It’s a great literary mystery: who wrote the works of William Shakespeare? Although the official story of a Stratford merchant writing for the London box office has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubted that a grain-dealer from Stratford-Upon-Avon was England’s “Star of Poets.” Derek Jacobi leads a cast featuring literary experts and actors Vanessa Redgrave and Mark Rylance in a quest to uncover the truth about an elusive author and discovers a forgotten nobleman whose story could rewrite history.
Fri, 10/18/2013 - 9:00pm
In celebration of the series’ 40th anniversary on PBS, GREAT PERFORMANCES hosted an all-star homecoming at Lincoln Center. Through performance and remembrance, a stellar roster of alumni shared their stories of what GREAT PERFORMANCES and public television have meant to them. Appearances by Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, Don Henley, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Martins, Patti Austin & Take 6, Elina Garanca and Michael Buble.
Raw to Ready
Wed, 10/16/2013 - 10:00pm
To extract precious metals found beneath the earth requires a massive 232-ton, two-story-tall dump truck with a load capacity of 320 tons — a giant earth-mover like the Komatsu 930-E. This amazing engineering achievement is made possible by five essential raw ingredients: coal, chromium, mineral oil, latex rubber and sulphuric acid, an electron superhighway that generates massive power.
Wed, 10/16/2013 - 9:00pm
Are there physical limits to how fast humans can go? David Pogue wants to find out how much we can tweak physiology and engineering to move humans and machines even faster. He investigates everything from lightning-fast electric muscle cars to ultra-sleek sailboats to ultra-fast cameras and quantum teleportation. But faster is also about efficiency and the science of optimization: getting things done in less time. From the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to UPS headquarters and inside a packed 737, Pogue’s quest for ultimate speed limits takes him to unexpected places where he comes face-to-face with the final frontiers of speed. NOVA also explores important questions: Is it possible to go too fast? Have we hit a point where innovation outpaces our ability to keep up?
Wed, 10/16/2013 - 8:00pm
This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save a stranded orphan otter. From her discovery as a newborn pup crying on the beach, through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Monterey Bay Aquarium, follow Otter 501 as she learns how to survive in the wild. Watch as she is introduced to her surrogate mother — a method invented by marine biologist Karl Mayer and his team in 2005 — and follow as she struggles to learn how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in an artificial environment meant to mimic the “real world.” It is a tale of mysterious threats, persistent failures and small victories, where survival is a long shot at best. Throughout, Otter 501 acts as a lens. Her story reveals a previously unseen world of otter behavior and also acts to illuminate some of the most difficult ecological questions of our time: Do we have a responsibility to save species that hover on the edge? Are our actions the cause of the illnesses sweeping through the sea otter population? And since we simply can’t return the world to its pristine pre-human form, are preservation efforts like this doomed to fail? Otter 501’s survival may hold the hint of an answer.
Tue, 10/15/2013 - 8:00pm
Join host and narrator Liev Schreiber to explore the dawn of the comic book genre and trace the evolution of the characters and their ongoing cultural impact worldwide. Chart the progression from the first comic books born during the Great Depression to the television debut of Superman in the 1950s, to the emergence of superheroes who reflect changing social mores in the 1960s and 70s, to today’s insatiable enthusiasm for superheroes embraced in all media and by all demographics. Featuring on-camera interviews with Stan Lee, Adam West, Lynda Carter, Michael Chabon and Todd McFarlane.
Mon, 10/14/2013 - 10:00pm
“56 Up” is the eighth film in a series of landmark documentaries that began 49 years ago when UK-based Granada’s World in Action team interviewed a diverse group of seven-year-old children from all over England, asking them about their lives and their dreams for the future. Michael Apted, a researcher for the original film, has returned to interview the “children” every seven years since, at ages 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49 and now at age 56. In this latest chapter, more of the original group takes part than ever before.
Mon, 10/14/2013 - 9:00pm
In the Lone Star State capital, the GENEALOGY ROADSHOW team finds secrets involving some of Texas’ favorite subjects: football, politics and home-state pride. In the historic Driskill Hotel, an African-American Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer uncovers a surprising family history of land ownership, an uncommon occurrence for Blacks in 1920s Texas. A North Texas woman learns of her ancestor’s Civil War affiliation and the tragedy it wrought. A family tie to two Texas governors – 140 years apart – surprises one guest, while a Latino-American woman celebrates newfound bonds to her faith and state.
Mon, 10/14/2013 - 5:30pm
GET THE MATH 2.0 uses real-world scenarios to help middle- and high-school students develop algebraic thinking skills with a focus on reasoning. By engaging students in algebra’s connection to a variety of careers, GET THE MATH answers the age-old question, “How is this ever going to help me in the real world?” The half-hour program, the follow-up to the successful 2011 special Get the Math,motivates students with engaging algebra-based challenges presented by young, relatable professionals. Drawing on conventions of popular reality TV shows, these young professionals — a chef, an NBA player and a special-effects designer — pose challenges connected to their jobs to two teams of teens.