Video: Two PBS Gifts for the New Year

A naturalist and a novelist take wise, winning looks at existence

LIFE ON EARTH. PBS, beginning Jan. 12 a 8 p.m. (E.S.T.). In the beginning was the word, but David Attenborough and the BBC seem not to have been far behind recording the story of evolution from the primordial ooze to the uncertain present The result, a 13-hour television series, is PBS's gift for the new year, a fresh and often astonishing examination of a very old subject: life on earth.

Like life, the series begins slowly. Attenborough ventures back to the planet's earliest days,...

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