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.
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.
A look at big cats reports on four endangered species. Included: Siberian tigers, seen in a Swedish zoo; American mountain lions, seen in the Idaho wilderness; Amazonian jaguars, which trappers are driving deeper into the jungle; and Asiatic lions, observed in a forest in southwest India.
A transatlantic voyage aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 launches this homage to the great passenger ships of this century. Also: newsreel clips of luxurious liners from the past, including France's Normandie; and Great Britain's majestic sister liners, the Queens Mary and Elizabeth.
America's national parks, scanning the country's wilderness heritage. Included: Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park; elk herding in Yellowstone; the beauties of the Grand Canyon and the Everglades; a coral jungle off the Virgin Islands; and the grandeur of the giant sequoias.
A behind-the-scenes look at the Soviet Circus includes a stunning aerial performance in Lvov; the Soviet Union's most famous clown; and the Moscow Circus School, which annually accepts only 70 out of 1000 applicants.
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.
In this look at life on the sea, cameras follow a Portuguese schooner on a six-month voyage, where the crew fish 12 hours a day and clean the catch for another six. Also observed: a storm at sea; the captain in yarning; and shore leave in Canada.
"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.
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 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.
Three denizens of the American West: coyotes, rattlesnakes and mustangs. This report shows coyotes foraging during a harsh Wyoming winter; a New Mexico couple who study rattlers; and Nevada's wild horses competing with ranchers' livestock for water.
A look at creatures of the night dispels some myths about nocturnal animals as cameras observe harmless cave-dwelling bats hunting for insects; great horned owls swooping for prey; a pack of hyenas searching for food; and creatures of the underground that have lost their sight and skin pigment in the dark.
Modern Norsemen in the Faeroe Islands, midway between Scotland and Iceland. Cameras record the Norsemen's lifestyle, which includes herding sheep, fishing in the North Atlantic and hunting whales. Written and directed by George A. Vicas.
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.
A study of earthquakes and volcanoes includes disasters in Japan and Iceland, and interviews with geologists. Also: California's San Andreas fault, which is expected to trigger "a major quake within the next 30 years."