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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Biology > Health > TV Mini-Series > Rx For Survival – A Global Health Challenge (WGBH)

Rx For Survival – A Global Health Challenge (WGBH)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Episodes: B+



WGBH and PBS keep coming up with vital and winning programs that would be virtually impossible to see without public television to do it.  Rx For Survival – A Global Health Challenge takes the long way in all six of its shows to start with the basics thoroughly of any of the science it is going to cover and even if you went to school for it, you are in for an update you will never forget.


Brad Pitt, one of our greatest actors and film stars, is the narrator of all six shows.  Every one of them is a vital crash course into potential global heath crisis, how we won battles against disease in the past and how we need to consider facing new challenges in the future.  The episodes are:


1)     Disease Warriors

2)     Rise Of The Superbugs

3)     Delivering The Goods

4)     Deadly Messengers

5)     Back To The Basics

6)     How Safe Are We?



Shocking developments you may have heard about causing the crisis include ignorance of governments, homophobia, mutating viruses and good old lack of money and resources.  Eloquent is the right word to describe how well this show covers some extremely important must-see television that is among the best documentary television either PBS or WGBH has ever produced.  As I watched, I became more and more involved in a great combination of intelligent and exciting documentary television all the way to the final show about AIDS and the Asian Flu Virus.  This show deserves to be showered with many awards.


The 1.78 x 1/16 X 9 letterboxed image is nice and clear, but lacks detail and depth because WGBH does not anamorphically enhance their titles.  On the other hand, the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds and Pitt’s narration is clear and distinct enough.  Extras include a weblink, activities for exploring global heath issues, materials for educators, dispatches from experts in the field and a NOW episode (from the PBS series) interview with former President Jimmy Carter on DVD 2.  As I concluded the program, I had some hope that at least some of the insane medical problems facing us could be solved if we acted now.  The last thing we want to see is a time where we consider AIDS, SARS and The Asian Flu Virus “the good old days” worldwide.  Rx For Survival does a great job of pointing the best way to stop that from happening.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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