The Art Of Expression 

National Geographic Channel  ORIGINS: The Journey of Humankind - Communications
Jason Silva, narrator
National Geographic/ Asylum Entertainment

Each episode is 50 minutes in length
8 Episodes in this series

Episode Four shown March 27, 2017

Man’s first attempt at communicating. Was it the sound of drums?  Smoke in the sky? Or, perhaps, pictures drawn on cave walls before the last Ice Age. What did it tell people of the distant past? I am/was here. I am going/departing from here. I need help. There is food/no food here. We have fire. Who knows? What is important is that people were trying to reach each other on an emotional level and that is what this episode of National Geographic’s ORIGINS is about---communicating.

The cave walls in El Castillo, Spain have drawings on them and there is even the hand print of a child. So---it was not scary there? Was this a message or a “Kilroy was here” sort of fun thing. We don't know. At La Pasiega, there are bison drawn on the walls from 25,000 years ago. It depicts a hunt, and besides that, there is a row of geometric signs. Was this the first attempt at writing? Counting the number of persons there at that time? Imagine, how we have gone from charcoal and dye on a cave wall to the communication skills and equipment of today. Mind boggling.

The transformation of man comes with communicating. No longer is man alone in his world, he can give and receive messages. Also, he stands above the animal world with his ability to think and reason quickly and send messages. This has lead to conveying music, language, art and the written word. It has also lead to manipulation and, in wartime, propaganda. The recent film, “Arrival,” has man meeting space aliens who communicate through  time on levels of past, present, future. The Earth scientists must be creative in figuring this out and perceiving the message being conveyed to them.

Along with the other National Geographic episodes of  Fire, Medicine and Money, would we even have these if we could not communicate. What good is a pile of money for trade if no one knows you have it?  Your updated cell phone is current now, but what would happen in the future? Could all that technology be gathered in something the size of a finger nail?  Who knows, but anything is possible. As the quote from Rudyard Kipling says, “Words are the most powerful drug in the universe.”  Write on.

Direction, cinematography and music are excellent.

ORIGINS: The Journal of Humankind is produced by Asylum Entertainment for National Geographic. The series will run on television in 171 countries and 43 languages that will see and hear it. The eight episodes are “Fire” (March 6, 2017), “Medicine” (March 13, 2017)  “Money” (March 20, 2017, ) “Communication” (March 27, 2017), “War” (April 3, 2017), “Shelter” (April 10, 2017), “Exploration” (April 17, 2017) and “Transportation” (April 24, 2017.)  Special effects are by John Boswell (also known as Melodysheep.)  For more information see or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest.



Copyright 2017 Marie Asner