Up your nose

The Human Body (Pearl, 8.30pm) goes where no camera has been before, through the ear drum and round the brain and inside a Fallopian tube to film the moment of ovulation. And later we'll watch a man die.

The series is also unabashed about revealing the outside of this amazing body of ours. One hundred women, men and children, each one year older than the last and mostly naked, stand in line in a sunlit forest to illustrate what we all have in common and the changes we'll undergo between the ages of nought and 102. It is a breathtaking piece of cinematography.

In the coming weeks we will be bombarded with ground-breaking images and extraordinary facts. In the first episode, Life Story, we learn, for instance, that through our lives we'll each eat 7,300 eggs, kiss for two weeks, grow 950 kilometres of hair on our heads and two metres up our noses, have sex 2,580 times and spend 12 years watching television.

This episode starts by introducing us to baby Charlotte, whom presenter Professor Robert Winston describes as 'a bit of fat, a little sugar, a bit of protein - actually she's 75 per cent water'. He goes on to show how she's really the most advanced life-form on Earth.

The Human Body is indeed ground-breaking television. But this episode is frustrating in that it is almost too preoccupied with what it can show us because of its wonderful new technology. We're catapulted from the insides of ears to buckets of tears, from girls being frank about their new breasts to ballooning pregnant tummies. This is the overture, introducing us to the story of the wonder of our bodies.

Professor Winston is Britain's leading expert on fertility, a theme that reflects only the start of a fascinating series. The next episode deals with how human life begins.

The human form at its most tragically imperfect is the subject of In Time's Shadow (World, 9.50pm), a moving story about the only child in Canada to suffer from the accelerated ageing disease Progeria.

This film is a deeply personal record of how Ashley, aged six but with the body of a 60-year-old, gives joy and a purpose in life to her mother and grandmother. Lori had spent several of her teen years on the streets, abandoned by her mother, but the birth of this plucky girl leads to a new bond between them.

RTHK launches an interesting series, Siblings Of The Dragon (World, 7pm), contrasting the lives of Chinese pursuing the same vocations in the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The first episode contrasts the lifestyles and ambitions of mainland diving champion Tian Liang, who calls himself 'the treasure of the country', and self-trained Taiwanese track and field sportsman Ch'En T'ian-wen.

Tian Liang is pushed and pampered for the sake of national glory while Ch'En says he runs for money and a decent life, a distinction not all of us will buy.

Hong Kong's athletes are shown to be more devoted to their personal interests, with no guarantees of fortune.