PBS Unveils Animals’ Many Tricks In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Camouflage, ink jets, and body colors are just a few of the methods that animals use in their daily lives in order to escape predators. There are far more than just those few methods, too. And in Nature: Natural Born Hustlers–the latest episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series to hit DVD–audiences will learn about those and a number of other defense mechanisms that animals use in order to survive on a daily basis.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Nature: Natural Born Hustlers on Tuesday, March 8th. The three-hour program sees animals use their adaptations for evading predators, tracking prey, and even for procreation. Each purpose for which animals use their adaptations is presented in its own three-hour-long segment separate from the others. The first of those segments, “Staying Alive” follows various animals as they use their adaptations in order to evade predators. “The Hunger Hustle” is the program’s second segment. It presents the various ways in which different types of animals use their adaptations to hunt prey. And in the third and final segment, “Sex, Lies & Dirty Tricks,” audiences see how animals use their adaptations in order to secure the survival of their kind. Viewers can check out a trailer for this three-part episode of Nature online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBI2M6l4z3E.

Nature: Natural Born Hustlers will be available on Tuesday, March 8th. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258466&cp=&kw=nature+natural+born+hustlers&origkw=Nature+Natural+Born+Hustlers&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS To Release New Ken Burns Documentary This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This spring PBS and PBS Distribution will release a brand new documentary from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Ken Burns’ new documentary Jackie Robinson this spring. The four-hour documentary will be released on April 15th. The timing of the double-disc set, which will be presented both on DVD and Blu-ray, is wholly intentional as it will coincide with Jackie Robinson Day. It follows the life and career of the famed baseball star and the impact that he had both on the diamond and off. That impact is highlighted through discussions from the likes of famed newsman Tom Brokaw, singers Carly Simon and Harry Belafonte, and even President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama among others.

Jackie Robinson is not the first time that Burns has delved in to the baseball world having helmed his documentary Baseball in 1994. In discussing the film Burns explained that the film came from a desire to focus more closely on Robinson after having helmed that docu-series. “Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” he said. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”  Audiences can hear Burns discuss his new film at more length in an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUawlPAl5vA.

Jackie Robinson was co-directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon. It will be available on Tuesday, April 15th and will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. The program’s double-disc DVD presentation will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the double-disc Blu-ray presentation for $29.99. It will also be available in a number of combo packages, from which audiences can choose online and pre-order at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=ken%20burns%20jackie%20robinson&origkw=Ken+Burns%27+Jackie+Robinson&sr=1. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS’ New WWII Doc Another Important Addition To Iwo Jima’s Story

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

February 19th, 2016 marks seventy-one years since the beginning of the battle for Iwo Jima. What remains today one of World War II’s most infamous battles, it lasted for roughly forty days and claims hundreds of lives on both the American and Japanese side. It also marked the beginning of the end of the way in the Pacific. Last December PBS and PBS Distribution released a new retrospective on the battle in the form of Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades. While the DVD may have been released late last year, the upcoming anniversary of the nearly two month-long battle is a fitting presentation as the world remembers the sacrifices made not just by the Americans that served and fell but those that were forced to serve on the Japanese side. That’s right. Believe it or not not every Japanese soldier wanted to fight as has already been noted in the movie Letters From Iwo Jima. That is echoed here, too in this program’s presentation. Speaking of the presentation, it is the central element that makes Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades worth the watch. The interviews and footage that are used to tell the program’s story are collectively just as important as the story itself. The program’s editing rounds out its most important elements. Between the interviews and vintage footage of the battle for Iwo Jima, Rob Goubeaux, ACE, is to be commended for his work. Thanks to his work, the interviews, footage and more seamlessly interweave and tell a story that like so many others helps maintain the memory of those who served and the importance of the conflict. Together with the program’s main story and the elements used to tell the story, all three pieces combine to make Iwo Jima: From Combat to Comrades a piece that every military history buff should see at least once and that every member of the military past and present will appreciate.

Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades is not the first profile of the battle for Iwo Jima that has ever been released on the subject in question. This aside, it is still a presentation that history buffs and military history buffs will appreciate just as much as America’s military personnel past and present. This is especially the case as the seventy-first anniversary of the nearly two month-long conflict nears. That is made clear through the program’s central presentation. The roughly hour-long presentation recollects the events that unfolded from February 19th to March 26th, 1945. It explains in no uncertain terms that despite the popular belief, the raising of the flag atop Mount Suribachi was not the end of the conflict. In fact, it clearly states that fighting went on well after the flag was raised. That is just one part of the program that makes its story such an interesting watch. There are first-hand stories told by those that were there about the events that unfolded throughout the conflict. From one American soldier grabbing a flamethrower and clearing out seven pill boxes to one Japanese soldier’s story of gratitude for being saved by an American Marine rather than killed and much more there are plenty of stories that audiences will enjoy and appreciate throughout. For all of the interest raised by the program’s numerous stories they are just part of what makes the program’s central story so interesting. The message of peace and humanity that lies at the very heart of everything is what is most powerful here. Throughout the program the survivors on both sides continually echo the message that they were all human and the feelings about the lives that were lost on both sides. The desire of the previously noted Japanese soldier to thank the Marine who saved him is just one way in which the message is exhibited. One of the men on the American side notes in his story that we are all human and that because of this, there was really no reason for the fight. The varied stories of men who gave their lives and the emotions felt by those that survived and had to return home drives that message home even more so. Whether for those moments or for the many others noted throughout, the overlying message of peace and humanity that is presented here makes the program’s central story one that will stick with audiences just as much as any other story of Iwo Jima and/or any other of World War II’s conflicts. Together with the stories themselves the whole of the program’s central story shows clearly why it is such an important part of the program’s whole.

The story that lies at the heart of Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades is unquestionably an important element in its overall presentation. The elements that are used to tell the story are just as important to the program as its story. The elements in question are interviews from those that fought at Iwo Jima, vintage footage of the conflict, and footage of the most recent reunion of those men. The interviews, as already noted, include interviews not only with American forces but at least one Japanese soldier who showed that not every Japanese soldier wanted to be involved in the ongoing fight against America. He echoes the story presented in Letters From Iwo Jima that in fact many Japanese soldiers were in fact forced to serve because of the Emperor. He clearly states that he did not care about the view that the Japanese had about being taken by American forces. He didn’t even consider it being taken. Rather he called it being saved and was wholly grateful for being saved. One of the most interesting of the interviews from the American side involved a Marine explaining the difficulty in returning to everyday life after being discharged. He notes he couldn’t return to normalcy because of what he went through while other men didn’t come back. It is such a painful and telling statement; a statement that the military should have been paying better attention to its men even that long ago and that PTSD is obviously nothing new. The footage of the men fighting and dying on Iwo Jima drives that message home even harder. The footage of the survivors’ latest annual reunion is just as powerful. It shows just how few of those survivors remain today and thus the importance of maintaining the memory of both the men who served and the conflicts in which they served. Altogether the combined interviews and footage effectively tells even more stories from the battle for Iwo Jima. They also serve to help drive home even more the program’s overlying message about the need for peace. It’s just one more way in which the program shows itself to be another important watch both for military and history buffs and for military personnel past and present.

The story that lies at the center of Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades and the material used to tell the story are both key to its presentation. As important as both elements are to the program in whole, the work of editor Rob Goubeaux, ACE is just as important to the program. Goubeaux took director/producer Carol L. Fleischer’s calls and assembled that footage and interviews seamlessly. The interviews are lined up expertly with footage old and new alike for the clearest story possible. They also combine to have quite the long-lasting emotional impact on audiences. The expertise exhibited in Goubeaux’s work also serves in turn to exhibit Fleischer’s focus and attention to detail and that of her fellow producers Lori Mason Frye, Arnold Shapiro, Tetsu Uemura, and Seigo Samura. Thanks to their combined efforts the end result is a presentation that while not the first program ever presented about Iwo Jima, is still one that every history buff and military history buff will appreciate just as much as military personnel past and present.

Iwo Jima: From Combat To Comrades is not the first program to ever focus on the battle for Iwo Jima. Any number of programs centered on Iwo Jima have been released since its end. Even with this in mind it is still no less interesting for history and military history buffs and for military personnel past and present. That is thanks in large part to the two-part presentation that lies at its center. That presentation not only tells another angle of the conflict’s story but also the importance of peace and humanity. The elements that were used to present both portions of that presentation are just as important to the program. They include interviews with both Americans and Japanese men who fought in that fateful conflict. The program’s editing rounds out the program’s presentation. It connects the story and all of its core elements for an hour-long experience that audiences of all types will want to see at least once. It also serves to show the work put in by the program’s producers and director. The end result of those efforts is a presentation that while not the only presentation on Iwo Jima to ever be released, is still one that is worth at least one watch. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=78873156&cp=&kw=iwo+jima+from+combat+to+comrades&origkw=Iwo+Jima+From+Combat+to+Comrades&sr=1. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Kids Announces Release Date, Specs For Latest WordWorld DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Kids and PBS Distribution have another brand new collection of Wordworld episodes on the way next month.

PBS Kids and PBS Distribution will release the brand new WordWorld DVD WordWorld: Planes, Trains, and Trucks on Tuesday, March 8th. The DVD eight more entertaining and educating episodes for the whole family. In “Race To The Spaceship,” Frog and Robot want to play spaceship tag. But the only way that they can is to get to the top of WordWorld’s tallest mountain. It’s up to Frog to help Robot get to the top of the mountain so that they can build the word “spaceship” and play spaceship tag. Along the way, they also learn how to make a car, a boat, and even a bike go faster. It’s just one example of what audiences have to look forward to in this new DVD.

It’s Insect Air Show Day in “Flying Ant,” another of the DVD’s featured episodes. This episode sees Ant wishing he could join his flying insect friends in the day’s festivities. The problem is that unlike them he can’t fly. So Pig comes to his aid and helps him find a way to get airborn and be the hit of the show.

From the sky to the water, WordWorld takes audiences on yet another fun-filled adventure in “The Race To Mystery Island.” This episode sees Pig and Frog learn a very important and invaluable lesson about working together as they race their way to Mystery Island. It all starts off with a friendly competition to outdo the other. Things eventually grow to the point that the pair ends up in a race to the island, trying to slow the other down as they make their way there. The end result is that all-too-important lesson about teamwork, and of course an equally invaluable vocabulary-building lesson, too. It’s just one more example of what audiences have to expect in PBS Kids’ and PBS distribution’s latest collection of episodes from WordWorld. The complete episode listing for this DVD is noted below.

 

WordWorld: Planes, Trains, and Trucks Episodes

Duck’s Family Reunion

Back on Track

Pl-Pl-Plane

Race To Mystery Island

Wee Little Whale

Rocket To The Moon

Race To The Spaceship

Flying Ant

WordWorld: Planes, Trains, and Trucks will be available on DVD Tuesday, March 8th. It will retail for MSRP of $9.99. It can be pre-ordered online now direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=88677596&cp=&sr=1&kw=wordworld&origkw=WordWorld&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of WordWorld is available online now along with loads of WordWorld games, activities and more at:

Website: http://www.wordworld.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WordWorld

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Kids’ New Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD Is A “Super” New Collection Of Episodes

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/PBS Kids

Next Tuesday, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution will release the latest collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ family favorite series Daniel Tiger’s Neighrborhood. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Super Daniel will be released Tuesday, February 2nd. The single-disc collection is the series’ tenth to be released since the series originally premiered on PBS Kids a little more than three years ago. This September will mark the series’ fourth anniversary. Much as with its predecessors this DVD offers plenty of enjoyment for kids and adults alike beginning with its featured episodes and their stories. The stories in question are completely relatable for parents and children alike. That is because of the fact that they are just as real in Daniel Tiger’s world as they are in the real world. This will be discussed shortly. The lessons that are taught through each of the featured episodes are just as important to this DVD as the stories. The lessons presented in each of the featured episodes are not the only lessons presented in the DVD. As with most PBS Kids DVDs, this DVD also features extra lessons inside the DVD’s case. In the case of this DVD case is an extra lesson included as bonus material of sorts. It rounds out the DVD’s overall presentation to make the DVD complete. They work together with the DVD’s other noted features to make Daniel Tiger’s latest DVD a *ahem* super new collection of episodes.

PBS Kids’ latest collection of episodes from its family favorite series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a “super” new collection. This is exhibited mainly through the episodes that make up the boy of the DVD. The stories in question continue on the series’ tradition of presenting rea world situations in a fashion that are easily accessible for children yet entertaining enough that even adults will find themselves enjoying them. “Daniel’s Friends Say No” and “Prince Wednesday Doesn’t Want To Play” are prime examples of that accessibility and entertainment offered in these episodes. Both episodes see Daniel facing the situation of his friend wanting to spend time by themselves for once. These episodes mark the first time that the show’s writers had tackled this issue as in every other episode Daniel and his friends are almost always together. The second of the two stories sees not only Daniel but O The Owl facing the prospect of not being included. This shows young audiences that such a situation happens to everyone, not just themselves. Yet it also allows Daniel and O to still play together, thus turning around something bad and making it good. In other words, it ties back in to a previous lesson taught in another episode all while keeping the main story focused. Throughout the course of both episodes, the writers pay special attention to how Daniel and O are told by their friends that they want to play alone. They are not told in a mean or forceful manner. Rather it is told in a gentle yet very childlike fashion. As minor as it seems this element is extremely important to the story’s ability to reach its young audiences. That is because it subtlely emphasizes that Daniel and O’s friends are not being mean. Rather they just want sometimes to play alone. Prince Wednesday and Prince Tuesday even come back over to Daniel and O at the end of “Prince Wednesday Doesn’t Want To Play” to invite them over for a “Friends Day” later. That simple act of kindness is something that every parent tries to instill in his and/or her child(ren). To that extent it is one more way in which the stories presented in this DVD prove to be so important to the DVD’s overall presentation.

On another note, “Daniel Is Big Enough To Help Dad” is another prime example of why the stories featured in these episodes are so important to the DVD’s overall presentation. This episode sees Daniel wanting to be like his dad as his dad works on his playhouse. He wants to use tools and paint just like his dad. Every young child reaches that point where he or she wants to emulate a parent. This critic’s own son is at that age at which he wants to be just like his dad, cooking in the kitchen. So it makes this episode’s story just as relatable especially for adults. What’s more it is an important episode for parents to watch as it shows smart ways to tackle that all important stage of life in which children model their parents. Daniel’s dad doesn’t discourage him. Rather he finds a way that Daniel can help him but do so safely at the same time. It shows just how important this series (and not just this episode) is for adults as it is for children. And it isn’t the only episode featured here that emphasizes the importance of the show’s episodes to all of its audiences. “Daniel Fixes Trolley” proves to be just as important for children and adults as does “Daniel Tries A New Food” and basically every other episode featured here.” Keeping all of this in mind, it should be clear by now just how important the stories presented in each featured episode are to the DVD’s overall presentation. They are just one element of the DVD that makes it so “super,” too. The lessons that are taught throughout the episodes are just as important as the stories featured in each episode.

The stories that are presented in each of the DVD’s featured episodes are in themselves of great importance to the DVD’s overall presentation. Of course they are just one element of the whole that should be noted. The lessons that are presented in the featured episodes are just as important as the episodes’ stories. “Daniel Fixes Trolley” teaches young viewers the important lesson of self-reliance and independence at a basic level. By having Daniel fix his trolley on his own, Daniel’s mom teaches him that he doesn’t need to rely on them for everything. Sure, it’s okay to rely on his parents for somethings. But what she is doing is showing him that at his age, he needs to start doing a little bit on his own. It is an extremely important developmental lesson that audiences of all ages will appreciate and just one example of the importance of the lessons presented throughout this DVD’s featured episodes. “Daniel’s New Friend” teaches a different lesson that is just as important for young viewers as any of the others presented in these episodes. This episode sees Daniel meeting a girl who has what appears to be cerebral palsy. Because of her condition, Daniel keeps trying to help her. But she shows Daniel that she can still do things just fine for herself despite her condition. The lesson is obvious: Just because someone might have a certain condition, paying special attention to that condition is not always the best thing. This applies even when one thinks that going out of one’s way to help is the right thing. In fact sometimes doing just that only makes things worse for all involved. It’s just one more example of how the lessons presented in these episodes prove to be just as important to the DVD’s presentation as the stories presented in each episode. Even as important as they and the other featured lessons are to the DVD’s overall presentation they are not the only important lessons included in this disc. There is also an extra lesson included inside the DVD’s case as bonus material of sorts. They round out the DVD’s most notable elements.

Both the stories presented in this DVD’s episodes and their lessons are of equal importance to the DVD’s overall presentation. While both elements are of equal importance to the DVD’s overall presentation, they are not the DVD’s only notable elements. The bonus lesson included inside the DVD’s case are just as important as those elements. The lesson in question presents adults with a group of ways to encourage children’s imaginary play. At the same time it also notes the importance of imaginary play in children’s social and emotional development, thus making the lesson all the more important to the DVD’s overall presentation. Getting back on the subject at hand, the lesson is taught having children have a dress up box in which they keep capes, crowns, uniforms, jewelry, and much more depending on the situation. The box can hold the costumes and children can pick and choose their costumes of choice. They can even choose costumes to use for a show for family and friends. Another suggestion that is included in the DVD’s bonus lesson is to use familiar objects. It encourages the us of play versions of phones, kitchen tools, cash registers, and much more in conjunction with the costumes in the dress box as part of children’s imaginary play. There is also the suggestion of having parents use puppets that can be made with their children. Whether through the creation and use of said puppets, famlair objects, or for the costume box and costumes, it can be said of all three that each could easily be realistically used to help children in their imaginary play. They are pieces that can be made and used both in the classroom and the living room. And being so easy to make and use, they make the bonus lesson all the more important to the DVD’s bonus lesson. That bonus works in whole with the lessons featured in the DVD’s episodes and their associated stories to make the DVD’s overall viewing experience a truly “super” experience for audiences of all ages.

The overall viewing experience in PBS Kids’ new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVD is a “super” experience to say the very least. That is thanks in large part to the stories that are presented in each of the DVD’s featured episodes. The lessons that are included in each story are just as important to the episodes as their stories. The bonus lesson that is included inside the DVD’s case rounds out the whole thing, completing the DVD’s viewing experience. Each element is important in its own right to the DVD’s overall viewing experience. Altogether, they make the DVD’s overall viewing experience and the DVD in whole simply super. It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 2nd. It can be pre-ordered online now direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=81189156&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood+super+daniel&origkw=Daniel+Tiger%27s+Neighborhood+Super+Daniel&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood DVDs is available online now along with all of the latest news from the series at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danieltigertv

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Delves Into America’s Crime History In New Episode Of American Experience

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This winter PBS and PBS Distribution will take audiences into the lives of two of America’s most notorious criminals when they release American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde.

American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde will be released on Tuesday, February 16th. It will be available exclusively on DVD. The approximately hour-long program follows the lives of the infamous duo both before its meeting and during its time together. It seeks to discover what continues to make Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow such polarizing figures even today. It will retail for MSRP of $24.99. However, audiences can pre-order it now online at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at

http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258136&cp=&kw=american+experience+bonnie+and+clyde&origkw=American+Experience+bonnie+and+clyde&sr=1. Audiences can check out a preview of this episode of American Experience online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1_NZFZERvc.

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperience

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Will Really “Dig” New NOVA Episode

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS has spent ample time in the last number of years or so examining the roots of today’s human civilization.  Programs such as NOVA: Becoming Human (2010), NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals (2013), and First Peoples (2015) have collectively presented an in-depth history of human evolution and civilization throughout the species’ history.  Late last year, PBS made yet another addition to that already extensive stable of programs with the release of NOVA: Dawn Of Humanity in November 2015.  The recently released two-hour program complements those programs quite well and is another piece that students and lovers of history and archaeology will equally appreciate.  The central reason that both audience groups will appreciate it is its subject matter.  It is another piece on the history of humans.  But it is far more specific in terms of its subject matter.  That will be discussed shortly.  The program’s presentation in terms of its makeup is another reason that it is worth the watch.  Last but not least of note in this latest evolutionary science selection from PBS is the material that makes up the body of the program.  Each element proves important in its own right to the program’s overall presentation.  Altogether they make NOVA: Dawn of Humanity yet another impressive new offering from NOVA and PBS.  Together they show why NOVA remains the best science-based program on television today and why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is another interesting addition to PBS’ current series of programs centered on the evolutionary sciences.  It is more proof of why NOVA remains today the leading science-based series on television and why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  It proves this centrally through its subject matter.  It is, as noted, not the first of PBS’ programs that has ever been centered on human evolution.  However, unlike those programs, this program is less broad in terms of its subject matter.  It is focused centrally on the discovery of remains in a cave in South Africa.  The remains in question are some of the most eye-opening that scientists have located to this day.  That is because, as is posited through interviewers and general discussion, they form skeletons that prove to be even closer to humans than any previously discovered remains elsewhere on Earth.  The program examines the significance of this revelation in relation to the link between humans and hominids in full depth.  It also examines how the remains got to their final resting place and how that plays into the remains’ link to humans.  That in itself is quite interesting to learn.  This is just a portion of the program’s centralized discussion that makes it so interesting for students and lovers of history and archaeology.  There is more tied into that discussion for audiences to discover themselves.  It is also just one part of the program in whole that makes it worth the watch.  The manner in which the two-hour program is presented is just as important as the subject at its center.

The subject matter that sits at the center of NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is in itself a largely important part of the program’s overall presentation.  That is because it is far less broad than topics presented in previous PBS presentations centered on evolutionary sciences.  Instead of focusing on the overall topic of human evolution, this program focuses on the discovery of remains that could potentially be the closest link to humans of any ever found.  While this is important to note of the program’s overall presentation, the manner in which the topic is presented is just as important to note as its subject matter.  NOVA: Dawn of Humanity comes in at a total run time (TRT) of roughly two hours.  That is double the time of the typical episode of NOVA.  Over the course of that time, audiences get two seamless segments.  The first segment focuses mainly on the discovery of the skeletal remains in the Rising Star cave, the history of the cave, and the overall importance of the find.  They even learn that the cave was first discovered during the South African Gold Rush of the late 1880s yet apparently untouched by the men that discovered it.  That in itself is fodder for a whole other episode of NOVA.  It begs the question what did they find that led them to just walk away from it.  The second segment focuses mainly on the efforts to extract the remains.  Audiences will laugh at the rather specific requirements that were listed for those that applied to take part in the excavation.  Applicants had to have certain measurements (specifically be rather petite) because of the tight spaces that had to be navigated in order to reach the cave.  What’s more the very fact that the job was posted via Facebook and received such huge response is just as interesting.  Of course it was just as interesting and surprising to the man that posted the job.  That is just part of what makes this segment so interesting.  There is also the excitement of those involved in the excavation in being part of it.  This includes the project’s head.  There is, again, much more for audiences to enjoy.  Through it all the two segments are connected seamlessly from beginning to end.  There is no one segment separate from the other.  It is all one presentation.  Yet the separation point is still clear.  And being so clear, it’s almost like it isn’t even there.  That subtlety ensures that audiences will remain engaged from beginning to end.  It’s one more way in which NOVA: Dawn of Humanity proves to be another interesting episode of NOVA.

The subject matter presented in NOVA: Dawn of Humanity and the overall presentation of the subject matter are both key elements to the program’s presentation.  As important as they are to the program they are not all that audiences will appreciate.  The material that makes up the program’s overall presentation is just as important as its subject matter and its subtly segmented presentation.  The material that makes up the body of the program includes the standard interviews with those closest to the subject, of course.  They discuss the importance of the find both in regards to its historical importance and to its importance in today’s current scientific community.  There are also graphic depictions of the “evolutionary tree” depicting the link between the different branches of mankinds’ evolutionary links.  It helps to better illustrate the connections and why they are so important.  There are also some reenactments incorporated into the program’s presentation, too.  They help to better illustrate the historical importance of the find.  Together with the interviews and the graphic elements, all three work together to make the material within NOVA: Dawn of Humanity its own important element in the program.  That important element is set against the program’s general presentation and its subject matter to make it in whole a program that lovers and students of history and archaeology will equally enjoy.

NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is not PBS’ first time delving into the world of evolutionary science.  However it is still an interesting program regardless.  That is thanks in large part to its subject matter.  Unlike previous programs centered on the subject, it is more centrally focused on one topic.  The program’s general presentation is just as important in its overall viewing experience.  The material used to make up the body of the program rounds out its most notable elements.  Each element is important to the whole of the program in its own way.  Altogether they make NOVA: Dawn of Humanity a program that every lover and student of history and archaeology will appreciate just as much as PBS’ previous evolutionary science programs.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=61808036&cp=&sr=1&kw=nova+dawn+of+humanity&origkw=nova+dawn+of+humanity&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.