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Season 4 1977 - 1978

  • 1977-01-06T03:00:00+01:00 on PBS
  • 55 mins
  • 18 hours, 20 mins (20 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.


20 episodes

4x01 Hitler's Secret Weapon

  • Season Premiere

    1977-01-06T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA traces the development of Hitler's V-2 rocket through rare footage obtained from the National Archives—some never broadcast before on television.

4x02 The Hot Blooded Dinosaurs

  • 1977-01-13T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

If you were a dinosaur scientist, what would you do with a pile of fossil bones? How would you even start to put the giant jigsaw puzzle together, never mind discover anything about how these dinosaurs lived? NOVA explores the incredible world of the dinosaur scientist.

4x03 What Price Coal?

  • 1977-01-20T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

What is the price we are prepared to pay for coal? NOVA looks at the environmental and health safety issues raised by the government, industry, and the victims.

4x04 The Sunspot Mystery

  • 1977-02-03T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the research on the 1976 drought in the western United States which led some solar scientists to discover the link between weather patterns and the 11 year sunspot mystery.

4x05 The Plastic Prison

  • 1977-02-10T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA follows the lives of three boys who have combined immuned deficiency—a disease that leaves its victims with no immune system.

4x06 Incident at Brown's Ferry

  • 1977-02-24T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA recreates March 1975 at Brown's Ferry, an Alabama nuclear power plant—the largest in the world—that suffered a seven-hour fire which came very close to developing into a major public disaster.

4x07 Bye Bye Blackbird

  • 1977-03-03T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA looks at blackbirds, their winter habit of nesting in the millions, and the destruction they do to crops.

4x08 The Pill for the People

  • 1977-03-10T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA profiles chemist Russell Marker who made the birth control pill possible by discovering a synthetic substitute for the hormone progesterone.

4x09 The Gene Engineers

  • 1977-03-17T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the history of genetic engineering and the possible risks and benefits of this area of research

4x10 The Human Animal

  • 1977-03-24T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

NOVA investigates the controversial theory of Harvard University biologist E.O. Wilson, that many aspects of human behavior are genetically determined.

4x11 The Wolf Equation

  • 1977-03-31T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

In the winter of 1976-77, 80 percent of the wolf population in Northwest Alaska was the target of aerial hunts. Although the area is roamed by the Western Arctic caribou herds—a natural predator of the wolf—the caribou population has been steadily decreasing in number. NOVA examines how the Dept. of Fish and Game is handling the the problem of wolf control.

4x12 The Dawn of the Solar Age

  • 1977-04-21T04:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

Solar energy is increasingly popular as a home heating source. But only recently has it been seriously considered as a source of industrial power. NOVA looks at this new industrial approach, such as the use of a huge windmill in Ohio, giant machines that may generate electricity from the heat of the tropical seas or from the motion of waves, and an orbiting solar power station able to beam microwaves to earth.

4x13 The Business of Extinction

  • 1977-04-21T04:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the huge international illegal trade in animals, penetrates the thriving underworld of smugglers and assesses the effects on vanishing wildlife.

4x14 The Red Planet

  • 1977-04-28T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

NOVA traces 300 years of speculation, investigation and discovery that have centered on Mars—particularly the theory that the planet could support life. Questions raised by NASA's 1976 Viking mariner missions about how the vast canyons were formed are also explored.

4x15 Tongues of Men (1)

  • 1977-05-12T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

In part one of this two-part exploration of the diversity of world languages, NOVA examines how and why the bewildering confusion of languages came about.

4x16 Tongues of Men (2)

  • 1977-05-19T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

In part two of this two-part series on the diversity of language, NOVA explores how man has coped with the confusion of language and asks if the growing acceptance of English is the answer.

4x17 Linus Pauling: Crusading Scientist

  • 1977-06-02T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

NOVA profiles Linus Pauling—the only person to have received two unshared Nobel Prizes for his work in nuclear weapons.

4x18 Across the Silent Barrier

  • 1977-06-23T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the different means by which hearing-impaired people have learned to penetrate the world of the hearing by visiting with Kitty O'Neil—a woman record-holding speed car racer; Frances Parsons, an advocate of hearing-impaired persons' rights; and workers at Silent Industries—a factory in Los Angeles founded by a deaf man.

4x19 The New Healers

  • 1977-06-30T03:00:00+02:00 — 55 mins

NOVA explores the delibitating diseases that are often caused by poverty and follows two paths to health care in Tanzania and the United States.

4x20 The Green Machine

  • 1978-01-12T03:00:00+01:00 — 55 mins

Botany is a neglected science and plants are all around us, but unfamiliar. NOVA examines our state of knowledge of how plants work: growth hormones, responses to light and shade, photosynthesis, root mechanisms and twining responses.