The Ascent of Man (1973– )

TV Series  -   -  Documentary
8.3
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An account of man's development through his scientific and technological achievements.

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Season:

1

Year:

1973
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jacob Bronowski ...
 Himself - Presenter (13 episodes, 1973)
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Storyline

Jacob Bronowski, a friend of many famous 20th century nuclear physicists describes the history of Man from Ape to computer-maker. He touches upon the history of art, empires and science. Written by Sundar Narayan

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Genres:

Documentary

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Release Date:

7 January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Powstawanie czlowieka  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the initial broadcast of the program, each segment had an epilogue by a very young Anthony Hopkins, who once was a student of Dr. Bronowski's. See more »


Soundtracks

Voyage
Written by The Moody Blues
Performed by The Moody Blues
Courtesy of Mobile Fidelity Records
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User Reviews

 
Landmark TV series
1 May 2014 | by (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

This landmark BBC series from 1973 covers, in thirteen episodes, humanity's scientific and technological discoveries, more or less chronologically. Its host is Jacob Bronowski, a Polish born, British based Jewish mathematician. Clearly an influence on Carl Sagan's Cosmos, this was a sort of an answer to Kenneth Clark's great series Civilization, which despite its title, did not cover science but only art (and only Western European art at that).

The short, brilliant Bronowski reminisces about his personal anecdotes with some of the greatest scientists and intellectuals of the 20th century, like Enrico Fermi, John Von Neumann, Leo Szilard and Aldous Huxley. As did Sagan in Cosmos, he puts himself ideologically in the humanist pro science center left (though he is not as strident an atheist as Sagan). Bronowski would die a year later after this was released from a heart attack. At times, during the series, he looks worn and tired (he was in his mid sixties when he filmed this). The shooting of this series in several countries (including places quite remote in the 1970s such as Easter Island and Machu Picchu or as emotionally moving as Auschwitz, where a large portion of his family died) must have been quite strenuous on him.

In 40 years, some of it has dated, naturally (the computer graphics look very crude now, and some of the scientific information has been surpassed by more recent knowledge) but this is still a very worthwhile, informative TV series to watch.


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