Leicester Geologist goes time-travelling on TV tomorrow

Posted by mjs76 at Nov 18, 2010 05:32 PM |
If you have access to the National Geographic Channel you can catch Jan Zalasiewicz from our Department of Geology in a programme called Clash of the Continents.

Shown in the States a few weeks back, Clash of the Continents looks at Earth after mankind. Well after:

"Imagine that an astronaut goes through a space-time warp, bringing him home after 250 million years have passed on Earth. Continents are unrecognizable and every trace of mankind has vanished. To envision what this spaceman would see, experts travel around the world rediscovering our past in order to make predictions about the future. Asteroid collisions, glaciations and sudden volcanism are what created our present world. What natural forces may be responsible for our demise?"

Sacrificing a certain amount of scientific accuracy for sci-fi hoopla, the programme was produced in New Zealand with visual effects provided by Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop. Director Mike Ibeji is more usually found helming historical documentaries such as Decisive Weapons and A History of Britain but is, apparently, a big science fiction fan and this 2x1hr programme is said to be littered with in-jokes and background references. Nigel Dunstone, formerly of the University of Durham, was the principal researcher.

Clash of the Continents Part 1: End of Eden is on the National Geographic UK Channel at 8.00pm on Friday 19 November 2010, repeated at midnight, then at various times over the next couple of weeks. Part 2: End of Man isn’t currently listed in the schedule.

Jan’s involvement relates to his acclaimed 2008 book The Earth After Us which explored similar ground but without the spaceships and flashy special effects.