Time Machine

2004, Science  -   69 Comments
Ratings: 7.27/10 from 15 users.

Time MachineFrom the creation of the highest mountains to the opening of a flower's petals, time controls the world around us. To understand this super-powerful force on Earth, we must wrench control of time ourselves - compressing, expanding, stopping and dissecting it, to reveal how the passing of time shapes our world and lives.

The World Shaped By Time. First in a three-part documentary series offering an insight into the dramatic forces that shape life on Earth, using speeded-up footage that compresses centuries into seconds. The programme follows the movement of mountains, rivers, glaciers and the sea, and offers a glimpse of what the future might hold, revealing how the Great Rift Valley may well be on its way to becoming the next ocean.

Life: The Race Against Time. How the passing of time on Earth affects life on a variety of levels, from the daily opening of a flower's petals to the evolution of the horse. A swift journey through the seasons demonstrates how caribou spend most of their time on the move, while the flying squirrel's body clock, attuned to the rhythms of the Earth, is revealed to be the most accurate in nature.

Masters of Time. The last episode in the series examines how humans perceive and experience time, investigating the internal body clock which tells people when to eat, drink, sleep and relax. The importance of accurately measuring time is explored in relation to human evolution, and there's a debate about whether mankind will ever be able to travel between past, present and future.

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69 Comments / User Reviews

  1. terencegalland

    Great photography of the flora and fauna and narrated by educated people who really believe that the world was created by god.....well its here is it not,but the men and women,s care taking abilities are leaving a lot to be desired so much so that the earth is now on a knifes edge with regard to species becoming extinct and even humanity is placing itself under pressure, so i say lets give god a chance why not the evolutionists dont seem to know the answer to earths problems!!!

    1. dewflirt

      God created evolutionists.... probably another one of his mistakes. Not to worry, we'll eventually be extinct too ;)

    2. terencegalland

      my comment was for the "god of wonders" documentary dont know what happened there? anyway i like to listen and watch both sides of the argument tend to be a creationist though!

    3. dewflirt

      Don't know, Disqus is behaving oddly after its makeover? I don't do creationism, I kind of like the idea that everything just happened all by its self. No rhyme or reason, no strings (or maybe strings?) just nothing and then something. Love trying to fit that into my brain. When I was little I had a recurring dream about having to take a pink pill that was bigger than my head, staring at it and wondering how I would even open my mouth that wide. Feels the same as that.
      Night, T ;)
      Edit: No big mouth jokes!!! ;)

    4. terencegalland

      yes i get a dream too its that i have a gold nugget stuck in my back end but then i realise thats its probably a chunk of polonium or something else nasty sweet dreams or radioactive ones!

  2. devlinwaugh

    ok here we go again i cant stop Egypt 4000 years bc Scottish village 5000 bc we guess at these things historians try bless them but if history is not in written word(ie) explained why.Historians have to surmise and have no relation or understanding of the early humans.I could make something up that seemed fitting and showed one animal head 1 spear and 1 pot i could surmise that they hunted had craft and were social.The things of the past with no recorded history is whatever you can make fit.Totally assumption based on many facts some are true the earth the wind and water continent movement and humans.

  3. devlinwaugh

    ugh its an historical guessing docu the reasonable equations are answered but so many hypothesis,you cant take this serious as other forms of continent could have come and gone this is pure speculation.Closed my synapses time to move on shame on this docu maker calling it the TIME MACHINE.The docu should be called the guessing game lol.

  4. devlinwaugh

    well not what i wanted and misleading title total guess work and assumptions some basic math involved and obvious core samples but as the earths crust moves over millions of years this science is defunct to prove global positioning at the times due to the rise fall and creation of land.

  5. Ryan Evans

    They should have called it the evolution machine. I got excited for a new documentary about time and physics. Looked cool, but it's like one of those shows I watched in grade school biology.

  6. Guest

    This actually has nothing to do with "time". This is about evolution by natural selection. Time is merely the context and the "excuse" for yet
    another exercise in hammering home Darwin. The dialog the narrator is stuck with is an aggregate of already well known arguments, so the narrator has to induce your excitement.
    You would never buy this documentary as it would never add quality to your home library. It has its moments. When it employs time delay photography or slow motion filming, then this film can show you familiar things in an unfamiliar way, broaden your horizons.

    I give this 6/10 on the freebee scale.

  7. Bhanu Pangtey

    we call people st*pid who are not like us. who wont act like us and believe in what we believe ...

    thereby, we as an individual are the common denominator of the term st*pidity. who so ever is below us in what we do is st*pid , m*ron etc etc

    frankly if i walk around i can call most of the people around me as st*pid which most of us do.

    scientist were st*pid during the time when churches had a say and now religion is considered st*pid by people when science has the say.

    st*pid and etc term doesnt have to be analysed outside. as far as i am concerned , if we look beyond our ego, we would always feel a titsy bitsy st*pid and weak inside.

    we all do, so if i compare who is weaker or st*pid, i would compare with the person nxt to me.

    spirituality can bring every 1 to the common level of love.

    SO WHEN WE LOOK AT A R*TARDED PERSON, WITH SYMPATHY LIKE " SO SAD ..., I FEEL SORRY FOR HIM ETCTEC", WHO SAYS THAT THE BOY NEEDS UR SYMPATHY. i would say, he is the luckiest person who doesn't compare himself with anyone or anything, so is not st*pid or dumb for him.

    if we let our ego go and be with ourselves( inner spiritual world) , there is no one in the world who is st*pid, dumb or m*ron. we are what we are and there is always a place of us in the society ( society as a term is a ST*PID IDEA) hehe

  8. Guest

    I knew i was missing something important during all those hours.
    Here i am ....did the world change?

  9. Guest

    I'd offer to make contact with a fellow intelligent species in our universe, and a portal to peace on earth, and all you guys can (mostly) FOCUS on is WOMEN...
    (Pretty much) One track minds, both of you!
    *Pot calls kettle black?*

    1. lakhotason

      Yeah since it was your idea.

    2. Guest

      I often said; a good man is a lost man without a woman.

  10. Achems_Razor

    A pile of women? nah, already had that, one woman though with a few caveats, drop dead gorgeous, smart, jaw dropping sexy, a living goddess, with a very prurient nature, but will not stray. Simple right?

    1. lakhotason

      What of intellect?

    2. Achems_Razor

      Intellectual prowess would work, which is a display of exceptionally high intelligence and knowledge, then would be compatible to me. lol

      Yes, independence is a given.

    3. lakhotason

      And one more thing. Long legs. Intellectually and independently long legs.

    4. Achems_Razor

      Right, probably looking at AI, artificial intelligence type. No not dolls, before someone jumps on that band wagon, but moving-and-a-grooving female robots.

    5. Guest

      So really your after 7 of 9. Shame she's stuck light years from earth, you guys are probably right up her street.

    6. Guest

      Ohhh, mah gawdd, mah mouth is waterin'...
      edit- 7of9- "You used MY BODY for sexual gratification!"
      EMH- *eyebrows shoot up to the back of his bald head*

    7. lakhotason

      And indepedence?

    8. Guest

      You mean you haven't had that? what kind of pile was that?...loll


  11. Guest

    My favorite part of this doc is the very end when he asks:
    If you could become a true master of time, where would you go?
    What would you dare to change?

    answers anyone?

    1. Guest

      Have you got about 6 months? :)

    2. Guest

      Your question got me to think; if you were to take six months to answer this (in appearance) simple question, it is quite possible that the moment you are about to press the send key you would have a change of opinion depending on the event of the day. So jump on it...would you or would you not change anything and where would you go?

      Az for me...i would go to the next second before it is there, this would prove to me that i have indeed found a way to travel faster than time, something i would continue to practice to infinity. I would not change the past because the past would no longer exist in my mind.

    3. Guest

      A HARD question! Lots of answers come to mind, and none of them are really satisfying... Gimme some time to think about it, and check back later today or tonight...

      edit- I was SO tempted to make a joke out of it, such as mandatory nudity laws for women, but never mind, lol.

    4. Guest

      If a nudity joke did not pass through your mind, i would think you are loosing your mind.

    5. Guest

      Well, I'm probably answering too soon, but here goes...
      As for where I'd go (assuming, I suppose, I could get back to earth with incontrovertible proof), I'd have to say: Another planet where there is intelligent life (preferably intelligent, though any kind of advanced life would do), as opposed to anywhere in the earth's past or future, with the possible exception of the outskirts of Jerusalem, circa 33 AD. Having the answer to the question of advanced life elsewhere would profoundly change every human endeavor I can think of... Scientific, religious, philosophical, probably even musical. The implications would be more than we could possibly imagine right now.
      As for what I'd change, I'd go very deep into the past of humanity and, with a snap of my divine fingers, make love, real, altruistic, unconditional LOVE the fundamental touchstone for all of human history, coupled with an equally powerful love of learning that isn't set on establishing dogmas or afraid of change.
      Aside from having a horde of beautiful women piled on top of me like a bouquet of assorted flowers and feeding me grapes, that's about the best answer I think I can come up with, Az.

    6. lakhotason

      Pysmythe - Other than unintended consequences which would result in an eternal game of Cosmic Whack-A-Mole, what about the moral implications of changing anything?

      Once you've changed anything then my right as a human to free will would have been destroyed and along with it my humanity. However noble, and your intentions are of the most noble, I would find any intervention in my past a sort of theft of my true self.

      But if you can really do the thing with the women for me, then I'll learn to live with it.

    7. Guest

      That sort of thing occurred to me and I started to qualify (and complicate!) my statement with it, but seeing it's all just fantasy, anyway, I figured, what the h*ll. Unfortunately, that (probably most especially) includes the women...
      Some things are just REALLY impossible!

    8. Guest

      Think of all the silly stuff you could do, put a succession of silly hats on Hitler so nobody could take him seriously, check out how the Pyramids were really built and chat with the Ancient Aliens, find out who Jack the ripper was, where Lord Lucan went, ask what the Nazca lines are for. Mostly I would just like to get back all the hours I've spent unpicking seams. No pile of men for me though, unless they shave first ;)

    9. Guest

      Those are all good, but the Ripper mystery would be cool, really cool, in fact. Used to read the occasional book on that years ago. Maddening thing...

      edit- Now I'm gonna have to read something about Lord Lucan, lol.

    10. lakhotason

      You mostly want to observe events rather than change history. Let me think of only one event I would like to see.

    11. lakhotason

      Think I would like to be in the audience of a Mark Twain lecture.

    12. Guest

      Probably most people would think it's stupid, but if you're talking about observing someone, I'd really love to just see J.S. Bach...I'd also love to see Mozart composing something, but something major, like a concerto or an opera, in private, without his wife and buddies hanging on him, because I have a feeling that process was not altogether the straight up clinical procedure most historians have given the impression it was. Listening to Voltaire and Mark Twain, two of the finest, most creative on your feet thinkers ever, have a conversation about anything would also be mind-blowing.

      (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, lol.)

    13. lakhotason

      What? No women? Time travel is worthless.

    14. lakhotason

      Ok, I'll bite since it's fantasy. I'll pick one event I would change. Give me a little while to think.

    15. Guest

      Here in the sticks of Gaspesie, the internet was interupted the last 2 days...no one in town had it...i went to every cafe which means two. As i was just about to go to bed, i tried my computer and Bingo! here it is...you are the first thing i read...not bad...i like it...will come back to it.

    16. Guest

      Wondering what happened. I thought maybe you were just seeing how far your challenge would play out!

    17. Guest

      Such a tiny innocent question, what massive answers I could give you. In the end it would have to be all or nothing and all would take so much from me, so I guess I have to go for nothing :)

    18. Guest

      .....or everything.

    19. Guest

      sort of a stand still...like a crystal hanging in a window in the sun.

    20. Guest

      Yeah, but i just read Psymythes answer and now I'm getting ideas :)

    21. lakhotason

      I would go nowhere and change nothing. I like this life just fine.

  12. Guest

    The theory about the Sphinx having been formed by nature and later on sculpted by humans sounds interesting, similar wind shaped rock formation are nearby.
    The narration is annoying...too much repeated stuff from other docs. The third part is the most interesting in my view.
    Time travel may be possible at the speed of thoughts carrying the energy of the body if not the body itself....especially if we are not physical as it may appear to be. The energy could access an energetic universal memory bank and actually feel it to be physical.
    Tachyon here tachyon there.

  13. Boyd Jacobson

    I love you guys

  14. tariqxl

    at about 15 mins through it just becomes hard to carry on.

  15. BlackDog Aura

    cool, the sphinx just was created by the wind blowing on rocks....

  16. Arnie

    Episode 2: Great photography! Interesting stories of the different lives and habits of the animals, birds and insects. Thank you BBC! Thanks TDF!

  17. Branimir Shini

    I`ll keep it short:
    If at one point it becomes possible to travel through time i guess it would be hard to find your way back to earth, as earth,sun, our galaxy... are all moving trough space as they move trough time. Even if we could create a wormhole, maybe it would be easier to create or link the "portal`s" in both of the time-space coordinates, then to come back to the earth before the technology was invented...

    1. Sarah Post

      Az, Epic, get him!

  18. Arnie

    I agree great program on geological time. Special thanks to BBC for creating it and for Top documentary Films for adding it!

    TDF is most definitely my favourite web site as well!

    It is nice to be able to learn something new everyday in a fun and entertaining way.

    The information on Yellowstone is right on!

    The Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts on average every 600,000 years. The last eruption has been dated to 630,000 to 640,000 years ago. It is overdue for an eruption by 30,000 years.

    So everyone needs to enjoy global warming these days! :))

    Everyday is a gift to enjoy and savour!


    The Grand Canyon - Information this documentary missed.

    Grand Canyon Geologists have been discovering that the reason the extreme depth of the Grand Canyon is due to continual crust uplift in this area. As the plateau is continuously pushed up the river has to flow faster enabling it to cut deeper through the bed rock.

    Combine this river flow with especially large floods at the end of the last ice age and the mechanism is in place to cut large deep canyons.


    The Pyramids on the Giza Plateau

    Are not the burial tomes of the Egyptian Pharaohs of 3,000BC.

    The Pyramid complex on the Giza plateau has now been dated to 10,500BC to 10,450BC with the aid of the Sphinx and astronomers with programs that show the position of the stars around 10,500BC to 10,450BC.

    The Pyramid complex on the Giza plateau served several purposes for the ancient Egyptian civilization. The large pyramid is designed to mark the Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice, Spring Equinox and Fall Equinox.

    The Pyramid complex itself is a mirror for the stars in Orion’s belt that are a star clock for Earth's GREAT year. Earth's Great Year is the 25,800 year precession through the 12 Zodiac constellations.

    The sky was divided into 12 equal segments by the ancient Egyptian civilization and assigned names based on the characters that could be created using the stars in that particular sector.

    It takes 2,150 years to move from one Zodiac sector to the next.

    The Sphinx marks the construction of the Pyramid complex on the Giza plateau at between 10,500BC and 10,450BC.

    In 10,500BC to 10,450BC the sun rises in the constellation Leo at the Vernal Equinox which is marked by the perfect alignment of the Sphinx facing East, which is a representation for Leo.

    The three smaller pyramids beside the largest pyramid mark the positions of Orion's belt in 10,500BC to 10,450BC. This alignment is important, because it marks the lowest point of Orion's belt in Earth's precession.

    The three smaller pyramids beside the smallest pyramid mark the positions of Orion's belt in 2,400AD to 2,450AD. This alignment is important because it marks the highest point of Orion's belt in Earth's precession.

    Distance in time is 12,900 years. 2,150 years x 6 constellations = 12,900 years.

    This advanced Egyptian civilization was sadly lost in 10,000BC when a massive megatsunami washed through the Mediterranean Basin inundating Egypt in a massive flood that reached a minimum of 108 miles inland, leaving a high water mark of 240 feet on the largest pyramid's outer limestone casing.

    14 feet of ocean sediment were found covering the base of the pyramid complex filled with sea shells and the skeleton of a large sea cow. The ocean sediment was dated to 10,600BC +- 300 years.

    Other human civilizations in the Mediterranean Basin were wiped out as vast areas were flooded raising the sea level 848 feet during the worst of the tsunami before settling back to 120m above their original level.

    The origin of this megatsunami is now thought to be the asteroid strike in North America that vaporized the 1.5 mile thick glacier covering Eastern North America. The wall of fresh water entering into the Atlantic Ocean from the St. Lawrence River propagated out to sweep across the Atlantic Ocean in 10,000BC.

    Part of this megatsunami would breach the Strait of Gibraltar causing the massive flooding event in the Mediterranean Basin. A flooding event that was possibly recorded as Gilgamesh's Flood and then retold as Noah's Flood later on in the Bible.

    Another part of the megatsunami would strike the Northwestern continent of Africa causing the continental shelf to collapse causing a massive 1,000 mile underwater landslide that would create the Northwestern Africa Abyssal Plain under the Atlantic Ocean and another megatsunami.

    The huge volume of fresh water dumped into the Atlantic Ocean desalinated the ocean around the St. Lawrence causing the Atlantic Gulf Stream to stop flowing. This brought a mini ice-age back to the Northern hemisphere for 1,500 years.

    These events are all dated to around 10,000BC.

    It would take the Earth's climate 1,500 years to recover from the North American asteroid strike, the mini ace-age and return the Atlantic Gulf Stream to normal. European explorers would return to North America in 8,000BC, 2,000 years after the asteroid strike.

    This site contains the documentary “Journey to 10,000BC” which explains the above events.

    1. Achems_Razor


      Are you related to Art Vinette, by any chance?

  19. wheelnut53

    I love these long videos .I just added this one to my bookmarks . TDF My most favorite web site . My compliments to the host

  20. drinker69

    Can I call time out?

  21. StegOfTheDump

    think it's jeremy vine narrating

    1. Irishkev

      Wow Stig, haven't heard of you in years. Are you still in the The Dump?

    2. Irishkev

      Sorry Steg, didn't have my specs on.

    3. StegOfTheDump

      yep still in the dump.....Paisley

  22. Theodore Cibran

    Time is the fire in which we burn.

  23. wald0

    Couldn't get into this one, tried twice. The narration gets on my nerves really badly. I don't know why, I generally enjoy an english accent, but this guy just comes off as fake or something, like he is trying to hard to sound dramatic and serious. Besides, there is no real new information here, just more of the same stuff mentioned in many other docs.

  24. Aaylsworth

    Ahhh! The narration is terrible and uses too many cliches. Too bad...I was looking forward to enjoying it.

  25. oilchng

    @teddy mcd just hopeing our engines dont jump time while we're trying to find the time ... by the way ... do i cut the blue wire or the green wire ? kinda running out of time here .