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December 1, 2020
By Madisson Haynes
It's December, and that means decorations, good food and fun. To help you make the best of the holiday season, we've rounded up some of your (and our) favorite PBS programs to bring back for a limited time. You can stream all these programs here or on the PBS Video App.
Happy holidays, from our family to yours.
For the month of December, Great Cathedral Mystery will be available for streaming. The dome that crowns Florence’s great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore — the Duomo — is a towering masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. Still the largest masonry dome on earth after more than six centuries, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs as much as an average cruise ship. Learn more about it in Great Cathedral Mystery, courtesy of NOVA.
You can also watch Jungle Eagle for the month of December. Harpy eagles are the most powerful birds of prey in the world. Standing three feet tall, with a six-foot wingspan and razor-sharp talons the size of bear claws, these birds are the heavyweight hunters of the South American rainforest. Learn more, courtesy of Nature.
From Dec. 6-20, you can watch the 2018 and 2019 Call the Midwife holiday specials. Watch the 2019 holiday special above. Mother Mildred and the Nonnatus House team go to the Outer Hebrides in response to a nursing shortage. Navigating the terrain, they strive to keep up with the needs of the locals.
Watch the 2018 Call the Midwife holiday special above. In this special, a new nun and four Chinese orphans arrive unexpectedly at Nonnatus House, causing both joy and chaos for the midwives. Meanwhile, Mother Superior falls ill, and it's time for a new spiritual leader to be elected.
The rocky planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars — were born of similar material around the same time. Yet only one of them supports life. Were Earth's neighbors always so extreme? And is there somewhere else in the solar system life might flourish? Find out in The Planets: Inner Worlds, courtesy of NOVA.
The relationship between man and his noble steed is almost as old as civilization itself, allowing our species to explore, conquer and flourish side by side with the horse. Nature traces this revolutionizing partnership with anthropologist Niobe Thompson in this two-part series that you can stream now.
For the month of December, you can stream Dead Sea Scroll Detective, courtesy of NOVA. Since the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, these fragile parchment relics have intrigued scholars, religious leaders and profiteers alike. The 2,000-year-old scrolls include the oldest-known versions of the Hebrew Bible and hold vital clues about the birth of Christianity. While certain scrolls have survived intact, others have been ravaged by time — burnt, decayed, or torn to pieces
For the month of December, you can stream both parts of Dogs That Changed the World, courtesy of Nature. Stream part one above.
Part one explores how the domestication of dogs might have taken place, including the theory of biologist Raymond Coppinger that it was the animals themselves — and human trash — that inspired the transformation.
Part two details the explosion of the basic working dog types into the roughly 400 breeds known today; explores concerns about today’s competitive breeding and its effect on dogs’ health and well-being; and outlines dogs’ potential role in medical care for human beings.
Stream part two below.
Secrets of Spanish Florida — A Secrets of the Dead Special — uncovers one story of America’s past that never made it into textbooks. Follow some of America’s leading archaeologists, maritime scientists, and historians as they share the story of Florida’s earliest settlers. It’s a story that has taken more than 450 years to reveal.
A shift of power is taking place at the top of the world. The Arctic is undergoing a dramatic change, and with this change one iconic Arctic hunter may soon have to give way to another as solid ice turns to open sea. The polar bear, once king of the North, needs ice to stalk its prey. Killer whales, or orca, on the other hand, are unable to hunt in an ocean locked in ice. Watch these Killer Whales, courtesy of Nature.
It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City's history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same. Stream Triangle Fire now, courtesy of American Experience.
“Honey badger is bad ass.” Those words and corresponding video became a YouTube sensation with 51 million hits. This relentless little creature is renowned for its ability to confront grown lions, castrate charging buffalo, and shrug off the toxic defenses of stinging bees, scorpions, and snakes. Little is known about its behavior in the wild or why it is so aggressive. Stream this Nature show to learn more about these monsters of mayhem.
Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel, written only months before her death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and her spiky relationship with the charming, enigmatic Sidney Parker (Theo James).
The first three episodes of Sanditon are available to stream now through Dec. 20. Episodes four through six are available Dec. 20-27. Episodes seven and eight are available Dec. 27 to Jan. 3.
Starting December 19 and for four weeks after that, you can stream Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, courtesy of American Masters. Distinctly referred to as "a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture," Maya Angelou led a prolific life. She inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.
Learn more about cultural appropriation (or is it appreciation?) before you finalize this year's Halloween costume.
Watch a collection of films and specials that highlight and add context to the many aspects of race and racism in our country.
PBS was among 60 nominees for the most compelling and empowering stories released in 2019.
Winners were announced May 19 and honored in a special internet celebration.
Stream the best of PBS.