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Season 24 1997

  • 1997-01-15T02:00:00Z on PBS
  • 55 mins
  • 19 hours, 15 mins (21 episodes)
  • 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.


21 episodes

24x01 Kaboom!

  • Season Premiere

    1997-01-15T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

An in-depth and heart stopping look at the ultimate chemical reaction - the explosion. Using high speed photography and dramatic reconstruction, the film will chart the tarnished history of explosives: the terrible accidents, the scientific ingenuity and ultimately, the carnage of war and terrorism.

24x02 Titanic's Lost Sister

  • 1997-01-29T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The program follows underwater explorer Robert Ballard as he uses sonar technology to find the Britannic, a ship lost in the Aegean in World War I.

NOVA reveals the ancient secrets of how the pyramids were built by actually building one. A noted Egyptologist, Mark Lehner, and a professional stonemason, Roger Hopkins (This Old House), join forces in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Giza to put clever and sometimes bizarre pyramid construction theories to the test.

A distinctive feature of this stone site are the trilithons, which consist of two upright stones topped by a horizontal lintel stone. In this program, the NOVA team considers how to transport and raise the massive stones, as well as how to place the lintel stone on top. By comparing different strategies and adapting ramps, levers, and other tools that might have been available to the ancient builders, the team works to meet the challenge.

Even without such technological advances as wheels, arches, draft animals, iron tools, or a system of writing, the Inca—utilizing a tradition of shared labor—achieved a number of engineering feats. The NOVA team explores both stonework and bridge building, experimenting with dragging and fitting huge stones, and working with the people of an Andean village to create a suspension bridge made only of grass ropes.

Pharaohs who built magnificent temples to preserve their names for eternity often graced temple gates with pairs of obelisks, four-sided shafts of granite that taper gently upward until the sides meet at the top to form a pyramid shape. NOVA's team of experts attempts to build, transport, and raise a scale model obelisk using those materials available to ancient Egyptian engineers: rope, dirt, sticks, and stones.

Citizens of Rome came to the Colosseum to behold free entertainment that usually came in the form of violent war games and bloody battles between humans and animals. This structure's most impressive feature was a massive canopy that provided shade from the hot sun. In order to investigate the possible forms the roof may have taken, NOVA's team constructs models at a smaller arena in Spain.

24x08 Hunt for Alien Worlds

  • 1997-02-19T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Astronomers discover planets beyond our solar system. But is there life on them?

24x09 Curse of T.rex

  • 1997-02-26T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

How do paleontologists and commercial fossil hunters know where to look for rare and priceless dinosaur bones?

24x10 Cut to the Heart

  • 1997-04-09T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

Ever since World War II, physicians have struggled to find ways to treat heart failure, the biggest killer in the modern world.

24x11 Kingdom of the Seahorse

  • 1997-04-16T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

The world's leading sea horse biologist journeys to Australia and the Philippines to explore the secret lives of these extraordinary fish.

24x12 Coma

  • 1997-10-08T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

A famous brain surgeon struggles to save the life of a comatose child using a controversial new method of treating severe head injuries. In charge is Dr. Jan Ghajar, who gained notoriety in 1996 by successfully treating a woman who was savagely beaten in Manhattan's Central Park and expected to die. Dr. Ghajar believes the measure that helped save her life should be available to all.

24x13 Faster Than Sound

  • 1997-10-15T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

On the 50th anniversary of the first supersonic flight, Chuck Yeager relives his gutsy assault on the sound barrier and tells how it was done. Other top test pilots of the day—those who survived—describe the dangers, mysteries, and thrill of trying to fly faster than sound at the dawn of the jet age.

24x14 Bomb Squad

  • 1997-10-22T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

IRA terrorists and British bomb disposal experts tell behind-the-scenes stories of a a deadly cat-and- mouse game that pits ingenious IRA explosives officers against the most creative bomb squad in the world.

24x15 The Proof

  • 1997-10-29T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

In a tale of secrecy, obsession, dashed hopes, and brilliant insights, Princeton math sleuth Andrew Wiles goes undercover for eight years to solve history's most famous math problem: Fermat's Last Theorem. His success was front-page news around the world. But then disaster struck.

24x16 Wild Wolves

  • 1997-11-12T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Sir David Attenborough hosts a never-before-seen look at one of the most misunderstood creatures in nature. Special photography, including infrared photography, exposes the secret life of the wolf pack.

24x17 Super Bridge

  • 1997-11-13T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Viewers are sidewalk supervisors for one of the most unusual construction projects in the U.S. - the building of the stunningly beautiful and eminently practical Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River. Contractors faced every obstacle in the book—and then some—to build this complex structure.

24x18 Treasures Of A Sunken City

  • 1997-11-19T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, guided sailors in the Mediterranean Sea for 16 centuries. NOVA follows an international team of archeologists, cartographers, topographers, and divers as they catalog and map thousands of previously inaccessible ancient artifacts.

24x19 Avalanche!

  • 1997-11-26T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

Viewers see what it's like to be overwhelmed by a sudden onslaught of "white death"—an avalanche. Avalanches are an escalating peril as skiers and snowmobilers push the limits into the back country. NOVA witnesses scientists getting buried alive in their attempts to understand these forces of nature.

24x20 Danger in the Jet Stream

  • 1997-12-03T02:00:00Z — 55 mins

NOVA covers the latest efforts to be first to circumnavigate the planet non-stop in a balloon. NOVA's cameras are on board for all three attempts, including that of the long-shot underdog, American Steve Fossett, who rode high-speed winds solo from Missouri to a remote corner of India against incredible odds.

24x21 Kingdom of the Seahorse

  • 1997-04-16T01:00:00Z — 55 mins

The world's leading sea horse biologist journeys to Australia and the Philippines to explore the secret lives of these extraordinary fish.