Human Universe

2014 • BBC
49 reviews
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Season 1 episodes (5)

1 Apeman - Spaceman
Professor Brian Cox examines how it was that in a universe made of stars, rocks and endless space, a conscious civilisation was born. This adventure takes him from a submerged space station in Star City on the outskirts of Moscow, to Ethiopia, high above the great Rift Valley, where he encounters the geladas, mankind's distant ancestors. Despite once being Africa's most successful primate, a species who at one time roamed across the entire continent, these days they are found in just one place in the remote Ethiopian Highlands. Cox investigates why these ancestors retreated, yet modern mankind has expanded across the planet.
2 Why Are We Here?
In this episode, Professor Brian Cox is off to India, where he assesses arguably the first evidence of rational thought in literature - the poetry of Vedic monks. They pondered mankind's origins, realising there must have been a day with no yesterday - a day of creation - prompting the age-old question of where did the universe come from? Brian marvels that we live in a universe that seems to follow rules - the laws of physics. Rules that have allowed us to consider space on the grandest scale, travelling to the most distant reaches of the cosmos just by using our minds. Brian also visits Japan, and offers viewers the idea that we live in just one of an infinite number of universes that are being made all the time.
3 Are We Alone?
Is mankind alone, or are there aliens out there, either waiting to be discovered, or on their way to find Earth? Professor Brian Cox spends this episode asking such questions, and what he discovers may raise a few eyebrows. He begins by exploring the human race's efforts to find neighbours in outer space, including the launch of two golden discs containing greetings from Earth in the 1970s; they are still travelling and are now the most distant man-made objects from the planet. Brian also meets members of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, who have been monitoring radio signals for 50 years without success, before discussing the ingredients needed to make an intelligent civilisation with astroohysicist Dr Frank Drake.
4 A Place in Space and Time
On a trip to the fortified Moroccan village of Ait-Ben-Haddou in the Atlas Mountains, Professor Brian Cox reveals how by watching the stars' motion across the night sky, it is quite natural for man to think he is at the centre of everything. That view was held for many ages, but innate human curiosity has eventually led to an understanding of mankind's true place in space and time, and an appreciation that Earth is not a focal point but a mere particle of rock in a possibly infinite expanse of space, 13.8 billion years from the beginning of the universe.
5 What Is Our Future?
Professor Brian Cox concludes his exploration of humanity's places in the cosmos by examining what the future holds. In Florida, he learns about the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events and joins a team of NASA astronauts who are in a submerged laboratory that simulates space as they train for a future mission to an asteroid - should one ever be discovered heading to Earth.

About this show

This is the story of humanity, told through the greatest questions we've ever asked. Where are we in the Universe? What is the destiny of us and our planet? How did the human brain arise and why did we develop consciousness? Will our search for alien life be successful, or are we alone? The answers revealed in this landmark series offer an original new perspective on human life, combining dramatic specialist photography with innovative CGI all set in spectacular locations across the world as we explore the ultimate wonder of the universe - us.
49 reviews
Baz Parsons
January 2, 2015
You cannot play through HDMI who honestly wants to watch it on a tiny phone... google it for free
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David Myers
November 20, 2014
Better than his last series. Very good
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