Monday 14 Jul 2014
Our planet is unique. It's an extraordinary piece of engineering over four and a half billion years old. Now, science enthusiast Richard Hammond is embarking on a fascinating journey to the centre of the planet to investigate how Earth’s machine dominates the world around us.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the series lifts the lid on planet Earth, peeling back the layers to reveal one of the most complex machines in the solar system. A giant 3D virtual earth brings together the latest scientific information from across the world – satellite maps and sonar and radar images – to show what's happening beneath our feet in a way that’s never been seen before.
Viewed from space, the surface of our planet appears solid and unchanging but, every day, there are at least 50 big earthquakes and 12 powerful volcanic eruptions all over the world. Travelling across the globe, Richard witnesses this extraordinary machine in action.
Richard's epic journey starts in his home town of Ripon, North Yorkshire, where he witnessed his first geological phenomenon – a sinkhole – 25 years ago. Richard also discovers where volcanoes come from; why earthquakes happen; how sea turtles use the planet's magnetic field to navigate their way home; and also travels on horseback to Mount Diablo, California, where he discovers a mountain made from fossils and sea shells, nearly 4,000 feet high.
The series is a co-production between BBC Scotland, Discovery and BBC Worldwide.
Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw star in The Hour – Abi Morgan's new BBC Two drama which takes viewers behind the scenes of a broadcast news room.
June 1956. Alexandra Palace, London, and BBC reporters and soulmates Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon have had their fill of covering dull and predictable stories in the newsreels.
When Bel is approached by Clarence Fendley to run a new weekly current affairs show called The Hour, she spots an opportunity for her and Freddie to make the kind of ground-breaking news show they’ve always yearned for. Knowing that she is to be made producer, a role Freddie covets, Bel fears she’ll have a tricky time convincing her headstrong friend that a role on the home desk is a prize worth having.
At the Claringdon Hotel in the centre of London a debutante has slipped away from her engagement party to make a phone call. Across town an academic is on edge, having spotted a familiar face watching him during his lecture.
When Freddie is asked to cover the engagement party he discovers that the debutante is Ruth Elms, an old childhood friend. Ruth seems unhappy and when Freddie later receives a visit from her, she asks him for help investigating a murder.
As Freddie's suspicions grow, he realises his only hope of pursuing the story is to join the team of The Hour. But having found out that Bel will be producer, his pride burns. Matters are compounded when Freddie and Bel meet Hector Madden, the charismatic new presenter of the programme, to whom Bel is irresistibly attracted.
As The Hour team is assembled, Freddie will be forced to decide where his priorities lie. What's more, he'll find a vital clue in the investigation of the academic's death and will find himself thrust deep into a darker tragedy.
Ben Whishaw is Freddie; Romola Garai is Bel; Dominic West is Hector; Anton Lesser is Clarence; and Vanessa Kirby is Ruth Elms.
The Hour is simulcast on the award-winning BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat 109, Freeview 54, Sky 169 and Virgin 187.