An elephant herd in Namibia is observed, as the matriarch, called Knob Nose, leads eighteen other elephants through the unforgiving terrain. Also: Ginger Mauney and her veterinarian husband present their findings on the animals.
People who endeavor to restore treasures from the past. Included: Virginian Ken Hyde's recrafting of a WWI biplane; Soviet craftsmen laboring on the Catherine Palace in Leningrad; and Texans working on a 109-year-old tall ship.
This profile of gorillas addresses misconceptions about these endangered beasts, which are neither ferocious (except when threatened) nor unintelligent. Also: a look at experiments to teach gorillas sign language and a report on conservation work in Africa.
Tracing attempts to scale K2, the second-highest peak in the world, located in the Himalayas. In the past, would-be climbers have had to battle constant avalanches and hazardous weather conditions. Filmed in 1983 in Kashmir, India.
Chronicling a seven-year study of a river in Africa that appeared in 1957 and then suddenly ceased flowing in 1982. This natural phenomenon resulted in fierce competition among the wildlife it supported.
A 2000-mile journey across Europe, made by a 30-foot ketch and its owners. Cameras follow their progress on Europe's maze of waterways and offer sidelights of the trip: barge families living on the canals; the rescue of a yacht; Denmark's famed Tivoli Gardens; the ketch's arrival in Paris.
Machines that have altered modern life are examined. Included: robots to aid the handicapped; cameras that have photographed Jupiter from the Voyager spacecraft; and a computer that scans the brain to detect evidence of disease.
A portrait of Australia, focusing on sports and life in the bleak outback, where ranchers battle drought, floods and a prevailing loneliness. On film: Australians in the disastrous WWI Gallipoli campaign.
"Bushmen of the Kalahari," a civilization's move from the Stone Age to the present. This 1974 film documents the Bushmen's struggle to assimilate modern ways to their primitive culture, facing such obstacles as fences erected across their hunting grounds. Included: explorer John Marshall's reunion with the tribe, with whom he lived during the 1958 filming of "The Hunters," which he co-produced.
A study of the positive impact beavers have on the environment: their dam building forms ponds, creating better living conditions for flora and fauna. A beaver family is seen preparing for winter, repairing spring-flood damage to the dam, and raising their offspring.
A look at eight men crossing the Sahara in sailboats. The team of sailing experts navigates the world's largest desert in three-wheeled craft that streak across the dunes at speeds as high as 60 mph, exposing their drivers to the hazards of erratic winds, uneven terrain, scarce water and extreme temperatures.
A portrait of L.S.B. Leakey includes a review of the anthropologist's work, and reminiscences by his wife, son and colleagues. Clips show Leakey at a site in Africa, and on a speaking tour shortly before his death in 1972.
Memorable moments from the long-running series include Dr. Leakey's study of primates and evolution; a voyage on the QE2; China's efforts to breed giant pandas in captivity. Also: an exploration of the human body; a visit to Siberia; a trip down the Volga River; and a look at gray whales off the coast of Mexico.
Gold---how it's sought, smuggled, traded and hoarded. Included: black miners in South Africa; fortune hunters searching for ancient tribal tombs in Colombia; Italian goldsmiths making jewelry; and the London gold exchange.
A look at outdoor life on America's waterways, as experienced by six youngsters and their two adult leaders on a raft and kayak voyage down Idaho's Salmon River. Their adventures include banding a young golden eagle and living off the land. Also: a look at the Hudson and Potomac rivers, choked with pollution, and Florida's Everglades.
A study of the Chesapeake Bay, a “recreational paradise [and] vital commercial highway” on the Atlantic coast. Included: a stop at the annual Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield (Md.), the “crab capital of the world.” Also: the effects of pollution and overdevelopment upon the area.
A study of reptiles and amphibians looks at animated dinosaur exhibits; the frog's life cycle; snakes as mystical symbols; a rattlesnake eating its kill; courtship between Alpine newts; combat among alligators and iguanas. Also: a report on the Loch Ness monster.
Zoos of the world are visted. Included: an insectarium in Tokyo; black-and-white tigers in Delhi; giant pandas and a drive-through preserve in London; an albino gorilla in Barcelona. Other locations include New York, Tanzania, Antwerp, Frankfurt and San Diego.
Life, 8,000-feet under the Pacific, is observed on an underwater exploration. Descending in a minisub, members of this 1979 expedition set out to explore the Galapagos Rift, which harbors creatures such as 8-foot worms and Portuguese men-of-war.
Pursuing today's cowboys, men whose trade spawned the legends of the Wild West. Cameras roam fly-speck towns from Utah to California and follow cowboys who break horses, brand cattle and endure long, dreary trail drives. Included: Yaqui Indians dancing a centuries-old ritual to welcome the Easter season.
This history of the railroad industry explores the uses of trains, from transporting troops during WWII to delivering lettuce from California to New York. Also: rides aboard the Orient Express and a railway in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador.