14 Sep 2015

OU/BBC series tells the fascinating story of how we are made

A fascinating new three-part documentary series, Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You, begins tonight (9pm on BBC2), telling the thrilling story of how human life is made. The series, presented by Michael Mosley, takes viewers on a journey from the moment of conception through to the finale of birth, revealing how each critical event in the womb can change your life forever.

This series depicts how humans are created, combining emotionally charged human stories with ground-breaking computer generated imagery (CGI). Each episode features CGI imagery inside the womb that charts human development: from single cell to full-term baby.

Episode One focuses on the first eight weeks, the critical time in the womb, while Episode Two examines the human foetus and the way each of us are made into unique beings. Finally, Episode Three looks at how the finer details are formed in the tiny human body, such as the delicacy of the brain, before culminating with the first breath of life.

The Open University’s OpenLearn has a wealth of information and resources in connection with the series, including two related OpenLearn short courses: Emotions and emotional disorders and Understanding depression and anxiety. These courses explore emotional disorders and their etiology including evidence and theories suggesting that some emotional disorders may be epigenetically programmed in the womb.

To find out more please go to www.open.edu/openlearn/countdowntolife
(Please note: this URL may not be live until the day of transmission, and may only contain minimum content and resources if viewed prior to broadcast).

The Open University has produced a free poster, ‘Nine Months That Made You’, to accompany the series, exploring how the process of human development in the womb can affect your health after birth, and long into adulthood. To order your free copy, call 0300 303 2464 or visit the OpenLearn website at www.open.edu/openlearn/countdowntolife

This three-part series was commissioned by the Open Media Unit, and is supported by the Faculty of Science, with particular relevance to BSc (Hons) Health Sciences and BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology) (Q64)

Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You

• Executive Producer for the BBC: Helen Thomas
• Series Producer: Gideon Bradshaw
• BBC Commissioning Editor: Tom McDonald

• The Series was commissioned for The Open University by Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast
• The University’s Academic Consultant for the programmes is Dr Claire Rostron, Faculty of Science
• Media Fellows, Science: Prof Iain Gilmour and Dr Janet Sumner
• Broadcast Project Manager: Caroline Green
• Online Project Producer: Freyja Taylor-Law

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