Episode 1 First Ancestors – In the first episode, we see Australopithecus afarensis, and focus on their evolved bipedality (walking on just rear feet – our legs). More specifically, the story follows the famous Lucy and her relatives, as they first develop a leadership conflict following the death of the alpha male due to a crocodile attack, and then are attacked by a rival troupe.
Episode 2 Blood Brothers – The second episode leaps forward to a time when Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis co-exist. The two species are contrasted, with H. habilis being a jack of all trades, while P. boisei are “a master of one”. The episode also briefly shows the H. rudolfensisremarking that albeit they are taller, they are very similar to the H. habilis.
Episode 3 Savage Family – Homo ergaster is depicted as the first creature to master the art of tracking. This was made possible because their diet has grown increasingly more carnivorous, and the nutrients in meat made them even smarter than H. habilis of the previous episode. They also begin to form into tribal societies, with genuine bonds between their men and women, though violence is still occurring. Also shows how H. ergaster spreading into Asia, becoming Homo erectus and encountering the enormous herbivorous ape Gigantopithecus, “the original King Kong”. Howeverfor the next million years, H. ergaster is still very much an animal, following its instinct, but then, they are shown harnessing fire and beginning to break-away from their direct dependence on their environment.
Episode 4 The Survivors – shows Homo heidelbergensis in Britain. H. heidelbergensis is depicted as intelligent and sensitive but lacking in the ability to comprehend an afterlife, or anything that isn’t in the “here and now”. This episode also shows a clan of Homo neanderthalensishow they lived and hunted, including the mighty mammoth during the last ice age. Finally in Africa then this episode shows Homo sapiens idaltu which are not getting along in Africa’s drought unlike the Neanderthals, along with them see modern Homo sapiens (represented by bushmen), who had to become imaginative and inventive to survive the long drought unlike their subspecies idaltu, and finally glimpse the cave painters of Europe, who had “evolved” the idea of the afterlife and the supernatural and now ready to start the human history as it is now known (and drive the Neanderthals to extinction).