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Colour: The Spectrum of Science

  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • Education
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Episode 2: Life

Summary

Early Earth was the canvas for a vast new palette, with the diversity of human skin tones telling the story of how humanity spread and ultimately conquered the planet. Dr Helen Czerski explores the true masters of colour - which are often the smallest and most elusive - travelling to the mountains of Tennessee to witness the colourful mating display of fireflies, and revealing the marine creatures that can change the hue of their skin in order to hide from the world.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The spectrum expands in this second episode, as Dr Helen Czerski explores colour's role in organic life. Cue stunning visuals showcasing how nature's paintbox has drenched the planet's surface with mesmerising hues. Green predominates, of course, and we learn how the chlorophyll in plants absorbs red and blue light for photosynthesis, effectively reflecting the green as a waste product.

Mandrills' noses, meanwhile, provide an example of how colours can react to their environment. Amazingly, they grow redder as an individual becomes more dominant. There's also evidence that eating carrots can make you more attractive, even if they can't help you see in the dark.

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDr Helen Czerski

Crew

rolename
Executive producerJacqueline Smith
Series producerGraeme Thomson

All episodes

  • Episode 2

    Life

    Summary

    Early Earth was the canvas for a vast new palette, with the diversity of human skin tones telling the story of how humanity spread and ultimately conquered the planet. Dr Helen Czerski explores the true masters of colour - which are often the smallest and most elusive - travelling to the mountains of Tennessee to witness the colourful mating display of fireflies, and revealing the marine creatures that can change the hue of their skin in order to hide from the world.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    The spectrum expands in this second episode, as Dr Helen Czerski explores colour's role in organic life. Cue stunning visuals showcasing how nature's paintbox has drenched the planet's surface with mesmerising hues. Green predominates, of course, and we learn how the chlorophyll in plants absorbs red and blue light for photosynthesis, effectively reflecting the green as a waste product.

    Mandrills' noses, meanwhile, provide an example of how colours can react to their environment. Amazingly, they grow redder as an individual becomes more dominant. There's also evidence that eating carrots can make you more attractive, even if they can't help you see in the dark.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDr Helen Czerski

    Crew

    rolename
    Executive producerJacqueline Smith
    Series producerGraeme Thomson
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