Forces of Nature (TV series)

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Forces of Nature
Forces of Nature (TV series) - Title Card.jpg
Genre Documentary series
Presented by Brian Cox
Composer(s) Benji Merrison
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 4
Executive producer(s) Andrew Cohen
Running time 59 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format
Audio format Stereo
Original release 4 July (2016-07-04) – 25 July 2016 (2016-07-25)
Preceded by Human Universe (2014)
External links

Forces of Nature is a four-part television documentary series presented by physicist Brian Cox. The series was co-produced by BBC Studios, PBS and France Télévisions and originally aired in the United Kingdom weekly from 4 July 2016 at 21:00 on BBC One.[1]

The documentary series couples high-definition cinematography with calm and methodical narration, uncovering how some of our planet's most beautiful sights and events are created by the underlying forces of nature. It follows on from Brian's 2014 series for the BBC, Human Universe. An accompanying book with the same name has also been published.[2]


No. Original title
PBS title
Original airdate (UK) US airdate
0101"The Universe in a Snowflake"
4 July 2016 (2016-07-04)14 September 2016
The opener of the series illuminates how the stunning diversity of shapes in our world are forged by just a handful of natural forces. The episode sets off in Penedès, Spain, featuring castells, which are human towers built in festivals in Catalonia. Brian narrates how a symmetrical shape enables the participants of the Catalan festival to build a human tower as high as possible. Then, the programme brings to fore the perilous honey hunting practiced in the lower slopes of Annapurna in Nepal to explain – through the Honeycomb conjecture – the unmatchable efficiency of hexagonal structures bees build to store honey. Finally, Brian demonstrates how all of the fundamental physics that describe the universe – gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear force, and symmetry – can be observed in the falling and structure of a snowflake.
0204"Somewhere in Spacetime"
11 July 2016 (2016-07-11)5 October 2016
In the second episode, Brian considers the nature of motion and explores how the celestial clockwork of the Sun and the Earth-Moon system account for a wide range of natural phenomena observed on Earth, from tropical cyclones and tidal waves to sunrises and seasonal changes. The episode begins in Warton Aerodrome in England with Brian taking to the air in a Eurofighter Typhoon, in an attempt to "beat the Earth's rotation and reverse the passage of the day." In Tacloban, Philippines, Brian narrates how the Coriolis force (caused by the Earth's spin) and the warmth of the tropical waters conspire to give rise to some of the deadliest storms in the world, like Typhoon Haiyan that hit the country in 2013. Then, in Amapá, Brazil, he relates how the complex gravitational interaction between the Sun and the Moon are not just responsive for the gentle and familiar rise and fall of tides, but also for monstrous tidal bores, like the Pororoca on the waters of the Amazon. Towards the end, he lays out photographs from different points in his life – as a baby, getting married, with his own son, etc. – and concludes by stating that "if Einstein is right, then the past events we remember and our unforeseen future are all out there, somewhere in spacetime."
0302"The Moth and the Flame"
18 July 2016 (2016-07-18)21 September 2016
The third part provides an overview of how Earth's basic ingredients have become the building blocks of life.
0403"The Pale Blue Dot"
25 July 2016 (2016-07-25)28 September 2016
The final episode sees Brian reveal the colour signature of our life-supporting planet.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Professor Brian Cox on his new series Forces of Nature – and why we should question everything we think we know". Radio Times. 4 July 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016. Forces of Nature with Brian Cox begins on Monday 4th July at 9 pm on BBC1 
  2. ^ "Forces of Nature". Retrieved 14 July 2016. 

External links[edit]