or


[09/06/12 - 08:06 AM]
"Nova" Forges the New Fall Season with the Mystery Behind the Ultimate Weapon Used by the World's Fiercest Warriors
"Secrets of the Viking Sword" will kick off the show's 39th season on Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00/8:00c.

[via press release from PBS]

"NOVA" FORGES THE NEW FALL SEASON WITH THE MYSTERY BEHIND THE ULTIMATE WEAPON USED BY THE WORLD'S FIERCEST WARRIORS

"SECRETS OF THE VIKING SWORD"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9 PM/8c on PBS

www.pbs.org/nova/vikingsword

Twitter: @novapbs

Facebook.com/NOVAonline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Boston, MA] -- The Vikings were among the fiercest warriors of all time, and a select few carried the ultimate weapon: a sword nearly 1,000 years ahead of its time. But the secrets behind this super sword's design, creation and use have remained hidden for centuries. Now, through a mix of science, archeology, metallurgy and history, a new NOVA/National Geographic co-production unravels the mystery and recreates this Viking uber-weapon -- the Ulfberht sword -- to kick off the new fall season of NOVA. Secrets of the Viking Sword premieres Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9PM/8c on PBS (check local listings).

Fashioned using a process unknown to the Vikings' rivals, the Ulfberht sword was a revolutionary high-tech blade as well as a work of art. Considered by some to be one of the greatest swords ever made, it remains a fearsome weapon more than a millennium after it last saw battle. But how did master swordsmiths of the Middle Ages come up with the Ulfberht's complex recipe, and what was its role in history? So far, no one has been able to forge a metallurgically accurate Ulfberht.

Produced between 800 to 1000 AD, the Ulfberht offered unique advantages as a weapon. Its combination of strength, lightness, and flexibility represented the perfect marriage of form and function in the chaos that was a Viking battle. Thousands of Viking swords have since been found, most discovered in rivers or excavated from burials across Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Of those, only 171 are marked Ulfberht-- most only corroded skeletons of once magnificent blades--further cloaking the mysteries of what some experts deem the ultimate weapon of the fiercest warriors.

In Secrets of the Viking Sword, NOVA and National Geographic follow modern day swordsmith Ric Furrer as he endeavors to become the first person in a thousand years to bring this mysterious sword back to life. Furrer reverse engineers this legendary sword with the help of new findings about the chemistry of the Ulfberht's steel. Viewers will watch every step of the way as he uses period tools and methods to build a special oven, heat and cool the raw iron, and skillfully wield the mallet to shape and forge the metal by hand, hammer blow by powerful hammer blow.

One of the deepest mysteries scientists have grappled with surrounding the sword has been the metallic composition of the Ulfberht, which was forged from high quality steel that would not be seen again in Europe until the advent of industrial blast furnaces nearly 1,000 years later. Most weapons from Viking times were comprised of "bloomery iron," a low-carbon material that was relatively soft and brittle. The Ulfberht blade, however, was made from high-carbon steel that was smelted in a sealed crucible or small furnace, and slowly allowed to cool. This gave this sword flexibility and strength far ahead of its time. But the novel material used was not found anywhere else in Europe in the Middle Ages. So where did the crucible steel come from?

To unravel the mystery and build the case, NOVA/National Geographic take viewers on a journey to find the source of the imported raw material and figure out how it got to Scandinavia. Tantalizing, recently found clues from Viking graves tie the import of the steel to the exploits of Viking traders, who voyaged all the way to Constantinople down the Volga river. These adventurous Viking merchants and warriors made connections with suppliers of the high quality steel, which had probably been forged somewhere in Persia or Afghanistan.

The mystique and notoriety of the Ulfbehrt sword stemmed not just from its unusual material but also from the intangible value of its name. The inlay of twisted bloomery steel spelling out the name Ulfberht on the crucible steel blade was an extremely risky process; the wrong timing or temperature could crack or ultimately break the blade. [As Furrer discovers, the inlaying of the name requires a highly skilled craftsman.] To this day, the "Ulfbehrt" trademark and the symbol of a cross remain an enigma to experts. Both indicate however that the sword was a coveted weapon forged by a master craftsman. Recent finds by archaeologists show that the Ulfberht signature was so highly regarded that contemporary fakes and knock-offs were made by imitators, some with misspelled inlays, using an inferior, lower-carbon steel. These probably had value simply as status symbols or for their psychological impact, instilling fear and dread in enemies from the sight of the name alone.

Secrets of the Viking Sword delves into the intriguing process of how science is helping to bring the Ulfbehrt back to life. The film demonstrates the dramatic and extremely challenging forging process as it unfolds, step- by-step, and illustrates how technology and innovation enabled craftsmen to create one of the greatest weapons of all time.

###

Now in its 39th season, NOVA is the most-watched prime time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly. The series remains committed to producing in-depth science programming in the form of hour-long (and occasionally longer) documentaries, from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the deepest mysteries of the natural world. NOVA airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET/PT on WGBH Boston and most PBS stations. The Director of the WGBH Science Unit and Senior Executive Producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell.

Funding for NOVA is provided by David H. Koch Fund For Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and public television viewers.





  [september 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
      


· NOVA (PBS)











[03/04/15 - 03:03 PM]
Nickelodeon Renews Two Live-Action Hits "Bella and the Bulldogs" and "The Thundermans"
Year-to-date, "Bella and the Bulldogs" is the number-one show on Nickelodeon with premieres averaging two million total viewers.

[03/04/15 - 01:43 PM]
Taryn Manning, Raymond Cruz, Samantha Droke, Katie Sarife, Pam Grier and Joe Morton Star in the Lifetime(R) Original Movie "Cleveland Abduction" Premiering April 25
The film explores the true story of Michelle Knight, a 21-year-old single mom whose life was irrevocably changed by a chance encounter with an unsuspected criminal.

[03/04/15 - 12:39 PM]
Adventure Junkies Take Off-the-Beaten Path and Brave Nature's Extreme Elements in Animal Planet's "100 Miles from Nowhere"
Beginning Sunday, April 5, weekend adventurer Matt Galland and his adrenaline-fueled best buddies Danny Bryson and Blake Josephson venture to some of the most untouched pockets of the planet where cameras - let alone people - rarely have gone.

[03/04/15 - 11:38 AM]
National Geographic Channel and Acclaimed Actor Kal Penn Explore the Hidden Ways Information, Data and Maps Provide Insight Into the World Around Us... And Our Daily Lives
"The Big Picture with Kal Penn" launches Monday, March 30 at 9:00/8:00c on the network.

[03/04/15 - 11:30 AM]
Starz Releases New, Darker Key Art for Continuation of "Outlander" Season One
The series returns with the remaining eight episodes from season one beginning on Saturday, April 4 at 9:00/8:00c.

[03/04/15 - 11:10 AM]
Eight New Episodes to Be Presented Over Four Days of "Tune in 4 What?!" Programming Event, March 26-29 on Disney Channel
Each episode in the "Tune In 4 What?!" event will be available to verified viewers on WATCH Disney Channel the morning of its premiere.

[03/04/15 - 10:15 AM]
TNT Extends "Cold Justice" with Additional Spring & Summer Episodes, Plus Two New Justice Served Specials Hosted by John Walsh
The show's winter finale is set for March 6, with the spring episodes slated to launch April 10.

[03/04/15 - 10:01 AM]
From Rainn Wilson's Production Company SoulPancake, "Impress Me" Set To Make Exclusive Television Premiere Wednesday, March 18 on Pop
The scripted comedy centers on celebrity impressionists Ross Marquand and Jim Meskimen who are trying to quit doing impressions and transition into serious, dramatic actors.

[03/04/15 - 09:18 AM]
Netflix and Leonardo DiCaprio to Partner on Upcoming Documentary Projects
Netflix and DiCaprio will work together to identify and develop potential fact-based projects, with a particular focus on environmental and conservation themes, including original documentaries and docu-series as well as acquired existing projects.

[03/04/15 - 09:04 AM]
ABC Entertainment and Marvel Television Launch "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent" on MarvelsDoubleAgent.com, ABC.com and the WATCH ABC App
The five-part original web series follows the actions of a newly hired production assistant who is actually working as a double agent on behalf of an unknown enemy known only as The Mastermind.

[03/04/15 - 09:02 AM]
TV One to Premiere Original Film "Hear No Evil" Starring Jahnee Wallace, Jill Marie Jones, Richard T. Jones and Jackie Long
Russ Parr, from Up To Parr Productions, serves as the Director and Screenwriter.

[03/04/15 - 08:50 AM]
NBC Dominates the Night, "Voice" Delivers Its Second-Most-Watched Tuesday Ever
NBC spins the numbers for Tuesday, March 3.

[03/04/15 - 08:37 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: "The Voice," "Chicago Fire" Claim Top Spots
The latter gets a boost from a two-hour edition of the former.

[03/04/15 - 07:32 AM]
ESPNU Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary Today
ESPNU is ESPN's fifth network, preceded by ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and ESPNEWS.

[03/04/15 - 07:31 AM]
ESPN, NHL & NHLPA Reach Agreement for 2016 World Cup
The World Cup will take place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre from September 17 - October 1, 2016 and will culminate with a best-of-three final.