PASADENA, Calif. - July 26, 2001 - PBS unveiled two new upcoming documentary programs today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena: THE JOURNEY OF MAN, a fascinating examination of early man's migrations across the continents, and EINSTEIN'S WIFE, a documentary-drama about the woman who played a crucial, yet virtually unknown role in devising the scientific theory that rocked the world.
THE JOURNEY OF MAN, from Jeremy Bradshaw/Tigress Productions (IN THE WILD, AFRICA) will examine the latest in genetic evidence to tell the story of the great migrations of man through history. Dr. Spencer Wells, an American scientist who runs a laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University in England, will host the two-hour special. He will travel to Africa, Australia, Siberia, the Middle East, the Himalayas and the United States to piece together our history with clues gathered along the way: facial features, cultural artifacts, fossils and meteorological records. Astonishing research indicates that our family trees can be traced back to just one man who lived as little as 60,000 years ago. The series will synthesize the latest evidence from many different scientific fields - genetics, linguistics, anthropology and paleoclimatology - to explain our exceptional survival against all odds. Justine Kershaw is producer.
It has been said that behind every great man is a woman, and Albert Einstein was no exception. EINSTEIN'S WIFE, from Oregon Public Broadcasting and Melsa Films, will spotlight the scientist's first wife, Mileva Einstein-Maric. When letters between the Einsteins were made public in the 1990s, an extraordinary picture emerged of a wife who played a vital role in devising the theory of relativity. She also bore a child, entirely unknown to biographers, whom Einstein may never have met. Mileva, to be played by an actress who will know the intimate details of her life, will reveal her story through unscripted "interviews" with an unseen friend - a technique that has become a signature for director John Target in his reality-based documentaries - in period locations including Washington, New York, Boston, Zurich, Berlin and Belgrade. Adding to the dreamlike atmosphere will be scenes filmed in contemporary settings such as a high-speed train racing through Germany. The program will also feature commentary from noted authors and experts. John Lindsay is executive in charge of production for OPB; Paul Humfress is executive producer. Funders include PBS, the Australian Film Finance Commission (FFC) and SBS in Australia.
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