PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology, and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.
Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00 p.m. Secrets of the Viking Sword
The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time. Yet only a select few carried the ultimate weapon of their era: the feared Ulfberht sword. Fashioned using a process that would remain unknown to the Vikings’ rivals for centuries, the Ulfberht was a revolutionary high-tech tool as well as a work of art. Considered one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle.
Wednesday, October 17 at 9:00 p.m. Forensics on Trial
There is a startling gap between the glamorous television world of “CSI” and the gritty reality of the forensic crime lab. With few established scientific standards, no central oversight and poor regulation of examiners, forensics in the U.S. is in a state of crisis. NOVA investigates how modern forensics, including the analysis of fingerprints, bite marks, ballistics, hair and tool marks, can send innocent men and women to prison — and sometimes even to death row. Of more than 250 inmates exonerated by DNA testing over the last decade, more than half of the wrongful convictions stemmed from invalid or improperly handled forensics. With the help of vivid recreations of actual trials and cases, NOVA investigates today’s shaky state of crime science as well as cutting-edge solutions that could help investigators put the real criminals behind bars.
Wednesday, October 24 at 9:00 p.m. Iceman Murder Mysteryl
He’s been dead for more than 5,000 years and poked, prodded, and probed by scientists for the last 20. Yet Ötzi the Iceman, the famous mummified corpse pulled from a glacier in the Italian Alps, continues to keep many secrets. Now, through an autopsy like none other, scientists will attempt to unravel mysteries about this ancient mummy,
Wednesday, October 31 at 9:00 p.m. Ghosts of Machu Picchu
Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western Hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this "Lost City of the Incas," yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces, and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas.