series watch

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 12:00am

The Treasures Of St Petersburg And The Hermitage

Pearl, 9pm

This year St Petersburg celebrates its 300th anniversary and the city is expecting more foreign tourists than ever before. This three-part series celebrates its art and architecture using the astounding collection of the Hermitage museum as a theme. From the Winter Palace, St Isaac's Cathedral, the Church on Spilled Blood (above) and the Peter and Paul Fortress to the doomed Tsar Nicholas II's retreat at Tsarskoe Selo, architectural lecturer Paul Davies explains the history of this beautiful city, which was constructed on a swamp by Peter the Great. Davies explores the extraordinary achievements of the men and women who built the St Petersburg of today.

Evolution: The Mind's Big Bang

Pearl, 8pm

Modern humans existed more than 100,000 years ago, but with no art, crude technology, and primitive social interaction. Then 50,000 years ago, something happened - a creative, technological, and social explosion, and humans came to dominate the planet. This was a pivotal point in our development, the time when the human mind truly emerged. What made this moment so different? The Mind's Big Bang examines the forces that may have contributed to the breakthrough, and enabled us to prevail over the Neanderthals.

Nat Geo Max: Death On The Amazon

National Geographic, 8pm

In 2001 Sir Peter Blake, yachting legend, adventurer and UN environmental ambassador, embarked on a five-year journey to search out the world's most special places. His mission: to heighten environmental awareness of the pressures facing the planet. This film is a compelling record of Blake's last voyage into the heart of the Amazon. It is the story of a remarkable journey; the 120ft Seamaster travelled further up the river than any yacht had ever done before. It is also a moving tribute to an extraordinary man: Blake was killed by pirates as the team were leaving the Amazon.