Presented by Tony Robinson and featuring scientific experts, this spectacular five-part series investigates the history of natural disasters, from the planet's beginnings to the present, putting a new perspective on our existence - that we are the product of Catastrophe.
From planetary collisions to the Ordovician Silurian Ice Age, from massive volcanic eruptions to asteroid impacts, Catastrophe pieces together the extraordinary events that gave birth to our unique and beautiful planet.
99% of all the creatures that have ever lived, no longer exist. They were wiped-out in a series of global catastrophes. Each disaster changed the course of evolution on earth. Without them mankind, nor any of the life we see around us, would be here today. For out of catastrophe comes rebirth.
Since the earth was created 4.5 billion years ago the planet has been struck by a series of catastrophes. Each one pushed life to the edge of extinction but from disaster comes new life. While the dominant species on the planet were wiped out hardier creatures survived and moved into the vacuum left by the extinction. These creatures then themselves took over the planet until they themselves fell to another mass extinction.
Evolution is a savage, imperfect and violent process. It's survive or perish. The earth's history of catastrophes has both moulded the planet and determined evolution. For each disaster led to another leap forward on the evolutionary trail form single celled bacteria to humankind itself.