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‘For the first 500 million years of Earth’s history there was no life, just the restless violence of volcanoes and the constant bombardment of meteorites,’ says Brian Cox, who investigates the origins of life in the third part of his enthralling series about our changing planet. ‘Somehow, the inanimate became animated.’ As he explains how life came into being, the professor takes us to Indonesia’s toxic sulphur mines, a Masai ceremony in Tanzania and underwater caves in the Dominican Republic. There are times when you wonder where Brian is actually going with all this, but it all comes together beautifully when he returns to where his journey began, with the humble moth.