Rise of the Continents

The Americas

Series 1 - Episode 3 The Americas

Monday 11:15pm - 12:15am BBC Four


Having shown us already how Africa and Australia came to be, the most enthusiastic man in British geology, Professor Iain Stewart, is taking his passion and his magnifying loup to the Americas, which some 300 million years ago formed part of that huge long-lost supercontinent called Pangaea.

But the charm of these documentaries lies as much in what Stewart sees today – in the rocks, the landscapes and even the animals – as in what he reveals about Earth’s tumultuous early history. From alligators in Colorado to llamas in the Andes via a nerve-racking trip inside a Bolivian silver mine, this is a riveting journey into a turbulent world of plate movement and mineral magnificence.


Iain Stewart examines clues hidden in the landscape to reveal how the Americas were formed from an ancient supercontinent, later named Pangaea. He finds evidence that 300 million years ago New York was at the heart of a huge mountain range, and travels to an extinct volcano in Bolivia to explore subduction - the process that has shaped South America.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Iain Stewart
Director Arif Nurmohamed
Executive Producer Jonathan Renouf
Producer Arif Nurmohamed
Series Producer Zoe Heron