Winner 1996

Odyssey of Life

NOVA/WGBH-TV, Boston, Massacusetts, Agaton Film and Television, Swedish Television, SVT1, ZDF-Arte (Germany/France), Channel 4, London, England

Showcasing the work of renowned microphotographer Lennart Nilsson, the three-part Odyssey of Life picks up where his 1983 Peabody Award-winning Miracle of Life left off, and also reveals how Nilsson achieves some of his breathtaking footage. Odyssey of Life opens with The Ultimate Journey, which shows how millions of years of evolutionary history are reflected in life before birth in species as diverse as humans, chickens, and fish. The Unknown World spotlights, often in chilling detail, the menagerie of mites, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that colonize our homes and bodies. The Photographer’s Secrets reveals the technological and personal skills necessary to capture the magical realm of the microworld. Here, for the first time, Nilsson demonstrates how he filmed a human egg at the exact moment of fertilization, the journey through the aorta, a kiss seen from a molar’s point of view, and the quavering vocal chords of an opera diva. The magical achievements of Mr. Nilsson are made possible by the production leadership of executive producers Paula S. Apsell and Bo G Erikson. For chronicling the enormous diversity of life on earth from prehistory to the present, including memorable close-ups of those tiny invaders that reside in, on, and around us, a Peabody to Odyssey of Life.