Discovery explores a virtual world next year

MUMBAI: The Discovery Channel is looking to push the boundaries with shows that combine knowledge with entertainment. One of its major initiatives for the first quarter of 2005 is Virtual World.

Speaking to on the initiative Discovery programming VP Pankaj Saxena said, "Virtual History allows viewers to watch virtual footage of historical events where no actual film exists -- events that had been documented solely through verbal and written accounts, artifacts, and still photograph.

"One episode will examine The Bomb Plot Day. It recreates the 24 hours of 20 July 1944 from the point of view of the four war leaders: Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler. There will also be a Making Of special that looks at how the filmmakers achieved the look, feel and texture of the show."

On that day, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planned to kill Hitler during a meeting with a two pound explosive hidden in his briefcase. Stauffenberg leaves the room to "make a phone call." Completely unaware of Stauffenberg's plans, Colonel Brandt moves the briefcase out of his way -- and away from Hitler. Brandt's small act will change the course of history. It will save the Fuhrer's life but cost him his own.

Another show is titled Machine Gun. In this three part series history is viewed down the barrel of a gun. Social, technological and personal stories are woven together into a modern history as influenced by this weapon which had such dramatic effect in shaping the world over the past 150 tears. It is at once a story about one of the world's deadliest inventions and a vehicle for a larger historical story - that of human power and aspiration.

Those with a passion for vehicles can check out Ultimate Cars. Each episode will celebrate cars of a chosen category from sports cars to convertibles, from Italys glamorous Supercars to the power machines of Japan.

A more personal show that anyone can connect with is called Human Instinct. Our instincts are long out of date - shaped for a lost, primitive world. That is why each of us can be driven to do extraordinary things, without knowing why. Only now can science begin to explain the power of these hidden forces.

Professor Robert Winston tells the story of these urges within every one of us - the instincts to survive, have sex and compete and the story of how human instincts have helped propel us out of the animal world. This ambitious four-part series uses computer graphics, experiments and secret filming and hears the personal stories of individuals who have experienced overpowering urges to help us understand Human Instinct.


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