The Battle of Bones - E4 The 9.500 year old Kennewick Man skeleton is the most controversial and disputed skeleton in American history. Since its discovery in 1996, native tribes have been trying to repatriate the skeleton, but The Supreme Court has given leading scientists the right to study it. The scientists have not been able to extract DNA from the bones, but based on cranial measurements they have concluded, that the remains are not related to modern day Native Americans and that Native American ancestors therefore might not have been the first people to arrive in the Americas. This controversial finding has enraged Native American groups and deepened their distrust in archaeologists and anthropologists. Many Native groups feel that the scientists are desecrating their ancestors’ graves and disturbing their spirits. Eske enters this controversy and suggests to make a DNA test to settle the Kennewick Man question once and for all. He succeeds in extracting DNA from the skeleton and proves – contrary to the scientists – that Kennewick Man is indeed a Native American. This provides data for him to explore other controversial questions and opens doors for him to sequence another contested ancient skeleton, namely the Spirit Cave mummy, the oldest mummified skeleton in the Americas. Again, Eske successfully proves the skeleton’s kindship to local tribes, but his scientific success is followed by a host of personal and professional problems. He is haunted by nightmares and repeating mishap and finally is convinced that this must be caused by the spirits of the bones – something the Native groups have warned him against throughout the whole process. As he reaches out to the tribes for spiritual guidance he also receives his final results and begins to realise his own cultural bias in his interpretation of the genetic data from the old skeletons.
Science & Money - E6 The episode predominately takes place in Denmark, where the government is cutting basic research funds and Eske is forced to explore funding and career opportunities abroad. He receives a part time professorship at Saint John’s College at Cambridge University and eventually shifts his research focus away from population genetics to medical research and also signs a sponsorship contract with a huge Californian sequencing company. This means a goodbye to the complete imaginative freedom of his earlier research and also to his life long exploration of the earliest migrations of prehistoric peoples.  Luzia’s Secret - E5 Eske’s team has sequenced the oldest skeletons of North America and now wishes to further explore the earliest migrations to the Americas by sequencing the oldest skeletons found in South America. But the most important skeleton “Luzia” seems to be too degraded to have any DNA left and other American scientists already have exclusive access to much of the other ancient human remains in South America. Eske must develop new methods to extract DNA and travel to Brazil to find ways to get access to more ancient samples. The race against competing international research teams is intense, but travelling to Brazil and meeting Brazilian colleagues inspires Eske to critically reconsider the competitive nature of his research and the way he collects ancient human material. CONTACT THE SERIES THE FILM HOME
DNA DETECTIVE - SEASON 1 The Dreamtime Travel - E1 Eske is caught in an ethical hornets’ nest, when he as the first researcher ever manages to sequence the full genome of an Aboriginal. The data from the genome leads to a groundbreaking discovery, but the publication of the discovery and Eske is accused of unethical behavior. As a consequence, he is forced to risk the publication and his million dollar research by traveling to meet Aboriginal tribes in the West Australian desert, who will eventually decide whether he is allowed to publish his discovery.
The Secret of the Sumerian Queen - E2 Eske ignores the warnings of his colleagues and accepts to make a DNA test of a supposed alien. On his deathbed, a Jewish millionaire contacts Eske and asks him to help him extract DNA from a 4.000-year-old Sumerian skeleton, which he claims is from a race of aliens who created man. Soon, Eske finds himself in the crossfire between his own skeptical colleagues and American groups of alternative researches, whose various alternative ideas about human evolution, Eske decides to meet with an open mind. The Legacy of the Anzick Boy -E3 Following his childhood fascination of North American Indians Eske sets out to sequence the genome of an ancient Native American. But the modern Native Americans are not supporting his idea. They do not want the skeletons of their forefathers to be subjected to scientific scrutiny and they are very critical about modern genetics. When Eske finally does get legal access to an ancient American skeleton and manages to sequence its genome, the skeleton turns out to be ancestor to almost all present day Native Americans. This is such a unique historical discovery, that Eske feels morally obligated to travel to the reservations of the closest related Natives and hear what they have to say about his desecration of the bones of their ancestor.