9.0/10
621
6 user 1 critic

The Ascent of Man 

An account of man's development through his scientific and technological achievements.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1975  
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Civilisation (TV Series 1969)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Sir Kenneth Clarke guides us through the ages exploring the glorious rise of civilisation in western man. Beginning with the bleakness of the dark ages to the present day, we consider ... See full summary »

Stars: Kenneth Clark, Nicholas Blake, William Devlin
Connections (TV Mini-Series 1978)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

Follow James Burke through the history of science and technology in this collection of 10 1-hour episodes, starting with "The Trigger Effect."

Stars: James Burke, Mark Wing-Davey
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

James Burke explores key moments in Western History where new knowledge in science changed the way the modern Western world thinks.

Stars: James Burke, Roger Avon, Jeff Pirie
A History of Britain (2000–2002)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A comprehensive historical survey of the British Isles.

Stars: Simon Schama, Michael Kitchen, Samuel West
How Art Made the World (TV Series 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Documentary series looking at the influence of art on the current day situation of our society.

Stars: Nigel Spivey, Dominic Ffytche, James David Lewis-Williams
The Story of India (TV Mini-Series 2007)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Michael Wood visits places and interviews experts all over India to cover the great chapters of the subcontinent's history.

Stars: Michael Wood, Chris Baily
The Story of China (TV Mini-Series 2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years.

Stars: Michael Wood, Frank Ching, Tao Tao Liu
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Documentary series retracing the journey of Alexander the Great across sixteen countries.

Stars: Michael Wood
Cosmos (1980)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the various elements and cosmological theories of the universe.

Stars: Carl Sagan, Jaromír Hanzlík, Jonathan Fahn
Simon Schama's Power of Art (TV Series 2006)
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In each episode historian Simon Schama treats, in his own erudite, unconventional and somewhat socially engaged style, a work of art from a great master. He concentrates not just on the art... See full summary »

Stars: Simon Schama, Grégoire Bonnet, Allan Corduner
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines we have built. Although we don't realize it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers.

Stars: Adam Curtis, Stewart Brand, Peder Anker
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Andrew Marr's History of the World is a 2012 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers 70,000 years of world history from the beginning of human civilisation, ... See full summary »

Stars: Andrew Marr, Pierre Marais, Aubrey Shelton
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Jacob Bronowski ...
 Himself - Presenter 13 episodes, 1973
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Powstawanie czlowieka  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Water Power (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Narrow Way
Written by Pink Floyd
Performed by Nick Mason
Courtesy of Capitol Records USA
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the most remarkable achievements in television history
15 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

This extraordinary series, thirteen fifty-minute episodes, is one of television's highest achievements; nearly forty years after its completion, it has lost little of its luster.

A mathematician whose professional journey included work on the Manhattan Project, later at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, as well as an editor and scholar of the works of William Blake, Dr. Jacob Bronowski was one of the last true Renaissance men.

Presented here is a veritable smörgåsbord of human history cast against scientific advancements and technological innovations that take the viewer around the world, from the dawn of Man to the then-present of 1972. Along the way, Dr. Bronowski stops to examine some of humanity's greatest accomplishments - and lowest depths. One outstanding quality of this remarkable series is that he speaks to the viewer directly and very personally through the lens of the camera; the book of the same name is a virtual transcript of his remarks.

Not simply lectures (nor read from a script), these extemporaneous essays offer Bronowski's "personal view" on a wide range of human, scientific and technological history, presented in both a dramatic and memorable fashion. For example, the episodes are sprinkled with delightful (and sometimes moving) anecdotes of various people, some of whom Bronowski knew and worked with - such as Leo Szilard (who first conceived the concept of sustained nuclear fission - even coining the term "chain reaction" - and who subsequently wrote the letter which Einstein signed that was sent to FDR, bringing about the Manhattan Project) and John von Neumann (one of the great mathematicians of the twentieth century and the "Father of Electronic Computing").

Anyone with even a passing interest in the history of our species and its place amongst the stars, or of science in general, will be astonished, delighted, deeply moved and profoundly affected by "The Ascent of Man." The production value is of the highest order throughout (and, now in its second DVD incarnation, the sound, which was always somewhat problematic, has been greatly improved, matching the often stunning visuals).

(NOTE: Viewers who enjoy this series will also enjoy both the seven-part BBC miniseries "Oppenheimer" (1980) and their production of Michael Frayen's play "Copenhagen" (2002), both available on DVD.)

Highest possible recommendation.


46 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page