“Travelling through the body, tiny clusters of hairs loom as large as a forest and hidden chambers of the heart rise up like a vast cathedral”
Inside The Human Body is a BBC documentary, presented excellently by Michael Mosley, which reveals how our body performs astonishing procedures so as to continue living. What really grabbed me about this programme was the use of the most modern technology to create graphics and animations, supported by the newest scientific studies, allowing a visual illustration in order to take the viewer on the journey through all the processes occurring inside us.
This 4-part series revolves around one specific topic in each episode, starting off fittingly right at the beginning: Conception. Here it demonstrates the likelihood of a sperm fertilising the egg by following their pathway with the use of computer-generated graphics; the race being like the “X Factor for sperm: millions will apply – 85% of them will be useless” and the body of the woman creating clever obstacles so that only the best are chosen, the ones that survive. It also reveals the formation of a human face (for the first time in television history):
In the second episode, First To Last, Mosley depicts the fight of existence; how the body carries out innumerable little wonders to keep it living such as regulating your body temperature and when the body ultimately stops working. Building Your Brain, the next episode, portrays the development of the brain as you grow: it turns out that the older you get, the fewer brain connections there are which causes Michael’s son, 16, to claim “so it’s just downhill” (quite rightly so!), but this adjustment is necessary (and explains the reason teenagers take many risks). The final episode, Hostile World, demonstrates the methods the body uses to defend against all the different infections, revealing how we grow completely new skin every 3 months.
Not only does this show contain all the scientific detail about our body but, to exemplify this science, each episode is full of numerous life stories about extraordinary people from all parts of the world who have challenged their bodies as much as possible. It includes a woman pregnant with her 16th child (and wanting more!), the oldest conjoined twins, a woman who has eaten solely Monster Munch crisps for over a decade (even the same flavour), a young girl fluent in 11 languages, the “Ice Man” who can swim in freezing glacial lakes for up to 15 minutes, a blind man who rock climbed, fishermen who can see clearly under water and even witnessing a man taking his last breath. Moreover, it allows some surgeries to be seen such as the separation of the malfunctioning right side of the brain from the left of a 1 year old, arm transplants for a man who was in a fire accident and a heart surgery to regulate the contractions.
Unfortunately, I only watched this show very recently after a friend showed it to me so couldn’t recommend it earlier so all 4 episodes have aired already. Nonetheless, there are repeats happening and they can be watched on BBC iPlayer (only 5 days left before it deletes them though!) but all of them are on youtube: