Rocks and Moss

National Geographic Channel  ORIGINS: The Journey of Humankind
Jason Silva, narrator
National Geographic/ Asylum Entertainment 

Each episode is 50 minutes in length
8 Episodes in this series 

Episode One shown March 6, 2017

ORIGINS, the new eight-part science series from National Geographic is hosted by present-day philosopher, Jason Silva (“Brain Games” and “Shots of Awe.”) Silva speaks to the audience with a casual tone.  The graphics are spectacular in highlighting certain parts of the episode, such as the progress of man discovering the flame to working on fusion and how the sun operates. 

It is 12,000 B.C. and we see a group of nomads/homo sapiens who are in a forest and dodging their current enemy, wolves. Life is all hostile environment then and probably the only good defense they have is fire. How do they make it? Dried moss, twigs and sparks from stones. Scouts will understand this. Besides defense, fire gives them warmth and cooks their food. 

Present day has man learning about fusion and if he can master this, it will reveal the secrets of the sun. Solar power to the nth degree.  Now, in present day, “fire” offers heat, nourishment, transportation and, with humankind, the inevitable way of thinking...annihilation. Reactors shown are massive and bring to mind the early computers that took an entire floor of a building. Now, you can hold one in your hand. Is this possible with fusion? The future is wide open. 

The idea of going from early humans to present day with dynamic graphics gives the audience a rapid course in energy production.  One just never knows who is going to invent something next, which reminds me of the cartoon of a caveman trying to invent a round wheel but kept coming up with a square one. His wife glances out of the cave, takes one look and says, “It will never work.” 

To try to figure out how the sun produces power, now that would be a game changer. This episode gives us something to think about...from earliest man to how fire aided him or almost destroyed him.  Then, with working to figure out the sun, well, it has been around for billions of years, but how long will it  last?  A question for the ages as the first human who saw fire must have thought..."What is that?" 

Direction, cinematography and music are excellent for this production. 

ORIGINS: The Journal of Humankind is produced by Asylum Entertainment for National Geographic. The series will run on television in 171 countries and 43 languages. The eight episodes are “Fire” (March 6, 2017), “Medicine” (March 13, 2017)  “Money” (March 20, 2017, ) “War” (March 27, 2017), “Communication” (April 3, 2017), “Shelter” (April 10, 2017), “Exploration” (April 17, 2017) and “Transportation” (April 24, 2017.)  Special effects are by John Boswell (also known as Melodysheep.)  For more information see or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest.


Copyright 2017 Marie Asner