Join us for one of the most breathtaking scientific and cinematographic explorations of our time. A sequel to the highly successful Arctic Mission, this stunning documentary, co-produced by the CBC and Radio-Canada, captures the beauty and grandeur of Antarctica.
An adventurous crew of filmmakers, scientists and mariners embarked on a 17-month expedition aboard the SEDNA IV, a state-of-the-art research sailing vessel, and braved one of the planet's roughest and coldest seas.
Antarctic Mission: Islands at the Edge
Viewers are transported to the Sub-Antarctic as the SEDNA IV sails across the Polar Front, an area where cold turbulent Antarctic waters meet warmer water from the north. This area represents one of the earth's last great refuges for wildlife, with tens of millions of birds, fur seals and elephant seals returning each spring to breed after a winter at sea. The exceptional wealth of the Southern Ocean has always provided for amazing populations of unique species, but for how much longer?
Saturday August 29, 2009 at 7 pm on CBC-TV
Antarctic Mission: A Window on a Changing Climate
A revelatory look at the often subtle and unexpected impacts of our changing climate. Antarctica is still very much a mythical continent—a place that we have known for less than 200 years. Understanding the mechanisms that led to the slow break-up of ancient ice shelves takes both ingenuity and a huge icebreaker, but the changes underway here are not only written in the ice. Antarctica's inhabitants are telling us that their world is changing in complex and subtle ways. The once successful colonies of diminutive Adelie penguins, on the Antarctic Peninsula just south of the Antarctic Circle, have shrunk by 80 per cent. Although it seems ridiculous, their decline is due in large part to increased snowfall—one of the unexpected consequences of a warmer climate.
Saturday September 5, 2009 at 7 pm on CBC-TV
Antarctic Mission: The Great Ocean of Ice
Beneath SEDNA's hull lies a cold and mysterious world that is home to some of the toughest and most unusual creatures on the planet: giant ribbon worms, dragon fish, and ancient sponges. For millions of years, these fantastical creatures have enjoyed a stable world, but now that is changing as the seawater starts to warm. This episode shares the team's incredible adventure underwater and follows them as they endure the long, dark austral winter living onboard SEDNA IV. And unfortunately, they discover the hard way that a warmer winter does not necessarily make their work any easier. A harbinger of our changing world, Antarctica is sending us all an alarming message.
Saturday September 12, 2009 at 7 pm on CBC-TV
Antarctic Mission: The Last Continent
Viewers will meet a daring, close-knit Canadian crew aboard the SEDNA IV, who set out to observe climate change and its consequences up close in the icy grip of Antarctica. This episode follows the crew as they embark on this spectacular adventure. Taking his lead from some of the world's greatest explorers, mission leader Jean Lemire and his crew endured 17 months on the expedition to measure the threat posed by global warming in the Antarctic—a place where the Earth is particularly vulnerable.
Thursday September 3, 2009 at 8 pm on CBC-TV
Antarctic Mission is produced by Glacialis Production and 13 Production, in collaboration with THE NATURE OF THINGS, Radio-Canada, and ARTE France. Antarctic Mission recently aired in French on Radio-Canada to great success. The documentary series was directed by Caroline Underwood of THE NATURE OF THINGS and Jean Lemire. Underwood spent nearly six months onboard SEDNA IV, and was lead director for three of the episodes. The Last Continent was produced and directed by Lemire, who was also the Mission Chief of the expedition.