The Great Human Race




Six million years ago our ancestors began to walk upright then left the trees and ventured out into the planet's harshest terrains. For millions of years we withstood droughts and ice ages to not only survive, but to become the dominant species on Earth. Could we do it again? The Great Human Race challenges archeologist Bill Schindler and survival expert Cat Bigney to live as our most primitive ancestors did. Following in the footsteps of the earliest humans, they journey across the globe, and survive using only the tools available to man in a certain chapter of history. Facing the same obstacles and limitations as our ancestors, they must evolve in order to stay alive. The show ultimately answers one question: Does modern man still have what it takes to survive…The Great Human Race?



Season 1
  • Dawn


    The savanna of East Africa. Every person can trace their roots here, the home of the one of the first members of the human species - Homo habilis. Archaeologist Bill Schindler and survival expert Cat Bigney attempt to live as Homo habilis did 2.6 million years ago - without weapons or fire. Seeing animals in all directions reminds them that, like Homo habilis, they are low on the food chain. As two people who have studied primitive lifestyles and technologies, Bill and Cat get to work to secure food, water and shelter. But they soon find that living like Homo habilis is harder than they ever expected. The savanna is dry and nearly void of food...

  • Fire


    Bill and Cat follow in the footsteps of Homo erectus as they journey into the jungles of Uganda. Of all the achievements of Homo erectus, the most notable was their ability to control one of nature's most powerful forces - fire. Bill and Cat begin in the smoking remains of a charred grassland fire, where they discover a smoldering log. The pair harvests an ember and carries it with them in a "slow match." With fire to keep them safe, they head out in search of animals to hunt. Bill makes a wooden spear and Cat harvests a hippo bone to use as weapons. They spot a guinea fowl in the brush, and for the first time, attempt to make the jump from prey...

  • Hunt


    Following in the footsteps of the first Homo sapiens, Bill and Cat attempt to hunt big game in the mountains of Ethiopia. The journey begins in a lowland valley, where Bill and Cat fail in their attempt to hunt a lightning-fast antelope with handheld spears. They decide to climb into the mountains where they hope to find resources to make projectile weapons. As they explore the new lands, they take full advantage of all it has to offer. Soon Bill and Cat find obsidian rock and bamboo shafts to make a projectile spear. Surviving in the cold, damp, high-elevation forest is a challenge. But when they encounter a mountain goat, they get their chance...

  • Thirst


    Bill and Cat follow in the footsteps of early Homo sapiens as they make their way through the Arabian Desert - the second largest in the world. Their mission is to locate dried riverbeds and follow them to the seasonal monsoon area along the coast. But to do so, they must endure blistering heat and desolate sands. Food is nearly impossible to find, and Bill and Cat are forced to hunt the tiny creatures that make their homes in the rocks and sand: lizards, insects and mice. As they make their trek across the desert, their water supplies quickly run low, and there's no sight of the monsoon. The sand burns their feet and the sun stings their eyes....

  • Adrift


    On this leg of their journey, Bill and Cat's mission is to overcome the barrier of the sea and expand into new lands. They begin in a resource-barren marsh in Southeastern Turkey, where the pair slogs through ten-foot tall reeds. They decide to use the reeds to make a boat, and paddle across the Mediterranean Sea. With limited food and water, Bill and Cat struggle to build the vessel, but at last, the moment comes to board. They're in luck - it floats! The duo paddles to the Mediterranean, and battles massive waves to reach dry land in the distance. When they finally get there, they quickly get to work collecting much-needed food. They've become...

  • Cave


    Bill and Cat attempt to find shelter along the Caucasus Mountains, a journey some of our ancestors made to escape the bone-chilling temperatures of the Ice Age 40,000 years ago. First, they make shelter in a massive cave while they prepare for their trek. Storing up food is crucial to their trip along the mountains, so Bill and Cat get to work making an atlatl - a primitive spear thrower - to hunt large game. Once complete, they track down a wild boar. They haul it back to their cave and smoke the meat before heading up the Caucasus. As Bill and Cat ascend the mountain, they endure near-freezing temperatures, relentless rain, and come face-to-face...

  • Ice


    Bill and Cat attempt to survive as mobile hunters living in Siberia during the peak of the Ice Age. Plant life is sparse, and the only hope for the survival is to track and kill big game. They begin in the frozen tundra, where the duo discovers a pair of wolves ripping apart a yak carcass. They're too late to get any meat, but they use the yak parts to make tools and a shelter. Bill and Cat decide to track the yak and make a bow and arrow to bring one down. They hustle to craft their new weapon, while their hopes of catching up to the yak herd dwindle. Without any other food source, if they don't find the yaks soon, they could starve in the frozen...

  • Herd


    Bill and Cat attempt to survive as nomadic herders in Mongolia 5,000 years ago. To keep their animals alive, they must move the herd to its summer camp before the cold winter weather moves in. As the temperature drops, Bill and Cat prepare to cross the vast barren steppe. Cat makes a copper knife by annealing copper, and Bill creates the first clay pots. Managing a flock of sheep, goats, camels and a horse is taxing as the animals push back against the inexperienced herders. Soon they encounter a massive expanse of sand dunes. Without any food in sight, they're faced with the devastating decision of having to slaughter one of their animals, or...

  • First Americans


    Bill and Cat follow in the footsteps of the first Americans to cross the Bering Land Bridge 15,000 years ago. Their trek begins in the Alaskan tundra, where a winter storm beats down upon them. In this barren wasteland, resources are few and far between, and the grueling slog south takes its toll on Bill and Cat, who can't find anything to eat. At last, they come across a beaver dam, but in order to set a trap, Bill must plunge into nearly-freezing water. As they approach the coast, their final obstacle is to cross a massive glacier. Facing crumbling ice and hidden crevasses, Bill and Cat wonder if they have what it takes to survive the journey...

  • Pioneer


    Bill and Cat follow in the footsteps of the first Americans who migrated south into the Pacific Northwest. Navigating a separate land and sea route, their goal is to unite on the coast and head upriver to harvest and preserve enough salmon to sustain a permanent settlement. Bill begins his adventure paddling a dugout canoe along the coast of Oregon. The bulky, primitive boat is difficult to maneuver, and Bill struggles to find a place to land on the rocky coast. Cat traverses the land route, but as one person alone in the damp forest, she struggles to build a shelter, find food, and make a fire. When Bill and Cat finally unite, they head upstream,...