Walter White may be gone from the airwaves, but Bryan Cranston — or at least his voice — isn’t. He’s narrating H2’s new show “Big History,” a series that will dare to reveal one grand unified theory for how every event throughout history is connected. It’s not blue meth, but it’s still pretty cool, don’t you think? Oh, and Bill Gates is involved, too, if you needed more big name cred.
The 10-hour series will premiere on Sat. Nov. 2 at 10:00 PM ET. In addition to be narrating by three-time Emmy winner Cranston, the show is produced in collaboration with the Big History Project – a free, online course from Professor David Christian and Bill Gates.
“I was asked to be the voice of 13.7 billion years of history,” said Cranston, “Sure, I’ve got the time – give or take a billion years. As I read the material I realized that this new series gives a surprising and unique look at our world. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Each episode of the show will begin with an iconic topic from the pages of traditional history such as the Great Pyramids, The Titanic or the American Revolution but then will spin into surprising journeys through other fields, weaving together insights and evidence from various disciplines such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, history and economics. Spanning 13.7 billion years, “Big History” will ultimately pull together the puzzle pieces from all 16 half-hour episodes into an epic two-hour finale, creating one grand narrative and revealing the unifying link among all events.
In addition to the series, H2 will be partnering with the Big History Project by using the multimedia to support a massive, free online course.
“Big History is my favorite course of all time,” says Bill Gates, “Big History literally tells the story of the universe from the very beginning to the complex societies we have today. It shows how everything is connected to everything else. It weaves together insights and evidence from so many disciplines into a single, understandable story.”
Big History was a course developed by professor David Christian, designed to help students better understand the world around them by revealing “big picture” connections between different fields of study. After taking the course, Bill Gates joined forces with Christian and an advisory panel of teachers to create a free, online version suitable for middle and high schools. At the end of October, a public version of the course will become available online.
“We don”t want to just tell history stories, we want nothing less than to help change the way history is experienced and taught,” says Paul Cabana, Senior Vice President, H2, “This is a massive undertaking and we”re proud to help the Big History Project bring this powerful and entertaining program to a larger audience.”
H2 will not only provide educational resources to accompany the series, the network will also offer free multimedia materials to high schools nationwide, including flash drives pre-loaded with exclusive Big History video content. Each episode of the series will also highlight schools that have been using Big History content, featuring students who discuss how the course has changed their way of thinking about history.
Will you watch “Big History”?