‘NOVA: Ship That Changed The World’ Is A Presentation That Stays Afloat From Beginning To End

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Throughout the course of human history, there have been so many pivotal moments that have forever changed things for the world.  The creation of fire and the wheel, the development of electricity, the development of mass communications and recording technology are all prime examples of those key moments.  They are hardly the only key moments in human history.  In a recently aired episode of its long-running science-based series, NOVA dubbed Ship That Changed The World, PBS examines a key turning point in nautical history.  Having originally aired June 2 on PBS stations nationwide, it was released to DVD Aug. 17.  The story featured in the nearly hour-long episode creates a strong foundation for the program and will be discussed shortly.  The secondary story that accompanies the main presentation adds to the episode’s engagement in its own right.  It will be discussed a little later.  Keeping those two items in mind, the program’s pricing proves to be important in its own way, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences, from history buffs to nautical history lovers, to even those with any interest in engineering.

NOVA: Ship That Changed The World is an interesting new episode of PBS’ long-running science-based series.  Its interest comes in large part through its primary story.  The story in question follows a group of marine archaeologists who have located the remains of a ship off the Swiss coast known as the Griffin Dog.  That is the English translation for the ship’s name. As narrator Craig Sechler points out, the ship is important to the bigger picture of maritime history because of its construction.  Audiences who have any interest in that topic will remain engaged just as much as anyone with any interest in the history or maritime warfare and history in general.  Watching the group try to identify the ship and solve what caused it to sink (and succeed in the process) gives audiences reason enough to watch this episode of NOVA.  While that aspect of the episode is interesting in its own right, the episode’s secondary story (which could actually be argued to be the episode’s main story in its own right) makes for just as much engagement and entertainment.

The episode’s secondary story involves the history lesson on boats’ construction in comparison to that of the Griffin Dog.  Viewers will be interested to learn, for instance, that while Vikings’ construction of their longboats is legendary, it was in fact imperfect.  That is because as is noted in this episode, the longer the boats became, the more problematic was their mobility in the water.  On a different note, viewers will learn that by comparison, boats that were created in the Mediterranean region of the world had their own problem.  Their problem was not one of mobility, but of the ability to carry large cargo capacities.  As the secondary story progresses, viewers learn that the shipbuilders who created the Griffin Dog used the style of not one but both regions in creating the ship.  The result was that the creation and launching of the Griffin Dog was really that turning point in maritime history.  The ship was, as one interviewer called it, a castle of sorts, on the water.  It allowed for certain unique military advantages for the soldiers on board as well as the ability to carry extensive cargo loads and to provide certain comforts for the crew and passengers.  That aspect of the story is really just as interesting as the efforts to identify the Griffin Dog if not more so.  That is why, again, viewers can argue that this secondary story could also be the episode’s central story and vice versa.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s pricing proves to be a positive in its own right.

The average price point of NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is $21.38.  That price was reached by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store.  Target did not list the DVD at the time of this review’s posting.  Amazon’s listing of $16.79 is the least expensive of the listings, while PBS, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million all had the most expensive listing, at $24.99.  Walmart listed the DVD at $18.52 while Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 is not the best buy, but is still well under the noted average point.  Short and simple, three of the listings are well above the average while the other three are all below that point, and are also less than $20.  To that end, those three less expensive listings will not break viewers’ budgets.  Considering the DVD’s content, again, that information proves its own positive in the bigger picture of the DVD’s presentation.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is an overall successful presentation.

PBS and PBS Distribution’s presentation of NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is a largely successful presentation.  That is proven in part through its initial story.  That story in question follows the search for and discovery of a five century-old warship.  The warship in question, the Griffin Dog, changed the face and history of maritime warfare and history.  The explanation of how the ship incorporated different ship building techniques from two parts of the world thousands of miles apart from one another adds to the overall presentation.  That overall content makes the DVD’s pricing – average and separate – positive in its own right.  The DVD’s average price point and most of its listings are inexpensive and will not break viewers’ budgets.  Each item examined here, the whole makes the DVD a positive presentation.  All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that will definitely float.  NOVA: Ship That Changed the World is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:




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