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National Geographic


Go to the front line of some of modern history’s most violent face-offs, terrifying battles and death-defying disasters.

In a single moment, life can transform from routine to critical. One bullet, one alarm or one misstep can spur tragedy — and plunge average people and trained experts alike into desperate circumstances. In Situation Critical, we explore the unfolding action and the real people thrust into survivor mode by some of the most dramatic events in modern history.

This fast-paced series takes you inside the seemingly stable events that became headline disasters in a matter of minutes. Each hour-long episode combines archival footage, accurate re-enactments, advanced CGI and firsthand accounts from those at the centre of the action. Building suspense with each heart-pounding movement, we vividly break down the terrifying moments — outlining the life-threatening risks, daring decisions, frantic communications, evolving tactics and last-ditch efforts developing with each decisive tick of the clock.

Don’t miss as we follow the hunt for Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar and the Russian sub rescue of 2005 orchestrated by the UK’s Submarine Rescue Service.


  • Situation Critical: Hell On High Water
    A fleet of 115 yachts sets off on the grueling 630-mile course of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race. But, 70-knot winds and 100-foot waves turn this sporting event into a desperate race for survival.
  • Situation Critical: Taliban Uprising
    In Afghanistan, journalists trapped in the crossfire record a rare, uncensored expression of war when captured Taliban fighters overpower their guards, seize weapon and open fire.
  • Situation Critical: Moscow Theatre Siege
    Oct 23, 2002, Chechen terrorists enter Moscow's Dubrovka Theater and threaten to kill everyone inside unless Russia ends war with Chechnya. Find out how a secret weapon ends the perilous standoff.
  • Situation Critical: Hunting Pablo Escobar
    Retrace the effort to take down Pablo Escobar, the most feared man in Colombia and the most powerful, dangerous and ruthless drug dealer the world has ever seen.
  • Situation Critical: Apollo 13
    With personal accounts from the crew of Apollo; James Lovell & Fred Haise, we bring to life the series of events that happened on Apollo 13.
  • Situation Critical: Sas Jungle Rescue
    A notorious rebel gang has kidnapped 11 British peacekeepers & a Sierra Leone Army officer. This is the story of their rescue in a diamond-rich African trouble spot by the Elite British soldiers.
  • Situation Critical: Commando Rescue
    The true stories about soldiers trapped or captured in enemy territory. Will these fallen heroes suffer the ultimate sacrifice? Or can their brothers in arms, risking life & limb, rescue them in time?
  • Situation Critical: Hollywood Shootout
    On February 28th, 1997, LAPD officers spot a robbery in progress while on routine patrol. For 40 minutes, the robbers easily outgun the LAPD in one of the most violent shootouts in US history.
  • Situation Critical: Al Qaeda Ambush
    U.S. Army rangers sent to rescue wounded Navy SEALs pinned down on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan face a well-armed and merciless Al Qaeda force.
  • Situation Critical: Potomac Plane Crash
  • Situation Critical: Bigfoot
    Is there really a giant primate running around the world's wilderness areas? Or are Bigfoot and his cousins around the world figments of our imagination? Examine the evidence for yourself with believers and skeptics alike: listen to tales of terrifying encounters, take a look at giant footprints, and examine the famous 1967 film. Follow the forensic trail - and a real sasquatch stakeout - as science goes after that most elusive of legendary creatures.
  • Situation Critical: Moscow Theatre Seige
  • Situation Critical: Al-Qaeda Ambuh
  • Situation Critical: Lethal Action
    This episode examines the North Hollywood shootout, a drug lord in South America who slaughters men & women, and more. Bullets fly and bodies fall when dangerous situations end in lethal action.