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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cameras travel to Tanzania to observe colobus monkeys living in the trees of Mount Meru. The monkeys, noted for their thick black and white fur, are seen caring for their young and interacting with other animals.
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.
A document of the year spent in French Polynesia by a New Jersey family. Aspects of their new-found lives include a community fishing drive; an evening feast on roast pig; an undersea expedition to the reef; a visit to a pagan temple; and Bastille Day in the capital city of Papeete.
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."
Creatures that inhabit the mangroves of Borneo, including proboscis monkeys, beer-bellied simians adept at swimming; fiddler crabs; mudskippers, which use their fins to traverse mud; and short-clawed otters.
A look at a Hong Kong family focuses on the Leongs, whose lifestyles are a blend of the diverse influences in the British colony. From their “floating store,” the Leongs sell a variety of merchandise to ship crews in the harbor. The documentary interweaves their story with scenes of shrines, factories and schools, and uses newsreels to trace the colony's history.
“The Voyage of the Brigantine Yankee” retraces the last world voyage (1957-58) of the vessel, captained by Irving Johnson and his wife. The focus is on Yankee's South Pacific ports-of-call, including Pitcairn Island.