for the issues we all face. Each episode weaves together scientific perspectives with the compelling personal stories of ordinary people, complemented by insight from celebrities like Chevy Chase, Larry David, Alanis Morissette, John Leguizamo, Katie Couric, and Richard Gere, among many others.