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Season 14 1987

  • 1987-01-14T03:00:00+01:00 on PBS
  • 55 mins
  • 20 hours, 10 mins
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary

Seen in more than 100 countries, NOVA is the most watched science television series in the world and the most watched documentary series on PBS. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over.

22 episodes

14x01 How Babies Get Made

  • Season Premiere

    1987-01-14T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the ground-breaking experiments that led to the discovery of a tiny sequence of molecules—and more clues to the mystery of how a complete baby develops from a single cell.

NOVA scans the universe with the infrared eye of IRAS—the Infrared Astronomical Satellite—and discovers never-before-seen comets, stars, galaxies and other celestial wonders and enigmas.

14x03 Children of Eve

  • 1987-01-28T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA examines a controversial theory that traces our ancestry to a small group of women living in Africa 300,000 years ago.

14x04 Why Planes Crash

  • 1987-02-04T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Between 60 and 80 percent of all commercial airplane accidents are attributable to pilot error. NOVA looks at some shocking instances of pilot negligence and what airlines are doing to solve the problem.

14x05 Orangutans of the Rain Forest

  • 1987-02-11T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA cameras travel to Borneo, one of the last habitats of the wild orangutans, where scientists study the endangered ape. Who is observing whom? It is not always clear.

14x06 Freud Under Analysis

  • 1987-02-18T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Fifty years after his death, the creator of psychoanalysis is still the subject of intense debate. Was Freud right or wrong? NOVA profiles the enigmatic man and his controversial legacy.

14x07 The Hole in the Sky

  • 1987-02-25T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA travels to Antarctica with an emergency scientific expedition to study a baffling "hole" in the Earth's protective ozone layer.

14x08 Confessions of a Weaponeer

  • 1987-03-04T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Harvard chemist George Kistiakowsky was an anti-Bolshevik soldier in 1919 Russia, an atomic bomb scientist at Los Alamos, a presidential advisor in the Eisenhower White House and an arms control activist. Shortly before Kistiakowsky death, he recounts his eventful career to interviewer Carl Sagan.

14x09 Great Moments from NOVA

  • 1987-03-11T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA presents two hours of the best from its 14 seasons of exciting science coverage. A "talking" chimp, an exploding volcano and a sight-and-sound space video are but a few of the memorable segments. Richard Kiley hosts.

14x10 Will the World Starve?

  • 1987-03-25T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

All over the world, farmers are taking more from the soil than they return. NOVA reports on the soil crisis in world agriculture—a plight that has already resulted in massive starvation.

In rich and poor countries alike, once-productive farms are turning to desert because of mismanagement of water resources. NOVA examines the causes and cures of desertification.

14x12 Rocky Road to Jupiter

  • 1987-04-08T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

In a case study of the strengths and weaknesses of the United States space program, NOVA chronicles the ambitious and long-delayed Galileo mission to Jupiter—still on the ground long after its planned May 1986 launch.

14x13 Death of a Star

  • 1987-10-07T02:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Why do stars explode and how is the energy generated? What is the effect of all those little “aftermath” particles floating through space? Nova: Death of a Star is a 60-minute science documentary that explores rare astronomical events in all their dimensions. The film features the 1987 explosion of a supernova - first observed by a Canadian astronomer in Chile - and discusses its impact on the universe. Witness the celestial phenomena that baffles the scientific community as you travel from South America to Japan to Cleveland. A discussion of supernova neutrinos is a special highlight of the tape.

14x14 Spy Machines

  • 1987-10-14T02:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

On the 25th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, NOVA investigates the spy planes and satellites that played a critical role in history and influence arms control today.

14x15 Hidden Power of Plants

  • 1987-10-21T02:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Plants produce some of the world's most potent chemicals in the fight against disease. NOVA follows the urgent efforts to track down new medicines in nature.

14x16 Japan's American Genius

  • 1987-10-28T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Is Detroit inventor Stanford Ovshinsky the new Thomas Edison? Japanese industries are betting that the genius behind amorphous materials-a simpler and less expensive alternative to silicon-is onto something big.

14x17 A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama

  • 1987-11-04T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

The Panama Canal opened in 1914 after a 30-year effort that dwarfed the building of the pyramids. Historian David McCullough navigates through the canal and tells the story of the human drama behind the engineering feat.

14x18 Volcano!

  • 1987-11-11T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Millions live in the shadows of nature's ticking time-bombs—volcanos. NOVA accompanies scientists who are developing new techniques to predict when volcanos will erupt and how violently.

14x19 How Good is Soviet Science?

  • 1987-11-18T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA takes a behind-the-scences look at science and technology in the USSR, where the government is trying novel approaches in an effort to catch up with the West.

14x20 Ancient Treasures from the Deep

  • 1987-12-02T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA joins underwater archaeologists as they explore the oldest shipwreck ever excavated, a richly-laden merchant vessel dating from the time of King Tut.

14x21 Riddle of the Joints

  • 1987-12-09T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

A trail of evidence leading from a medieval abbey to a small town in Connecticut sheds new light on rheumatoid arthritis, a crippling inflammation of the joints with no known cause or cure.

14x22 Secrets of the Lost Red Paint People

  • 1987-12-16T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA follows archaeologists as they unearth clues, some 7,000 years old, about an unknown, mysterious and advanced sea-faring people who lived along the North Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada.