Discovery Channel Documentaries

The WORST episodes of Discovery Channel Documentaries

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Documentaries that have been produced by the Discovery Channel.

Last Updated: 5/22/2022Network: Discovery+
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Ten Ways The World Will End
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#1 - Ten Ways The World Will End

Season 2007 - Episode 38 - Aired 5/9/2007

There are endless gruesome ways that the world could end; through nasty, natural disasters or because of some man-made abomination. From maniac killer robots and super volcanoes, to an alien invasion and mutant psycho humans, all options are covered in Ten Ways the World Will End.

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Real Superhumans
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#2 - Real Superhumans

Season 2007 - Episode 39 - Aired 11/8/2007

Since the beginning of life on Earth, evolution has been dictated by Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. And now, humanity is on the brink of a change so radical, so rapid and unlike any other stage in human history. And while most of us are waiting at the precipice, have some already taken the leap?

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First Alien Encounter
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#3 - First Alien Encounter

Season 1997 - Episode 15 - Aired 11/1/1997

Scientists keep searching for life beyond Earth. What might other life-forms look like? Should there be an official plan in case contact is made?

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The Falklands War
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#4 - The Falklands War

Season 1992 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/13/1992

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Michelangelo Code: Secrets of The Sistine Chapel Part 1
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#5 - Michelangelo Code: Secrets of The Sistine Chapel Part 1

Season 2008 - Episode 27 - Aired 7/18/2008

Art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, attempts to unlock the secrets of arguably the world's most famous work of art, the Sistine Chapel, and its pictorial codes and iconography.

Michelangelo Code: Secrets of The Sistine Chapel Part 2
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#6 - Michelangelo Code: Secrets of The Sistine Chapel Part 2

Season 2008 - Episode 28 - Aired 7/18/2008

Next part of the art documentary in which top critic and art writer Waldemar Januszczak reveals the hidden meaning behind the most famous work of art in the world. His shocking discoveries come from 20 years of research and unprecedented access to the Vatican, taking him as far afield as Texas and Jerusalem, as well as all over Italy.

ULTIMATE OLYMPICS: Go Beijing
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#7 - ULTIMATE OLYMPICS: Go Beijing

Season 2008 - Episode 29 - Aired 9/8/2008

Beijing set itself the challenge of becoming the ultimate Olympic city: hi-tech, green and distinctively Chinese. Will the people of Beijing manage their dreams?

ULTIMATE OLYMPICS: Rivals
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#8 - ULTIMATE OLYMPICS: Rivals

Season 2008 - Episode 30 - Aired 9/8/2008

China's rise up the Olympic medal table has been astounding and is second only to the USA. How will China claim first place at the Beijing Olympics?

Jack the Ripper: The First Serial Killer
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#9 - Jack the Ripper: The First Serial Killer

Season 2008 - Episode 31 - Aired 8/7/2008

Criminal psychologist at New Scotland Yard Laura Richard uses modern investigation techniques to try and build a portrait of the Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper. She and other experts, including a pathologist, historian, profiler and policeman, examine the crimes and try and establish why the particular victims were chosen, and the possible motivations and reasons for the crimes.

Directors: Dan Oliver
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Cruising Antarctica
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#10 - Cruising Antarctica

Season 2004 - Episode 43 - Aired 9/11/2004

Alien Planet
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#11 - Alien Planet

Season 2005 - Episode 30 - Aired 5/14/2005

What happens when we find life outside our own planet? Discovery Channel brings viewers on a virtual mission of the future. Right now, the search for planets with "life signatures" goes on. These efforts are global, and experts tell us on camera how this search for life is progressing around the world. No longer just the domain of science fiction, what could alien life really look like? Alien Planet dramatizes an exciting — and possible — answer. The drama takes place on Darwin IV, a fictional planet 6.5 light-years from Earth, with two suns and 60 percent gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the mothership Von Braun and three probes: Balboa, Da Vinci and Newton. This unmanned fleet is responsible for finding and assessing any life-forms on Darwin IV. Initially, the expectation is to find microscopic life, but the probes soon find themselves in the middle of a developed ecosystem teeming with life of all sizes. The viewer experiences Darwin IV through the "eyes" of the probes Ike (Newton) and Leo (Da Vinci), whose data is relayed back to the mothership and then communicated to Earth. The biological and atmospheric data from the probes and mothership are relayed to viewers through computer voice simulation and on-screen readouts. Real scientists consider data in this planetary environment. They discuss the larger issues of the possibilities of life outside our solar system and deconstruct the animals on Darwin IV, basing the analysis on the laws of evolution and physics. Where possible, life-size animal images and the real probe prototypes will help the audience to understand the current, real basis of the search for other planets. Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and other big thinkers and scientists will participate in the discussion of where science is today. Other participants include Jack Horner, Craig Venter, George Lucas and NASA's chief scientist, Jim Garvin. The drama

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Mars: The Quest for Life
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#12 - Mars: The Quest for Life

Season 2008 - Episode 32 - Aired 11/21/2008

Mars: The Quest for Life looks at the Phoenix lander and show follows the man in charge, Peter Smith, as he and his team struggle to defy the odds and get Phoenix safely onto the surface of Mars. Featuring never-before-seen footage of Phoenix’s dramatic, emotional landing, the program explores the secrets that Phoenix might finally unlock about life on another world.

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Moon Machines: Saturn V
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#13 - Moon Machines: Saturn V

Season 2008 - Episode 23 - Aired 7/6/2008

This episode of MOON MACHINES immerses viewers in the incredible story of the mighty Saturn V moon rocket � technology that joined the vision of World War II German rocket scientists with that of a generation of young, dedicated engineers from across the United States. With the backdrop of Russia�s Sputnik launch and President Kennedy�s ambitious commitment to reaching the moon, engineers and scientists would produce a 363-foot-tall rocket with more than one million working parts that delivered 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Saturn V was so large that even those who built it were amazed and could hardly believe its power.

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Moon Machines: Lunar Rover
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#14 - Moon Machines: Lunar Rover

Season 2008 - Episode 24 - Aired 7/10/2008

In the early days of the Apollo project, grand ideas were devised for how to travel on the moon. With excitement running high and "GO" fever very much the buzz, engineers came up with all manner of vehicles for traversing the new frontier. But one by one the projects were shelved as each was deemed too expensive or too dangerous. Lunar Rover reveals the untold story of how a small team of engineers convinced NASA to build what ultimately became the Lunar Rover. The greatest challenge for the Lunar Rover team was to design, build, test and deliver the final flight-worthy product to NASA in less than 18 months.

An Inside Look: Secrets of the Inca
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#15 - An Inside Look: Secrets of the Inca

Season 2012 - Episode 35 - Aired 11/12/2012

A look into the culture of the people of Peru as it relates to their Inca heritage. Festivals in Cuzco today celebrating the Inca Sun god and the wonders of Maccu Picchu are only some of the topics covered in this documentary.

An Inside Look: Gold
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#16 - An Inside Look: Gold

Season 2004 - Episode 44 - Aired 2/17/2004

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Stephen Hawking and the Theory of Everything (1)
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#17 - Stephen Hawking and the Theory of Everything (1)

Season 2009 - Episode 43 - Aired 4/6/2009

The legendary physicist’s search for the secrets of the universe How did the universe come into being? Why are we here? And where are we headed? Stephen Hawking--one of the world’s most famous physicists and author of the international bestseller A Brief History of Time--wants to answer those questions. Trying to unify Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, he seeks a single explanation for the entire universe. But he’s racing against time, trapped in a relentlessly deteriorating body ravaged by Lou Gehrig’s disease. Join Hawking and other renowned thinkers as they explore the revolutionary new ideas that have evolved since the publication of his blockbuster book. Besides interviews, this stimulating documentary uses computer graphics and simple, easy-to-understand demonstrations to explain complex concepts. Topics include black holes, string theory, supersymmetry, dimensions beyond our perception, and the mysterious M force--all potential keys to unlocking the elusive "theory of everything" that seems so tantalizingly close.

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Beyond Darwin
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#18 - Beyond Darwin

Season 1996 - Episode 7 - Aired 8/18/1996

Hudson Plane Crash – What Really Happened?
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#19 - Hudson Plane Crash – What Really Happened?

Season 2009 - Episode 42 - Aired 3/4/2009

Inside story of Flight 1549. How does a plane lose both engines over a city, and crash lands without a single death? New footage and exclusive interviews with crew, survivors, and rescuers tell the amazing story of survival.

The Bodymachine
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#20 - The Bodymachine

Season 2009 - Episode 44 - Aired 6/21/2009

The Body Machine is a landmark special on the human body that shows us just how much, how many, how large, how strong, how fast - just how amazing the body really is. Utilizing impressive large-scale real-life stunts, CGI and strong character stories, the show makes the staggering scale of the inner workings of the body tangible. We will show you how far our blood travels in just one day - an astounding 19, 000 km - from Quebec City to Buenos Aires and back. You will see all the cranial fluid you produce in your lifetime laid out in front of you - all 26,280 pint glasses worth. And in just one day you will take 23,000 breaths - enough air to fill 7,714 helium balloons. You will see all this and much more.

Revealed The Da Vinci Shroud
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#21 - Revealed The Da Vinci Shroud

Season 2009 - Episode 45 - Aired 7/1/2009

One of the holiest relics in Christianity, the Turin shroud is believed to have swathed the body of Christ after his death. The image of a bloodied, crucified man burned into the fabric of the cloth was first revealed in 1898 when it was captured in a photographic negative. Subsequent tests in 1988 ultimately dated the shroud to between 1260­1390AD, apparently confirming its status as a medieval forgery. According to Clive Prince and author Lynn Picknett, that forger was none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. A master artist, scientist and anatomist, Da Vinci was the only person with the talents to undertake such a project. Yet scientists have been unable to explain how the image was created. Over 50 attempts to duplicate the relic have failed. New research using Da Vinci’s other works for comparison has drawn some fascinating conclusions...

Rameses: Wrath of God or Man
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#22 - Rameses: Wrath of God or Man

Season 2010 - Episode 45 - Aired 5/1/2010

Explore the origins of the Old Testament's Plague of the Firstborn in this landmark documentary that seeks to investigate the death of Ramses II's eldest son. Join Egyptologist Kent Weeks as he takes a journey into the Valley of the Kings to unearth the remains of the controversial prince and determine the exact cause of his death while simultaneously tracking the path of the Israelites as they made their arduous journey from Mount Sinai to the Red Sea. By combining faithful reenactments of the events as well as spectacular CGI effects, this documentary takes viewers back in time to explore one of history's greatest mysteries.

The World's Biggest and Baddest Bugs
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#23 - The World's Biggest and Baddest Bugs

Season 2009 - Episode 46 - Aired 4/7/2009

The World's Biggest and Baddest Bugs, follows host Ruud Kleinpaste, as he embarks on an entomological odyssey around the globe in search of the ultimate biggest and "baddest" creepy crawlies. The World's Biggest and Baddest Bugs will then profile the "stars" of the show, with Ruud explaining in his audience-friendly style exactly what makes them so amazing.

Destroyer: Forged in Steel
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#24 - Destroyer: Forged in Steel

Season 2004 - Episode 45 - Aired 12/1/2004

The Arleigh Burke destroyer is America's most modern surface warship. This sleek, 500-foot long vessel bristles with state-of-the-art weapons and technology. Armed with long-range cruise missiles, 5-inch main guns, torpedoes and high-speed cannons, this extremely fast and stealthy warship will be the mainstay of the Navy's forward projection of force well into the 21st century. At the Bath Iron Works in Maine, follow the construction of one of these impressive vessels from its keel laying to its initial slide into the Kennebec River.

When Dinosaurs Roamed America
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#25 - When Dinosaurs Roamed America

Season 2001 - Episode 1 - Aired 7/15/2001

Late Triassic Segment (220 Million Years Ago) The program starts in the Late Triassic, near modern-day New York City. The narrator explains how the Permian mass extinction led to new forms of life, including, eventually, the dinosaurs. The camera tracks a Coelophysis through the woods. The program decipts Coelophysis as preying mainly on small animals, such as insects and Icarosaurus. It encounters other, larger non-dinosaurs such as Rutiodon, Traversodon, and Desmatosuchus. Nevertheless, the quick Coelophysis is a very successful inhabitant of this world. Early Jurassic Segment (190 Million Years Ago) The program moves on to the Early Jurassic of Pennsylvania, showing a pack of Syntarsus. These dinosaurs, closely related to Coelophysis, are hunting for the primitive herbivorous dinosaur Anchisaurus, only to be driven away by a Dilophosaurus, which kills and eats the Anchisaurus. Late Jurassic Segment (150 Million Years Ago) The show skips to the Late Jurassic, where a pterosaur soars while a Ceratosaurus chases a Dryosaurus and its two young. The Ceratosaurus catches one of the juveniles, while the other Dryosaurus escape to the cover of a herd of Camarasaurus, feeding on the sauropods' conifer tree scraps that fall to the ground. The Ceratosaurus disturbs a Stegosaurus and gets whipped by its tail. Two Stegosaurus eventually mate. As the rainy season comes, a herd of Apatosaurus arrive, followed by a hungry Allosaurus. The Allosaurus cannot get past the Apatosaurus's whipping tails, but it manages to catch and eat the Ceratosaurus, still pursuing the Dryosaurus. Later, as the Apatosaurus leave the area, one Apatosaurus stumbles. Disabled, it is an easy meal for a small group of Allosaurus. Middle Cretaceous Segment (90 Million Years Ago) The program then shows a New Mexico forest of the Middle Cretaceous. Some coelurosaurs scamper through the forest, among frilled and feathered dinosaurs. One lone dromaeosaur [3] tries to attack a Nothronychus