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Narrated by Stacy Keach

Series premiered Sunday, July 19, and Monday, July 20, from 8-10 pm (ET) on PBS. (Watch for repeat showings on your local PBS station.)

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If our planet is a sleeping giant, it slumbers fitfully. Slowly and insidiously, Earth's fabric is shifting, creaking and groaning. Continents rub against continents. Mountains creep higher. Under the oceans, volcanoes boil. We live on a patchwork of gigantic plates that jostle one another like the pieces of a rickety jigsaw puzzle. Beneath them rages fiery magma.

The Earth's seismic activity can unleash almost inconceivable power. Eons of rising pressure can explode in a single moment of cataclysmic force that disfigures the landscape. These brutal events are extremely difficult to predict, and virtually impossible to resist. And when the giant stirs beneath inhabited areas, inevitably, people die.

In 1996, millions of Americans were swept away by public television's SAVAGE SKIES and its overwhelming images of planetary weather on the rampage. Now, in a stunning follow-up to that unforgettable television event, the breathtaking new series SAVAGE EARTH turns its gaze away from the heavens to explore the explosive tics and fiery spasms of our not so "terra firma."

Lava fountains

Lava fountains on Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in 1984.

In the last 500 years, nearly 300 million people have perished in earthquakes. Time and again, volcanic eruptions have destroyed cities, regions, even entire countries. From the legendary fury of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. to the devastating convulsion of Kobe, Japan, in 1994, SAVAGE EARTH tells the stories of these great natural disasters, the scientists who struggle to understand and predict them, and the people whose lives are forever changed by their merciless force. Through a riveting combination of unforgettable footage, up-to-the-minute scientific data, and harrowing first-person accounts from survivors, SAVAGE EARTH bears candid witness to our planet's restless nature and the catastrophes it provokes.

Collapsed building

Damage from the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

Presented on PBS by Thirteen/WNET in New York, SAVAGE EARTH is co-produced by Thirteen/WNET and Granada Television. The series is made possible by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

SAVAGE EARTH is closed-captioned for the hearing impaired.

Top photo: J.D. Griggs, Hawaii Volcano Observatory, U.S. Geological Survey, courtesy of the National Geophysical Data Center.
Bottom photo: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration/ National Geophysical Data Center.

Overview  |  Program 1: Hell's Crust  |  Program 2: The Restless Planet
Program 3: Out of the Inferno  |  Program 4: Waves of Destruction

About the Series | TV Schedule | Video Ordering Information


PBS Online  |  Thirteen Online