To watch: "NOVA—Australia's First 4 Billion Years: Awakening"

This week on the long-running PBS science program NOVA, a really cool four-part documentary on what the geological history of Australia can teach us about how the earth was formed. My partner-in-crime Miles O'Brien watched this one at a special screening in DC recently with the film's director/host Dr. Richard Smith, and was blown away. Dr. Smith and his team "journey back to the very beginning of the Australian story", with a first stop in Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, "where we encounter an Earth shortly after its fiery birth."

Hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of when the Earth was born, how life first arose, and how it transformed the planet. Experts unveil how the earliest forms of life—an odd assortment of bacterial slime—flooded the atmosphere with oxygen, sparking the biological revolution that made animal life possible. It is the beginning of the great drama of life on Earth.

There's a preview video, and more about each of the documentary's four parts, here.


  1. “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions”.

    I’m in Australia… 

    It;s a shame Life™ didn’t think of DMCA 4.5 billion years ago. Further evidence of unintelligent design.

    1. Right restrictions? RIGHT RESTRICTIONS??? You mean we didn’t get our rights back after they stopped shipping convicts to our shores?

      I will break these shackles. What can PBS possibly do, transport me to Australia?

  2. my best friend’s mother-in-law makes $68/hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her check was $19994
    just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on  Fab99.c­om

  3. I’d find out for myself but the drive up north to the bits of Western Australia I’d assume they would be going on about is at least 2000km away from the capital.

    Texas (or for that matter, Alaska) has got nothin on Western Australia.

  4. Its a tired old country we have here, like a big sand bank. When I travel I am often surprised at how much solid rock there is around the world. Like in central park, New York. There are these huge masses of rock. Did they ship them in from New Zealand? It looks weird to me. Our big rocks were ground down to sand a billion years ago.

  5. Valac: this was aired on the ABC a while ago. I can’t remember the title , but I’m pretty sure ‘Time Travel[lers]’ was part of it.

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