is a major BBC documentary exploring the extremes of the world's climate with the engaging presenter Donal MacIntyre. The four one-hour programmes focus on wind, wet, cold and heat, and explore how these produce hurricanes, monsoons, ice storms and tornadoes, as well as regulate the global environment. MacIntyre, best known for his investigative series MacIntyre Undercover
(1999), travels the world, from beneath the North Pole to the saturated humidity of the Belise tropical rainforest. Bringing to mind the daredevil John Noakes from 1970s Blue Peter
, MacIntyre skydives, is battered by a wild tunnel, frozen in an ice-box, subjected to a reservoir flood and endures a marathon across the Sahara. Survivors' accounts tell the stories of such disasters as Hurricane Andrew, a New York state snow storm and the flood of Britain's eastern coast in 1953. The intelligent use of computer graphics enhances clear explanations of the jet stream, ocean currents and other phenomena, in a series which is part geography lesson (but with a great teacher), part reality TV entertainment show. Occasional flash-cut editing and some inappropriate techno/drum & bass on the soundtrack will irritate viewers who remember life before MTV, but otherwise this is an excellent mainstream documentary series. --Gary S Dalkin
All four episodes from the BBC documentary series about extreme weather conditions. 'Wind' looks at hurricanes, the Aurora Borealis, and winds from space. 'Wet' visits the wettest place in Europe, as well as finding out about Texan drought and the Indian monsoon season. 'Cold' visits the Inuit of Greenland and discovers how they survive in the extreme cold. Finally, 'Hot' travels from the desert to the jungle, and explores the phenomena of heat waves and lightning. Presented by Donal MacIntyre.