According to recent science the Neanderthals are not the knuckle-dragging apemen of popular imagination. In fact they are our distant ancestors. About 2% of the DNA of most people is of Neanderthal origin – and it continues to affect us today. Ella Al-Shamahi enlists the skills of Andy Serkis, the master of performance capture, and a group of experts to investigate Neanderthals.
Season 01, Episode 01 – “Episode 1”
This first episode of the series investigates what Neanderthals looked like and how they lived in their Ice Age world. It turns out that almost everything we thought we knew about them is wrong. They weren’t hunched, grunting, knuckle-dragging ape-men at all. In reality they were faster, smarter, better looking – and much more like us than we ever thought. Our guide is Ella Al-Shamahi, a young, British, rising star in Neanderthal research, with an unusual side-line as a stand-up comic. She enlists the skills of Andy Serkis, the global movie star and master of performance capture, best known as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes, who uses his Hollywood magic to create for the first time ever a scientifically accurate, 3D working avatar of a real Neanderthal.