Published on Aug 29, 2012
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In GREAT SOUTHERN LAND professor Steve Simpson takes viewers on a unique journey across Australia, looking at our mysterious island continent from a truly revealing perspective -- above.
As we take to the skies with Steve we uncover the otherwise hidden patterns, networks and systems that keep us on the move, fed, alive and thriving.
An entomologist by trade, Steve has spent his life getting the big picture from little things, looking at what allows tiny species to survive. But now, he turns his insights to a bigger creature ... with fewer legs: us!
Heading for the heavens in gliders, choppers, hot air balloons and anything else that will carry him, Steve can truly appreciate the ingenuity that carved us a life in one of the most hostile corners of the planet.
Our story takes us from the top of the snowy mountains, to the wilds of the Gulf of Carpentaria, to the fields of the Murray Darling Basin, the ocean south of Adelaide and the ancients forests of Tasmania.
It's a story of living with floods and fires and our complicated relationship with the natural world. It's the story of satisfying our voracious appetite for life's vital ingredients: food and electricity.
It's the story too of how we live on the edge -- coastal dwellers conglomerating in sprawling metropolises. And finally, it's the epic tale of how we keep it all moving: our selves, our goods, and our data.
Because we hardly ever stop and think about these rhythms of life, it is a hitherto rarely told tale of high drama. Once you've seen how we do it, you'll appreciate how dangerously close to chaos we sometimes teeter.
Great Southern Land isn't just Steve' personal adventure -- in its four constituent episodes we'll also meet the people behind the scenes, every-day Australians who prevent everything from falling into a heap.
Many of those colorful characters work in the air -- or at dizzying heights -- themselves. Others use elevated cameras or satellite technology in their job, each having their own way of looking at Australia from up high.
Among them are a 'bare hand' worker crawling a 500.000 volt live wire so you can have a cup of tea, an air cop chasing bikies and a pilot flying into storms to make it rain.
Harnessing the finest high definition video shot from gyro stabilized helicopter mounts, as well as CGI technology and data visualizations from GPS tracking devices, Great Southern Land dares to think big.
This is Australia as you have never seen her before.
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