Disasters of the Century
Disasters of the Century, a documentary series looks not only at the devastating toll of natural and man-made disaster, but also the far reaching implications of each tragedy on our social history.
S01:E01 - Living on the Edge
In their quest to explore the natural wealth of their country, Canadians have braved the risks of their terrain. The residents of the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta have chosen to live amongst a valley of death, living on the edge of imminent disaster at every turn.
S01:E02 - Black Week
Canadians have always been at the mercy of Mother Nature and her varied weather patterns. Despite the level of preparation for impending dangers, many forces of nature still take us by surprise with tragic consequences.
S01:E03 - Nature's Fury
Life is a journey of coming and goings that lead us to our many destinations. For some, the journey is tragically short. Plans are made, flights are booked, a pleasure cruise anticipated, but when fate is at the helm, the inevitable final destination is death.
S01:E04 - Washed Away
In the early part of the 19th century, the world experienced 'The Industrial Revolution'. Fuelled by the perfection of the steam engine, everything from manufacturing to transportation on both land and sea became totally redefined. Yet this revolution also brought with it a darker side that emphasized progress at any cost, exacting from some the ultimate price.
S01:E05 - Out of Control
With the completion of the transcontinental railway, Canada is truly one nation, linked from sea to sea. The story of the railroad is one of achievement, but also one of tragedy - part history, part headline.
S01:E06 - Human Error
Featuring disasters such as the Halifax Explosion and the Le Mans race car crash.
S01:E07 - From the Inside Out
Featuring disasters such as the Tangiwai train disaster and the Mont Pelee eruption.
S01:E08 - Critical Mass
Featuring disasters such as the Quebec bridge collapses and the Boston molasses flood.
S01:E09 - Lost at Sea
Featuring disasters such as the HMS Thetis and the U.S.S. Forrestal.
S01:E10 - It Came From the Sky
Featuring disasters such as the Empire State Building crash and the Moose Jaw air crash.
S01:E11 - Final Destination
Featuring disasters such as the Minaki Train Crash and the Black Market Express train crash.
S01:E12 - In an Instant
Featuring disasters such as The Vajont Dam disaster and the Roger's Pass avalanche.
S01:E13 - When the Earth Moves
Featuring disasters such as the Nicaragua Earthquake and the Kwanto Earthquake.
S01:E14 - Up in Flames
When fire strikes it is often seen as an uncaring force that attached without mercy. Yet fire is neither malicious, nor evil. It is only given these attributes when seen from a human perspective, when lives and property go up in flames.
S01:E15 - Lost in Transit
There are those who believe that life is ruled by destiny and that all living things must surrender to the whims of fate. When fate is cruel and destiny comes too soon, the thread of life can be tragically short.
S01:E16 - Eye of the Storm
The story of North America begins with its waterways. From the fishing waters off the east coast to the vast inland seas known as the Great Lakes, magnificent ships of sail and steam have charted the course of our nation's history. But not without a tragic cost.
S01:E17 - Death in the Water
Human beings have tried to tame water, to span its mighty currents and harness its great power. But sometimes that power works against us, when bridges of steel crumble, and quiet creeks become raging rivers bent on death and destruction.
S01:E18 - Communities Under Siege
For the coal miner who excavates the earth and the fisherman who harvests the sea, life and livelihood are dependent on the kindness of nature. When disaster strikes, it is not just human life that is at risk, but the way of life of entire communities.
S01:E19 - Death and Profits
When we go to work, we don't expect to put our lives in jeopardy, but some jobs have built-in danger. From the coal miner to the factory worker, safety is a constant threat. But making workplaces safe can get in the way of production, and not all employers are willing to sacrifice profit for safety.
S01:E20 - When Laughter Turns to Tears
From the time the first story was told and the first musical note played, human history has also been the history of the performing arts. But it is also a story of tragedy for those attending the circus one summer afternoon, and those at the movies one winter night.
S01:E21 - From Above
For many people, the great vaulting sky is a symbol of freedom. Seen from the distance above, life can seem peaceful. But when disaster comes from the sky, the consequences are deadly, changing lives forever.
S01:E22 - The Wrong Choice
Life is made up of choices. Sometimes even those made with the best of intentions can result in tragedy that no one could imagine or predict.
S01:E23 - Loki's Revenge
Among the ancient Norse Gods stands the figure of Loki, a trickster, whose deceptions caused the death of a God. Some say that when disaster strikes without warning, it is Loki deceiving his victims, blinding them to danger.
S01:E24 - Industrial Nightmares
Since the first primitive tool, human invention has changed the way we live and determined the kind of work we do. Industry born of innovation is designed to improve our lives, but sometimes it leads to tragedy and heartbreak.
S01:E25 - All Fall Down
Wherever people settle, water is their first concern. Sometimes it means building a barrier to provide an adequate water supply; sometimes it means overcoming the barrier that water can create. But sometimes these structures of concrete and steel fail, taking people down with them.
S01:E26 - By Their Own Doing
Throughout history, each new advance in technology has made the success of human endeavour more attainable. Some feel that technology brings us closer to perfection. But we are still human beings, prone to mistakes and misunderstandings that can lead to tragedy.
S01:E27 - Rising From the Ashes
Living near an ocean or a vast mountain range presents an opportunity to experience nature's beauty on a daily basis. But nature can be fickle, turning great beauty into great devastation in what seems like the blink of an eye.
S01:E28 - Stormy Waters
More than just a life-giving source, we depend on water for transportation, industry, and recreation. From the Florida Keys to the vast inland seas known as the Great Lakes, people have always been lured by the spell of the water. But not without a tragic cost.
S01:E29 - Homes Swept Away
Throughout history, people have built shelters to keep out the elements, from modest huts to the most elaborate mansions. But when the weather turns wild, not even the best built homes can withstand the forces of nature.
S01:E30 - Islands Under Attack
The planet Earth is in perpetual motion. Gigantic tectonic plates make up the earth's crust and are responsible for this movement. When plates collide, earthquakes are born, sending shockwaves of destruction. Where they form a boundary, volcanoes spew smoke and fire.
S01:E31 - Deadly Elements
In nature, fire and rain are part of the cycle of life. Rain nourishes the earth and promotes a successful harvest. Fire provides warmth and comfort and helps to regenerate forests fatigued by overgrowth. But too much rain, or fire burning out of control, can bring tragedy instead.
S01:E32 - No Survivors
In most tragic accidents, there is, at least, a happy ending for some. In some cases, however, there is no happy ending, and despite the hopes and desperate prayers of those who await their arrival, there will be no survivors.
S01:E33 - Friends and Family
Anyone who lives near the sea knows the spell it casts, with its great majesty, and its romantic lure. But when the weather turns violent, the ocean becomes a life threatening force. And there is nowhere completely safe.
S01:E34 - Collision Course
In science it is known as the Butterfly Effect, the idea that for every event that occurs, there are much smaller events that multiply over time. Change one small thing, and you change everything. Make one small mistake and the course of a life is altered forever.
S01:E35 - Fire and Ice
The poet Robert Frost once wrote: 'Some say the earth will end in fire, some say in ice.' Fire and ice have been at the heart of our most destructive disasters, changing lives forever.
S01:E36 - Against the Elements
Like it or not, we are all inexorably tied to the climate in which we live, impacted by its cycle of constant change. Sometimes that change comes without warning and a mild winter weekend becomes a prelude to destruction from above -- and a summer day full of promise ends in a whirlwind of devastation and death.
S01:E37 - Death in a Small Town
The quaint villages that dot the countryside of Quebec, Canada represent some of the continent's earliest European settlements. The people here treasure their rural lifestyle where heritage, culture and community blend with the extraordinary landscapes that surround them. But sometimes those landscapes bring betrayal and devastation beyond anyone's imagination.
S01:E38 - The End of the Line
It is an old traveller's cliché that 'getting there is half the fun'. This is especially true of travel across the vast, varied and beautiful reaches of the Canadian landscape. But when fate intervenes, travel can quickly turn from fun to deadly.
S01:E39 - Life in Disaster Row
Some regions seem more prone to Disaster than others. Through the sheer accident of geography, life on disaster row can be fraught with frequent danger.
S01:E40 - Head On
Featuring disasters such as the sinking of the SS Florizel and the Westray Mine Explosion.
S01:E41 - Full Stop
Featuring disasters such as the sinking of the Empress of Ireland and the Issoudun Crash.
S01:E42 - Out of the Blue
Featuring disasters such as The Blue Bird bar fire and the Brampton air crash.
S01:E43 - Safe Passage
Featuring disasters such as the Viking ship explosion and the Belgian Sabena Airlines crash.
S01:E44 - Coast to Coast
Featuring disasters such as the Gavelston hurricane and Typhoon Freda.
S01:E45 - In the Blink of an Eye
Featuring disasters such as the sinking of the Flora Alberta and the Escuminac storm.