For 125 years, National Geographic has been at the forefront in exploration, conservation and scientific research. But exploration is about more than just climbing mountains and crossing oceans. It means asking tough questions, taking on challenges, and relentlessly pushing toward the next frontier. Exploration is also about getting involved, breaking down barriers and looking at the world in a whole new way.
In celebration of the National Geographic Societyâ€™s 125th anniversary, National Geographic Channel is launching EXPLORER TOP 125 â€“ one night each week throughout 2013 dedicated to the hot shots, the mavericks, and the best in their field who have devoted their lives to exploring the world around us and the ground-breaking discoveries that are making a difference. Each week throughout 2013, EXPLORER TOP 125 will feature exciting world-premieres as well as award-winning, critically-acclaimed programming that has left audiences and critics asking for more. As part of the year-long campaign, luxury watch brand Rolex will be joining National Geographic Channel as the global partner for Explorer Top 125 in 2013.
EXPLORER TOP 125 kicks off in January with A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION, a 125th Anniversary Special premiering on 12 January 2013 at 10pm exclusively on National Geographic Channel (Astro Ch 553). Trek across the globe, plunge the greatest depths, investigate the microcosm of the human genome and explore distant regions in space to uncover mind-blowing discoveries and the latest innovations. Meet the trailblazers who are working on the unexplored frontiers of human imagination and innovation. A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION also captures the compelling behind-the-scenes stories that make going to extremes worth the blood, sweat and tears.
A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION features legendary National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Robert Ballard who discovered Titanicâ€™s location, and emerging explorers like Albert Lin who is using virtual reality and the latest advances in satellite imagery to find and excavate the lost tomb of Genghis Kahn â€“ without removing a single stone. Find out how surgeon Sam Bhayani is uniting man and machine to achieve super-human results in the battle against cancer. Watch as intrepid virus hunters like Dr. Gary Kobinger put their lives on the line to develop break-through biological weapons that could stop the deadly Ebola virus once and for all. Join storm chaser Tim Samaras on the ultimate dare-devil hunt for one of the most mysterious phenomena on our planet: lightning. Then see how anthropologist and geneticist Spencer Wells and the Genographic Project are charting the incredible history of our ancestors one cheek swab at a time.
As 2013 unfolds, EXPLORER TOP 125 will continue to celebrate the spirit of exploration with other exciting world-premieres and critically-acclaimed programming â€“ from leading the ultimate cold-case investigation into the Titanicâ€™s final moments with Oscar-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence James Cameron to following a husband and wife filmmaking team over their 30 year quest to trek lions and leopards through Africaâ€™s harshest environments. EXPLORER TOP 125 will also champion a new age of exploration by inspiring viewers to take action through a variety of online initiatives that can change the world right in their own communities and across the planet.
Be sure to watch the Explorer Top 125 series premiering on 12 January 2013 at 10pm exclusively on National Geographic Channel (Astro Ch 553) and thereafter every Saturday at 10.00pm.
EXPLORER TOP 125 PROGRAMMING INCLUDES:
A New Age of Exploration
12 January 2013 at 10pm
Like characters from science fiction, humans are shattering boundaries long considered unbreakable. We are exploring the deepest, darkest regions of the planet as well as the edges of the known Universe. Weâ€™re morphing with machines and eradicating disease. Meet the trailblazers who are working on the unexplored frontiers of exploration and innovation. Join Dr. Gary Kobinger as he battles the worldâ€™s deadliest viruses and designs a blueprint for stopping the next pandemic. Tag along with storm chaser, Tim Samaras as he attempts to do the impossible: film a lightning bolt the moment it hits the ground using a camera so powerful, it can shoot at one million frames per second. Travel to Mongolia where research scientist and engineer, Albert Lin believes heâ€™s located the burial ground of the legendary warrior Genghis Khan. Join explorer and filmmaker James Cameron as he dives into the darkest depths of the ocean and accompany Bob Ballard as he deploys a network of underwater scientists around the world to explore the uncharted mysteries of the deep. Experience an incredible odyssey that reveals that superhuman abilities lie not just in strength or intelligence but in the dogged determination of the human spirit to continually seek the next frontier.
TITANIC: The Final Word with James Cameron
12 January 2013 at 11pm
Oscar-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence James Cameron leads the ultimate cold-case investigation into the legendary tragedy that claimed more than 1,500 lives. Combining remarkable underwater footage from Cameronâ€™s 30+ dives to the wreck, historical records, eyewitness accounts and scenes from Cameronâ€™s 1997 feature film, a team of the worldâ€™s foremost Titanic experts tries to answer the baffling questions that still surround how and why this supposedly â€œunsinkableâ€ ship sank. How exactly did the ship break up? Why is one section of the ship so far away from the rest of the wreck? How long did the lights really stay on? And what could the shipâ€™s crew have done to save more passengers? Cameron and his team of forensic experts throw everything they have at a tragedy that still intrigues and fascinates a century later.
The Human Family Tree
19 January 2013 at 10pm
Regardless of race, country or creed, we can all trace our genetic lineage back some 60,000 years ago to the cradle of humanity in east Africa. But how did we get to where we are today and what did our collective journey look like? When did we really first cross paths with the â€œstrangersâ€ living in our neighbourhood? Join the Genographic team as they take random DNA samples from 200 New Yorkers to trace the ancestral footsteps of humanity and reveal just how inter-connected they really are. Using a selection of people from various walks of life, including a waitress, a teacher, a fashion designer, a councilman, a musician, an actor and a mother, find out how this seemingly disparate group of people are actually members of the same family tree.
20 January 2013 at 12.00am
She has no pride, no support, and she alone must safeguard her own survival. Her name is Lady Liuwa, and she is the last lioness in the Liuwa Plain in Zambia. Isolated by a scourge of illegal trophy hunting that wiped out the rest of the lions in the region, Lady Liuwa is the only known resident lion. For four years, cameraman Herbert Brauer watched her life unfold, until, in her solitude, she reached out to him for companionship. But Brauer knows he is not the companion this lioness needs â€“ she should be amongst her own kind. Now, in May of 2009, plans for introducing a male lion have come through, and there is hope that Lady Liuwa will no longer be alone.
26 January 2013 at 10pm
Shrouded in mystery for more than 4,500 years, British archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson offers a ground-breaking theory on Stonehenge â€“ one that places this ancient monument at the centre of one the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world. His team is unearthing surprising new evidence, supporting a radical new vision of Stonehenge and the people who built it. Parker Pearson believes that Stonehenge was built for the ancestors, a monument in stone to house the spirits of the dead. His excavations reveal that it was linked by grand processional avenues to another great circle, built of wood. And now further evidence suggests what may have happened here: on those special days, at the summer and winter solstices, thousands of people gathered from across Britain â€“ and perhaps beyond â€“ for two great festivals that marked the cycle of their year, and their lives.
The Two Million Year Old Boy
26 January 2013 at 11pm
A nine-year-old boy makes one of the greatest fossil finds of all time, stumbling onto the two-million-year-old skeleton of a pre-human boy, and throwing everything we thought we knew about our own origins up in the air. Dated to just under two million years the creature would have lived at a key moment in timeâ€¦one shrouded in mystery. It is one of the biggest gaps in humankindâ€™s evolutionary timeline â€“ the moment when scientists believe hominids were leaving their apelike attributes behindâ€¦creatures with one foot in the animal world and one in the human radically jumble the conservative field of palaeoanthropology. Now, one controversial man at the centre of it all fights for a new way of doing science and proves that the spirit of discovery lives on. As we explore the mystery of how a newly-discovered pre-human species lived and died, we may begin to answer the ultimate question of how we became human.
What Lies Beneath: Draining the Ocean
2 February 2013 at 10pm
This is a world you have never seen before â€“ a world normally hidden under miles of water, the landscape of the ocean bed. Combining the latest scientific data with state of the art CGI computer hardware and specially written software, we drain the water from the oceans to reveal the mountains, canyons, plains and volcanoes that are more dramatic than anything on dry land.
3 February 2013 at 12.00am
The Serengeti in northern Tanzania teems with apex predators. But none compare to the king of beasts: the lion. The Serengeti sustains one of the biggest lion populations in Africa, hosting approximately 3,500 lions that live in 300 individual prides. But in the central Serengeti, one pride reigns supreme â€“ a Super Pride boasting 22 robust members. Few lion prides ever reach this status. The phenomenon requires practically perfect conditions including plenty of prey and resilient males who can successfully fight off rogue males again and again. Keeping the cubs alive to maturity so they can pass on their genes is the Super Prideâ€™s ultimate goal. Often the greatest threat to a lion cubâ€™s life comes from male lions outside the pride who want a pride of their own and a harem of lionesses that are ready to reproduce.
Darwin’s Lost Voyage
9 February 2013 at 11pm
Armand Leroi leads us on an unforgettable adventure, uncovering the evidence that inspired Darwin’s revolutionary work.
Big Cat Odyssey
10 February 2013 at 12.00am
Join explorers as they follow lions and leopards through the night to find out what makes the cats unique in this environment.
Deep Sea Under The Pole
16 February 2013 at 10pm
Follow our fearless crew to dive into the frigid waters of the Arctic to discover an awe-inspiring silent universe under the ice.
Hunt for the Giant Squid
16 February 2013 at 11pm
Hunt for the Giant Squid will be a magical mystery tour through the some of the most unbelievable scenes nature has to offer: Glowing and flashing of living organisms – bioluminescence – that will lead us from shallow reefs to the realm of the giant squid.
17 February 2013 at 12.00am
We film the life and death struggle of two of the most powerful animals in nature: the lion and the water buffalo.
Secrets of The Taj Mahal
23 February 2013 at 11pm
The Taj Mahal: Symbol of India, architectural jewel, and monument to a grand passion.
Night Of The Lion
24 February 2013 at 12.00am
With the use of specially developed starlight and thermal cameras, we reveal the truth about the lion’s hunting behaviour at night.