The Secret Micro Universe: The Cell

There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection – the battle for the cell.

This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself – from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.

Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations. With contributions from Professor Bonnie L Bassler of Princeton University, Dr Nick Lane and Professor Steve Jones of University College London and Cambridge University’s Susanna Bidgood.

Narrated by David Tennant, this is the story of a battle that has been raging for billions of years and is being fought inside every one of us right now. Swept up in a timeless drama – the fight between man and virus – viewers will see an exciting frontier of biology come alive and be introduced to the complex biochemical processes at the heart of all of us.

The programme features contributions from Professor Bonnie L Bassler of Princeton University, Dr Nick Lane and Professor Steve Jones of UCL, and Cambridge University’s Susanna Bidgood. It is the life story of a single epithelial lung cell on the front line of the longest war in history, waged across the most alien universe imaginable: our battle against viral infection.

David McNab, creative director of Wide-Eyed Entertainment Ltd, commented: “This programme would never have been possible without the guidance, enthusiasm and financial support of the Wellcome Trust. It is the kind of cutting-edge, complex science that needs ambitious visuals to make it accessible to a general audience.

“It has been a privilege to bring to life the work of so many brilliant and dedicated scientists and to reveal a scientific frontier that is both important and genuinely awe-inspiring. I sincerely hope it becomes an inspiration to a new generation of scientists and film-makers.”

Clare Matterson, director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, says: “‘Secret Universe’ will reveal a world that few people will have seen before, presenting scientifically accurate molecular biology in a gripping visual manner – perfect Sunday night viewing. It is a wonderful example of science programming at its best.”

Wellcome Trust broadcast grants offer support for projects and programmes that engage an audience with issues in biomedical science in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way. Previous programmes funded through the scheme include ‘The Great Sperm Race’ and ‘Inside Nature’s Giants’.

From The Web
Join The Conversation