Nova (1974– )
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Darwin's Darkest Hour 

Charles Darwin is taken aback when he receives a manuscript from a colleague, Alfred Wallace, which contains many of the same conclusions as he on evolution and the development of various ... See full summary »


John Bradshaw


John Goldsmith (teleplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Ian Cusick ... Charles Darwin
Frances O'Connor ... Emma Darwin
Nigel Bennett ... Sir Charles Lyell
Richard Donat ... Dr. Robert Darwin
Vanessa Walton-Bone Vanessa Walton-Bone ... Elizabeth Wedgwood
Jeremy Akerman ... Parslow
Daniel Lillford ... Dr. Engleheart
John O'Keefe John O'Keefe ... Postman
Rhys Bevan-John Rhys Bevan-John ... Alfred Wallace
Mike MacPhee Mike MacPhee ... William Fitzroy (as Mike McPhee)
Jacob Robertson Jacob Robertson ... Frank Darwin
Simon Pattison Simon Pattison ... Horace Darwin
Owen Pattison Owen Pattison ... Lenny Darwin
Rosin Boyle Rosin Boyle ... Etty Darwin (as Roisin Boyle)
Jeff Schwager Jeff Schwager ... John Gould


Charles Darwin is taken aback when he receives a manuscript from a colleague, Alfred Wallace, which contains many of the same conclusions as he on evolution and the development of various species. Darwin's theory was developed over a great many years and in flashbacks, the manner in which it developed is shown. He had many supporters and likely more critics. He knew that his ideas were radical and that they would conflict with religious thought on the subject of creation. In reviewing his thoughts however, he realizes that he can without much difficulty claim to have been the first to develop the theory. These events spur him on to publish his findings in his now famous book. Written by garykmcd

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In 1858 Charles Darwin struggles to publish one of the most controversial scientific theories ever conceived... while he and his wife Emma confront family tragedy.




Canada | Japan | USA



Release Date:

6 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Explores personal struggle & context behind theory of evolution
13 April 2015 | by briangifford-95409See all my reviews

This film provides a glimpse into the life and times of Charles Darwin just before publishing Origin of the Species. His wife's intelligent, principled role, his children's' engagement in science and learning as well as tragic illness, the struggle with ethical questions related to attribution ("intellectual property rights" within the scientific world). It provides the basic reasoning & observations behind the theory and the fascinating context - especially recent discoveries about geological forces and time scale. A revolution in our understanding of the world all taking place in one short century. Pretty exciting! Filmed in beautiful Nova Scotia where I live (a pleasant surprise) - including local actors & sites. (Ironically the film tax credit that brought the filming here was drastically changed April 9 2015, 3 days before we watched the film, leaving the future of film-making in NS in doubt).

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