You’ll recall that I was in New York a short while ago to film some promotional material for a new TV series. It is called Big History, and it will be on History Channel’s H2 channel (and eventually on various international channels, but I’ve no idea which – similar ones to where you find the other show I’ve mentioned a bit, The Universe, I expect), starting this coming Saturday night.
Rather than be primarily about astronomical and cosmological things, the show will focus each week on one of a list specific items that have affected our history, and take the long view about that item. How long a view? The longest known possible! So take something like Salt, and examine its role in civilization and culture, bringing in historians, anthropologists, etc… and physical scientists to trace that object back to its roots in the early universe… (the big bang, the cores of stars, etc.) [Update: For you Breaking Bad fans, note that it'll be narrated by Bryan Cranston, by the way.]
Here’s one of the promo videos:
I think that it is a really good concept for a series, showing people how different fields of endeavour are connected – not just broken up into lots of isolated subfields. I think I’d have preferred it to be an hour long each episode, for a little more depth. But I’ve not seen any episodes, so perhaps it is fine as it is. I’ve contributed to a number of them, but I don’t recall how many.
You can find more promotional videos on their site, and I am told that they will be rolling out more of them in the coming days and weeks.