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The Independent Culture
Earth Story (9pm UKTV History)

UKTV History is mounting a month-long "Pre-History Season", delving into the origins of our planet and the life it sustains. It launches this evening with this epic series, filmed over three years at a cost of pounds 3m. Showing every night this week, Earth Story follows scientists to locations as diverse as the ocean floor, the polar ice caps and the craters of active volcanoes as they attempt to unravel the mystery of how our world came into being.

State-of-the-art computer graphics help to recreate the places and events over the past four billion years that have shaped the Earth into a finely- balanced and unique entity in our solar system. Presented by Aubrey Manning (above), tonight's series opener, "The Time Travellers", follows the efforts of scientists to discover the true age of the planet. Manning's journey takes him from, of all places, Lyme Regis to deep underground in South Africa. In caverns and mines he searches for the oldest place on Earth and the first rocks formed when the planet began to cool and take shape.

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