See How Lives are Powered in New Series “HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN” Starting May 5

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Premieres Wednesdays, May 5-June 2, 2021

New Six-Part Series Explores How Our Lives Are Powered by the Amazing Universe Inside the Human Body


Take a deep dive into the incredible universe that’s inside the body to discover the biology that all humans share: heart, brain, eyes, blood and tears. HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN uncovers the science behind how our bodies work and how what’s inside powers every moment of our lives. Jad Abumrad, host of the popular podcast RadioLab, narrates the journey through this foreign universe and reveals what makes us tick. HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN premieres Wednesday, May 5 with two back-to-back episodes starting at 9:00 p.m., then Wednesdays from May 12 through June 2, 10:00-11:00 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

Man and Woman practicing skating lifts in grass
Danny O’Shea and Tarah Kayne practice a lift off-ice. Colorado Springs, CO

In the new science series, the personal profiles of a diverse group of people from around the world become entry points into the inner workings of six bodily systems: nervous, circulatory, digestive, immune, sensory and reproductive. Experts at the vanguard of science and medicine show how the fantastic feats humans are capable of trace back to the body’s incredible resilience.

“HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN is an emotional and revelatory journey inside our bodies to discover the hidden systems that make us, us,” said Bill Gardner, VP of Programming & Development for PBS. “We’re excited to bring this accessible, engaging and surprising series to our audience as part of our fantastic lineup of science content this spring.”

“I think viewers will be completely in awe of the incredible, almost magical worlds and ecosystems occurring within their own bodies,” adds Executive Producer Jonathan Soule.

HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN will stream simultaneously with broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast.


HUMAN: THE WORLD WITHIN episodes are scheduled as follows:

“Birth” (Wednesday, May 5 at 9:00 pm)

Learn the astonishing story of human reproduction from attraction to the moment of a baby’s first breath. Birth is the one experience all humans share. Incredible advances in understanding the human biology of reproduction have led to medical breakthroughs that save lives. But at the core of it all is the amazing power of the human body. Through the lives of parents preparing for new life, “Birth” reveals what is fundamentally shared and absolutely unique about the experience of birth.


Magaly Rodriguez and her team attend to a victim inside the emergency rescue drill. Ciales, Puerto Rico
Magaly Rodriguez and her team attend to a victim inside the emergency rescue drill. Ciales, Puerto Rico

“Pulse” (Wednesday, May 5 at 10:00 pm)

Delve into the lives of an ice climber, a bus driver, a woman in labor and a senior dance club member to discover the world beneath the human heartbeat. The heart and circulatory system power our bodies and emotions and create the pulsing rhythm of our lives.


“Fuel” (Wednesday, May 12 at 10:00 pm)

Explore the factory that turns food into energy—the human gut—home to an ecosystem whose power we’re just beginning to understand. Through the experiences of a Hindu faster, a Navajo ultra-marathon runner, a young girl beating food allergies and a Haitian farmer, “Fuel” goes deep inside this mysterious world.


“Defend” (Wednesday, May 19 at 10 pm)

Uncover how the human body defends itself in a dangerous global environment. Every minute of every day, our bodies are fending off microscopic threats with extreme precision and speed. “Defend” explores the immune system through the lives of a nature survivalist, a set of twins, a Nigerian doctor who survived Ebola and a three-time cancer survivor who received cutting-edge immunotherapy treatment.


“Sense” (Wednesday, May 26 at 10 pm)

Explore the fascinating world of the five senses and how they define our reality. Through the stories of a pairs figure skating team, an artisan perfumer, a cave explorer and a singer-songwriter who has lost her hearing, “Sense” deciphers how different ways of sensing the world create their own vivid picture.


“React” (Wednesday, June 2 at 10:00 pm)

Discover how the technology of the brain and nervous system shapes our experience of the world. Through the stories of a boxer, a first responder, a cell tower climber and a man with a bionic limb, “React” goes deep into the universe of the most powerful machine on earth: the human brain and the vast nervous system it controls.