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: Hollywood Shootout
    On February 28th, 1997, LAPD officers spot a robbery in progress while on routine patrol. But the situation that follows is about to turn Hollywood movie-nasty. For 40 minutes, the robbers easily outgun the LAPD in one of the most violent shootouts in US history. Squad cars are destroyed and nine officers and two civilians are shot in a hail of more than 1,100 rounds. But, miraculously, only the perpetrators die. How did two men keep dozens of fully armed police officers at bay? How did police keep themselves and many civilians from being fatally shot? How were the two criminals finally subdued?
  • Situation Critical: Downed Pilot
    On Friday, June 2nd 1995, Captain Scott O'Grady is patrolling a NATO no-fly zone over Bosnia when his F-16 aircraft bursts into flames after being hit by a Bosnian Serb missile. The fighter pilot ejects from his disintegrating plane and parachutes to earth, landing deep in hostile territory. With armed militia hot on his heels, OGrady dives into the undergrowth. Moments later his pursuers pass five feet from his head. For six days, OGrady evades capture, moving only by night, desperately trying to establish radio contact with his comrades. On the sixth night, a pilot from OGradys air base finally hears his radio call, setting into motion a daring, daylight rescue mission by U.S. Marines.
  • Situation Critical: Hell On High Water
    A fleet of 115 yachts sets off on the gruelling 630-mile course of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Twenty-six hours into the race and every competitors fear becomes a reality - a weather bomb explodes in the treacherous waters of Bass Strait. Even the sturdiest of yachts are hammered by 70-knot winds and 100-foot waves, as one of the greatest ocean challenges becomes a desperate race for survival. Countless racing yachts are capsized, sunk or simply left stranded. Australian authorities must now launch one of the largest peacetime rescue operation the world has ever seen.
  • Situation Critical: Apollo 13
    Apollo 13 is on its way to the moon for the most challenging of lunar missions yet. As Swigert performs a normal housekeeping chore of stirring the oxygen tanks, he unwittingly triggers a catastrophic explosion. How will Mission Control get Apollo 13 home? For how long will the lunar module engine work, just how much food and water does the crew have, and how will they cope with the freezer-like conditions?
  • Situation Critical: Sas Jungle Rescue
    Elite British soldiers mount a daring rescue in a diamond-rich African trouble-spot. Eleven British peacekeepers and a Sierra Leone Army officer have been kidnapped by a notorious rebel gang, the so-called West Side Boys. High on drink and drugs and armed
  • Situation Critical: Hunting Pablo Escobar
    In the cocaine capital of the world, violence is the law. One man, more than any other, holds the country in a bloody death grip Pablo Escobar, the worlds most notorious drug-baron. With US support Colombias President fights back, but Escobar is too stron
  • Situation Critical: Moscow Theatre Siege
    October 23rd, 2002, In the centre of Moscow, just a few miles from the Kremlin, over 50 Chechen terrorists storm the Dubrovka Theatre, home to Russia's first broad-way style musical 'Nord-Ost' and take all of the 900-strong audience hostage. Led by the no
  • Situation Critical: Miracle At Que creek
    On 24 July 2002, eighteen miners descend into the Black Wolf mine in Quecreek, Pennsylvania. A few hours later, their lives are plunged into peril when one of the miners accidentally breaks through into a long abandoned mine - unleashing 60 million gallon
  • Situation Critical: Nightmare On Mount Hood
    May 30th, 2002. A single missed step by a climber on Mount Hood, Oregon, leads to one of America's worst ever climbing disasters. Icy conditions mean that as one man tumbles into another on the crowded slopes, none are able to self arrest. Nine climbers t
  • Situation Critical: Russian Sub Rescue
    A Russian Navy submarine on a secret mission gets entangled in fishing nets and is trapped underwater with limited oxygen. Who can save the crew from the icy depths?