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This spectacular five-part documentary series, presented by Tony Robinson, investigates the history of natural disasters, from the planet's beginnings to the present, putting a new perspective on our existence and suggesting that we are the product of catastrophe.
99% of all the creatures that have ever lived, no longer exist. They were wiped-out in a series of global catastrophes. Each disaster changed the course of evolution on earth. Without them mankind, nor any of the life we see around us, would be here today. For out of catastrophe comes rebirth. Evolution is a savage, imperfect and violent process. It's survive or perish. The earth's history of catastrophes has both moulded the planet and determined evolution. For each disaster led to another leap forward on the evolutionary trail form single celled bacteria to humankind itself.
Episode 1 - Birth of the Planet
The first programme tells the story of Earth's difficult birth, and how the formation of our moon set us on a unique course to being a planet ripe for life. Glowing peacefully in the night sky, it is difficult to imagine that the moon was actually born from one of the most violent and potentially devastating events in history. Four and half billion years ago, in the chaos of the early solar system, a Mars-sized planet smashed into our young Earth with such force that it sent rock debris hurtling out into space. This was how the moon was formed. The first film of the Catastrophe series explores the role of the moon in creating the calm atmosphere on Earth that would eventually allow life to take hold.
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