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First Peoples, New Five-Part Series

This five-part documentary series is a global detective story that combines archaeology, genetics, and anthropology to cast new light on 200,000 years of human history. First Peoples divides the globe into five regions with an episode focusing on each area. Viewers will explore how the mixing of prehistoric genes has allowed our species to survive and dominate around the globe. First Peoples premieres Wednesday June, 24 at 9pm.

Episode One – “Americas”
The premiere episode chronicles the arrival of humans to the Americas. Viewers will look into a curious underwater discovery in Mexico which raises questions about the long accepted theory that the first Americans were Clovis people who arrived 13,000 years ago. Examine new evidence which suggests that humans actually arrived much earlier and by boat rather than on foot. Also in this episode, explore how closely related these early Americans are to today’s Native Americans. It’s an episode full of provocative issues, involving one of the most controversial fossils in the world, Kennewick Man.

Episode Two – “Africa”
See the place where 200,000 years ago, a new species, Homo sapiens, appeared on the landscape. Africa has long been imagined as the birthplace of the human species, a real-life Garden of Eden. However, the new research explored in this episode indicates that humans evolved in many places across the continent at the same time and that humans are more of a patchwork species than we previously believed. See research on the DNA of a 19th-century African-American slave and what it reveals about the hybridization of our species in its early days as our ancestors continued meeting and mating across the African continent – creating even greater diversity within us.

Episode Three – “Asia”
In the third instalment, discover the meeting of ancient humans living across Asia and the Homo sapiens who arrived there. See how the mating and mixing that followed resulted in the genetic combination that has helped us face down extinction.

Episode Four – “Australia”
Explore a place where ancient and modern stories intersect as nowhere else. In the fourth episode, journey to Australia to see the first place where humans were truly alone and had to adjust to completely new surroundings when they arrived. Intuitively, early Australians found the level of socialization that ensured their longevity. Because of this, there is a close cultural and genetic link between early Australian humans and modern-day Aborigines.

Episode Five – “Europe”
In the final episode find out why the Neanderthals went extinct when Homo sapiens turned up in prehistoric Europe. The two types of humans were similar enough to interbreed. But as the population of Homo sapiens in Europe increased, their capacity for symbolic thought overwhelmed the Neanderthals. Ever since, we’ve had Europe – and the rest of the world – to ourselves.



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So disappointed in the quality of the sound with this first program. The music overlays overpower the narration and make it very difficult to understand. We hope this problem is corrected by the second installment of The Peoples.

This seemed to be a lot of style over substance. The computerized beat music was VERY disconcerting--and very immature and unprofessional, I might add. It greatly interfered with my ability to concentrate on the subject at hand. It appears that the producer thought the ebdless and frivilous electronic beats, and very Overly-Dramatic schlock music-noise generated by a computer was more important than the narriation information of the program. Very sad production on this. If it had been done ten years ago it would have been much more professional. I think it'd the new era we are now stuck in.

Totally agree with Diane. My wife and I were stunned by how bad the audio was. Does no one preview the presentation. It was impossible to understand the narrator. Music over powered the entire show.

We completely agree with others on the poor quality of production for this episode. The majority of the program could not be heard for the music. The viewer, who tunes into this type of program, is interested in the educational content not on the dramatic background music.

The narrator's voice SUCKS. It so takes away from a very interesting series. I'm glad I'm not alone in my opinion.

I didn't see the first episodes (which prompted Diane's comments), I only saw episodes 3 and 4. The insight into the origin, evolution and migration of our species was so fascinating for me that I must have missed the sound problems.

Later episodes are better. I have to say a very fascinating series. The onset of DNA matching is a incredible tool, which helps map out where we all come from.