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.
Yellowstone National Park and Alaska are visited to study the grizzly---an animal "celebrated and romanticized". Included: preservation efforts; scenes of bruins catching and devouring fish; and interviews with researchers.
"Australia's Animal Mysteries"---and scientific efforts to unravel them. Included: some of the 50 species of kangaroos; the platypus, a duck-billed, egg-laying mammal; the koala (a marsupial, not a bear); and the flying opossum.
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.
A look at the Great Mojave Desert surveys human presence in that part of Southern California. Segments focus on mining and sheepherding activities; naturalist Colin Fletcher exploring Death Valley on foot; a one-woman ballet in a town of 32 persons.
Part 1 of a two-part retrospective on the series. Included: an exploration of the human body; Dr. Leakey's study of primates and evolution; a voyage on the QE2; a look at gray whales off the coast of Mexico.
A tour of Jerusalem includes the Wailing Wall, where Jews have prayed for some 2000 years; and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on what is said to be the site of Jesus's tomb. Also: comments by Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek.
Documenting an Arctic wildlife expedition to the Canadian North, headed by conservationist Al Oeming. The quarry (to be shipped back to Oeming's preserve) includes Peary's caribou, musk oxen, wolf pups and a baby walrus.
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.
A 1965 documentary about chimpanzee research in Tanzania, conducted by Jane Goodall. Films of the chimpanzee community illustrate Goodall's findings: the primates improvise and use tools---a vital step in the evolution of man.
The origins and evolution of humans are examined through archival and contemporary footage. Included: Richard Leakey's 1984 unearthing of a 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton; and Ofar Bar Yosef's research in Israel of a cave once inhabited by Neanderthals.
A look at Siberia examines the Soviet Union's awakening colossus. Filmed in 1969 in Irkutsk, a gray, growing city of 500,000, which typifies the new Siberia with its heavy industry, concert halls, theaters and circus.
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.
The world of birds is examined, including bird evolution, the mechanics of flight and birds' ability to mimic. Observed: the courting rituals of the albatross and the bird of paradise (filmed by German naturalist Heinz Sielmann).
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.
Traveling by foot, dog sled and raft, four men retrace a gold-rush route through the Klondike. Like the prospectors of the 1890s, they trek across the snowbound Chilkoot Pass and down the Yukon River. Also: a stop at Dawson, a restored frontier town.
A journey down the Amazon, from its source in the Peruvian Andes to its mouth in northern Brazil. Views of isolated forest tribes include a school for witch doctors. Also: a ruined Inca city; an American expatriate who captures wildlife for zoos; piranha fish attacking their kill.