December 21, 2018
Four “Nova” programs are coming to DVD and digital from PBS Distribution in January: Addiction, Volatile Earth: Volcano on the Brink, Flying Supersonic and World’s Fastest Animal.
Nova: Addiction, coming Jan. 8, follows three addicts as they deal with their opioid addictions. The program follows the family of two brothers from West Virginia devastated by the opioid crisis, a woman with a genetic vulnerability to addiction, and a man who used drugs to deal with the stress of prison. The program also explores how to best address the problem from advances in neuroscience to the development of evidence-based treatments to the rethinking of drug laws and policies.
Also due Jan. 8 is Nova: Volatile Earth: Volcano on the Brink, a two-part series on two of the worlds’ most active and mysterious volcanoes in Africa: Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira. Nyiragongo, located on the East African rift in the Virunga Mountains, looms over the city of Goma, home to nearly 1 million people. Nyiragongo’s cones conceal a mile-wide crater that encircles a lava lake bubbling at nearly 1,000° F. It has been a difficult volcano to study due to the long-running war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. NOVA joined an international team of volcanologists on a risky climb to Nyiragongo’s summit and down into its crater to deploy sensors and monitor the volcano’s activity. In part two of the series, a team of volcanologists explores another volcano in the Virunga Mountains in central Africa: Nyamuragira. During a brief pause in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s war, they fly by helicopter to the summit to investigate its secrets.
Nova: Flying Supersonic, coming Jan. 15, puts viewers in the middle of the historic international race to develop the world’s first supersonic airliner, the Concorde, 15 years after the final flight. Viewers go beyond the glamour of jet setting at Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) and learn about the scientific innovations and political intrigue that helped create the plane. The program also looks to the future and how a new generation of innovators, NASA scientists and others are trying to launch a new era of supersonic passenger planes and travel.
Nova: World’s Fastest Animal, coming Jan. 29, follows the peregrine falcon, the fastest animal in the world, reaching diving speeds of 200 miles per hour — three times the speed of a sprinting cheetah. Though the species nearly went extinct in the 1970s due to the insecticide DDT, the peregrine falcon is now one the most widespread predators on Earth, living on every continent except Antarctica.