Tag Archives: PBS Distribution

A Trio of Must-See NOVA Programs, Now on DVD

Three new Nova programs, now on DVD, from PBS Distribution, all must-see viewing.

Nova: Thai Cave Rescue
In this program viewers will follow the dramatic rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang Cave in Thailand, where they had been trapped for 18 days. This program  features interviews with key people that were involved in the search and rescue and explains how the team became trapped in the cave.

After multiple failed attempts to find the boys and their coach, an international team of rescuers was called upon to find them and ultimately bring them to safety. Nova: Thai Cave Rescue is a stunning example of innovation, teamwork and human endurance in one of the most hostile environments on earth–a flooded cave.

Nova: Last B-24
Seventy-four years ago, an American B-24 Liberator bomber known as the Tulsamerican fell from the sky and disappeared beneath the waves of the Adriatic Sea. Seven crew members survived the crash and were rescued, three men were never found.

Seven decades later, the bomber was discovered by amateur divers, nearly 135 feet beneath the water’s surface at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. A specialized group within the Pentagon, The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was alerted and quickly formed a specialized expedition team. Viewers join the Croatian Navy and some of the world’s leading underwater archaeologists as they investigate the wreckage and try to find remains of the lost crew members. Later the team of archaeologists joins a team of forensics experts as they work to identify the remains that are recovered from the wreck.

Nova: Operation Bridge Rescue
The Blenheim Covered Bridge in New York State is an icon of 19th century American engineering. Built in 1855, it was the longest single span covered bridge in the world, but in 2011 the bridge was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The program follows a team of elite bridge builders and engineers as they faithfully reproduce the intricate timber structure under immense pressure—spring floods are coming and threaten to destroy the worksite.

Viewers then travel to China to witness traditional craftsmen restoring thousand-year-old covered bridges, all based on their ingenious frameworks of woven timber beams. These ancient bridges are the heart of their communities and allow for trade and worship in other villages, but typhoons are destroying these bridges as well. Viewers discover how Chinese artisans are keeping traditional skills alive to ensure the bridges survival.

PBS Distribution new DVD, “Nature: Super Cats”, is the cat’s meow!

Everyone is intrigued by big cats, but how much do we really know about them? In Nature: Super Cats (PBS Distribution), viewers get a never before seen glimpse into the lives of these wild creatures. Presented in three parts, this series uncovers the secret lives of wild cats with groundbreaking technology, never used before to film our feline friends.

Filmed over a span of 600 days in 14 different countries, this program features 31 cat species, including the Iberian Lynx, the Margay from Central and South America, and the deadliest cat of them all, Africa’s Black-Footed Cat.

Super Cats also reveals the social sides…their complex communication, devoted parental care, courtship rituals, hunting patterns and more. Remote cameras and low-light technology help capture rare moments in the lives of wildcats including a swamp tiger taking a bath in the sea, never before revealed on screen.

The three episodes included in the program are: Extreme Lives, where we meet the planet’s ultimate cats, including the Cheetah, the Snow Leopard, the Canada Lynx, and the African Leopard.  Using the latest scientific research, we are exposed to the inner life of these cats like never before. In episode two, Cats in Every Corner, we discover how cats thrive in almost every landscape on earth from the wetlands of Asia to the world’s oldest desert in Africa to the forest of Central America and in the secluded beaches of California. Episode three, Science and Secretsreveals how new approaches and technologies are helping to uncover some of cats most intimate secrets including the cheetah’s remarkable gymnastic abilities and why lions are able to hunt so cooperatively.

Narrated by Oscar winning actor F. Murray Abraham, (“Amadeus”) “NATURE: SUPER CATS” unveils the various lives these creatures lead from the solitary bachelor snow leopard in the Himalayas to the elusive swamp tiger of South Asia. It follows exquisite predators such as one exceptional Californian bobcat, blind in one eye yet able to capture airborne prey.

PBS Distribution releases two exceptional “Nature” programs

When Nature comes a-calling, we go a-watching. PBS Distribution has released two new programs on DVD and digital from Nature. Both are must-sees!

Nature: A Squirrel’s Guide to Success
The squirrel family is one of the most widespread on Earth. There are almost 300 species of squirrel, those that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes, and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. In this new eye-opening program viewers learn about the extraordinary abilities and secrets to success of these nut lovers. Some of the species featured include: the fox squirrel which can remember the location of 9,000 nuts, the gray squirrel whose jumps are the basis for new designs in robotics, and the Arctic ground squirrel, who, to survive the frigid winters of Alaska, hibernates by dropping its heart rate, breathing and body temperature.

Every two to three weeks the squirrel will shiver to warm itself. Viewers also see the world through the eyes of an orphaned red squirrel named Billy, as he grows up and develops all the skills he needs to be released back into the wild.

Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions
Filmed over two-years, this program takes viewers into the heart of an African wild dog family, led by a mother called Puzzles. When her mate, Jigsaw is suddenly killed by lions, (the wild dogs’ ultimate enemy) she is suddenly left to raise two generations of pups on her own and without the help of a pack. In this deeply intimate portrayal of motherhood, viewers witness the loyalty and selflessness that sets wild dogs apart from other large, social carnivores.

Wild dogs have a willingness to sacrifice almost anything for their pack, a behavior wired into their DNA. As Puzzles’s young litter grows up, the pups provide some light-hearted moments while discovering the world around them, including new creatures, such as elephants, giraffes, and impala. Hopefully they will have the chance to encounter a hyena, their favorite form of entertainment – hounding and hazing hyenas whenever they get the chance. A year after Jigsaw’s passing, Puzzles and her young crew get a chance for revenge on the lions. Deciding to steal a fresh carcass that a few lions are feasting on, the pack stands their ground and enjoy a rare victory against their greatest enemy.

Vivian Howard’s “Final Harvest” is a mighty tasty treat

Even the closing of an era can be awfully tasty. In The Final Harvest (PBS Distribution), the series finale of A Chef’s Life, host and best-selling author Vivian Howard prepares a farewell feast of epic proportions. After five seasons of the Emmy and Peabody-winning series, only a handful of dishes remain on Vivian’s bucket list. She tackles them all with the help of some friends along the way in this spectacular series finale.

The Final Harvest features some of the show’s most beloved personalities along with a series-worth of memorable flashbacks. Vivian’s parents, Mrs. Scarlett and Mr. John, share intimate moments and reveal how Vivian’s success has changed their family, and most importantly, made them proud. Vivian’s husband Ben reveals an unexpected tenderness when describing the impact of the series on his family and community. A fitting sign-off to the series, friends new and old take a seat at A Chef’s Life final harvest table, bringing to a close this extended love letter to eastern North Carolina.

The series, like no other, takes viewers on a heartwarming and compelling journey to meet unsung farmers, home cooks, and chefs, and simultaneously elevates quintessential Southern dishes to new modern classics.

 

Star-studded cast follows the greatness of “Poetry in America”

Poetry in America(PBS Distribution)gathers personalities from all walks of life to interpret, explore and debate 12 unforgettable American poems. Show host and Harvard professor Elisa New meets with athletes, poets, politicians, musicians, architects, scientists, actors, and entrepreneurs to experience and share the power of poetry in this visually dazzling series.

The program follows Carl Sandburg to Chicago and Emily Dickinson to Amherst. Along the way notable personalities like actor Cynthia Nixon, former Vice President Joe Biden and world-famous architect Frank Gehry share their reflections on poems from Gwendolyn Brooks to Allen Ginsberg to Nas. Highlights include sports superstar Shaquille O’Neal reading “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch and musician Herbie Hancock and former President Bill Clinton sharing their thoughts on Langston Hughes’ “Harlem.”

The 12 American poems explored in Season One show viewers the lasting power of poetry. The 12 poems explored are “I cannot dance opon my toes,” by Emily Dickinson; “Fast Break” by Edward Hirsch; “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden; “Hymmnn and Hum Bom!” by Allen Ginsberg; “Skyscraper” by Carl Sandburg; “Harlem” by Langston Hughes; “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden; “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky; “To Prisoners” by Gwendolyn Brooks; “The Gray Heron” by Galway Kinnell; “N.Y State of Mind” by Nas and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus.

“Secrets of Britain’s Great Cathedrals” gives unprecedented access behind the walls of these spectacular buildings

Britain’s ancient cathedrals and abbeys reflect the country’s turbulent history through their significant heritage and architectural grandeur. Fans of the hit and multi award-winning show Downton Abbey are sure to enjoy Secrets of Britain’s Great Cathedrals (PBS Distribution), an eight episode program that explores cathedrals and abbeys found throughout England and Wales showing their legendary facades and soaring interior spaces, revealing secrets many may not know.

In the eight episodes of the series viewers are given unprecedented access behind the walls of these spectacular buildings, and are given incredible insight into the most influential cathedrals, abbeys and bishop’s palaces in the country. Featuring interviews with historians and experts, this program” take viewers on a 1,500-mile journey from the north to the south, and across the length of Wales exploring these magnificent architectural structures.

Secrets of Britain’s Great Cathedrals explores some of the greatest buildings in the U.K., including York Minster which is the largest cathedral in Britain and Canterbury Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in England, and mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion. Two other buildings viewers get a rare glimpse at are St. Paul’s Cathedral, where they learn why cathedrals are called ‘fabric’ and explore the cathedral’s memorial book which includes the names of American soldiers who lost their lives in WWII, including legendary swing band leader, Glenn Miller. Westminster Abbey is also explored as viewers learn that it is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country and why it is called a Royal Peculiar. Many other magnificent buildings are explored throughout the eight episode series where secrets are revealed and important information is discussed.

“Jamestown” follows the lives of three women who make the journey of a lifetime for a new life in 17th century America

PBS Distribution kicks the new year into high gear with the highly-anticipated release of Jamestown Season 1 & 2 on DVD on January 29.  From the producers of Downton Abbey, this exciting and dramatic series follows the lives of three courageous, dynamic women who decide to leave their dark pasts behind in England, and make the journey of a lifetime across the ocean for a new life in 17th century America.

In Season 1 viewers are taken back to 1619 Jamestown, Virginia. For 12 years, it has been populated only by men, but the settlement is shaken up when the first women, including Alice (played Sophie Rundle), Verity (Niamh Walsh) and Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), land in this breathtaking wilderness. The settlement is on the brink of change summoned by the arrival of a new governor who brings new laws that cause power struggles not only within the town, but also with the native inhabitants, the Pamunkey. While love triangles, bitter rivalries, and fierce competition cause conflict for the residents, ultimately, they are bound together by their resolute will to survive and thrive in their new lives.

Season 2 brings viewers back to Jamestown where Alice, Verity, and Jocelyn are continuing their lives. The colony is thriving and tobacco plantations are starting to provide the wealth they promised. As births, deaths, and broken marriages start to compound, the settlers find themselves again in the midst of new adventures, as a kidnapping, new rivalries, and a traitor threaten to disrupt the peace. New romantic connections are made, desires repressed, and even the purest of loves will be tested. The power of politics will impact the entire community, as the battle for supremacy continues.

FRONTLINE explores two important issues on two important PBS programs

PBS Distribution has released two important FRONTLINE programs on DVD.

FRONTLINE: The Pension Gamble
America’s public pension is in a multi-trillion-dollar hole but who’s to blame? Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out today in Kentucky. The trio investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions in debt. The documentary presents the Blue Grass state’s crisis and how, as the legislative session drew to a close in March of 2018, State Republicans tried a last-minute move to pass a new bill that addressed the failing public pension systems. That move then led to a public outcry.

FRONTLINE examines how Kentucky’s once thriving pension system is now one of the worst in the nation. The program expands upon broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.

FRONTLINE: The Facebook DilemmaIn this new program, FRONTLINE conducts a year-long investigation into the social media platform and takes a look at the genesis of Facebook, which was to create a more open and connected world. However, the company has failed to protect millions of users’ data and has fallen prey to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation. These mounting crises beg the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful?

FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma uncovers that as the social media giant grew, there were few limits on what content was being posted – and the company allocated insufficient resources to enforcing its guidelines – leaving that in the hands of the public.

Using dozens of original interviews and rare footage, the program shows how Facebook faced claims of misuse while becoming an unprecedented global player. It shows the company’s role sowing division worldwide and the challenges facing the social media platform. The documentary also finds that multiple warnings about the platform’s negative impact on privacy and democracy were eclipsed by the company’s relentless pursuit of growth – and its users’ data.

No mystery about one of the new year’s best new DVDs: “Frankie Drake Mysteries”

A new year. And new and important DVDs to tell you about.

The first season of the exciting 11-part female-driven crime mystery series Frankie Drake Mysteries has just been released by PBS Distribution. Set against a backdrop of social change, radical politics and jazz music, the series featuring the fearless, adventurous and astute Frankie Drake who defies expectations, is immersed in both the real Toronto of the ’20s and the world of mystery and suspense conjured by creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.

Starring Lauren Lee Smith, the series follow’s Toronto’s only female private detective in the ’20s as she takes on the cases the police don’t want or can’t handle. Her gender is her biggest advantage – who would ever think a woman could be a detective? She has a knack for solving cases but she’s no cop – her brand of justice doesn’t always follow the law.

Along with her partner Trudy (played by Chantel Riley), Frankie and the Drake Detective Agency take on cases of all shapes and sizes. From airplanes and booze running to American G-men, Communists and union busters, Frankie’s fearless sense of adventure gets her into all kinds of trouble, but she always manages to find her way out. In a time of change and hopefulness, Frankie is a woman ahead of everyone. She’s a new detective for a new world.

But is the world ready for her?

 

The fascinating history behind Shakespeare’s greatest plays concludes with “Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3”

To be or not to be . . . the owner of Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3 (PBS Distribution). The answer is obvious: Be!

The fascinating history behind Shakespeare’s greatest plays concludes with celebrated new hosts Helen Hunt, F. Murray Abraham, Romola Garai, Brian Cox, Simon Russell Beale and Sir Antony Sher who seamlessly weave their personal passions with history, biography, iconic performances and new analysis to tell the stories behind Shakespeare’s most famous works. The final season investigates Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and Richard III.

The program reveals not just the elements in the play, but the history of the play itself. What sparked the creation of each of these works? Where did Shakespeare find his plots and what new forms of theater did he forge? What cultural, political and religious factors influenced his writing? How have the plays been staged and interpreted from Shakespeare’s time to now? Why at different times has each play been popular — or ignored? Why has this body of work endured so thoroughly? What, in the end, makes Shakespeare unique.