The Hugh Laurie thriller “Masterpiece: Roadkill,” season two of “Great Performances: Now Hear This” and a duo of “Nova” programs are among the titles coming to DVD from PBS Distribution in December.
The new political thriller “Roadkill” from Academy Award nominee David Hare (The Reader, The Hours) comes out on DVD Dec. 15. The series stars Laurie as Peter Laurence, a self-made forceful and charismatic politician. Peter’s public and private life seem to be falling apart — or rather are being picked apart by his enemies. As his personal revelations spiral, he is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, expertly walking a high wire between glory and catastrophe as he seeks to further his own agenda, while others plot to bring him down. However, events show just how hard it is, for both an individual and a country, to leave the past behind. Helen McCrory (The Queen, “Harry Potter”), Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Westworld,” Inferno) and Millie Brady (“The Last Kingdom,” Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) also star.
Season two of “Great Performances: Now Hear This” is due Dec. 1. Viewers join Scott Yoo, renowned violinist and conductor of the Mexico City Philharmonic, in a four-part documentary miniseries that merges music, storytelling, travel and culture, as Yoo chases the secret histories of some of the greatest music ever written.
Also coming Dec. 1 is Nova: Human Nature, a feature-length film exploring the science, history, and ethics of a revolutionary gene-editing technology and its applications.
American Masters: Keith Haring — Street Art Boy is a biographical documentary coming out Dec. 8. International art sensation Keith Haring blazed a trail through the legendary art scene of 1980s New York and revolutionized the worlds of pop culture and fine art. Haring’s message targeted the underlying threat of violence, sexual exploitation and political oppression. His art was shown in more than 100 group and solo exhibitions during his lifetime and he continues to be celebrated today.
Also due Dec. 8 are Nova: Secret Mind of Slime and Secrets of Royal Travel. Nova: Secret Mind of Slime explores the questions and science behind the “intelligence” of slime molds. These creatures are not animals, nor plants, nor fungi, yet they appear to learn and to make decisions without brains, expanding the boundaries of intelligence beyond the animal kingdom. Secrets of Royal Travel tells the inside story of the monarchy on the move, taking viewers inside some of the most famous, yet exclusive, transport systems around the globe with select interviews of royal staff.
Coming Dec. 15 is The Queen and the Coup, a documentary about the happenings in February 1953, the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, during which she is about to be deployed in a U.S. plot to topple Iran’s last democratic leader in favor of an all-powerful Shah.
Finally, Dec. 22 comes Nova: A to Z — The First Alphabet and How Writing Changed the World. The documentary explores the history of writing. Just as writing changed the course of human history, the evolution of paper and printing revolutionized the spread of information. While the invention of paper boosted Chinese and Islamic societies, the simple fact that the Latin alphabet could be printed using a small number of discrete, repetitive symbols helped popularize moveable type, handing Europe a crucial advantage at the beginning of the Renaissance. The printing press itself kicked off the scientific revolution that fast-tracked us to the current digital age.