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The Great Sperm Race is a riveting reality tv-inspired documentary about the moment of conception - from the sperm's perspective. Everyone knows how babies are made. But The Great Sperm Race tells the biological story of struggle and conflict that results in the fertilization of a single egg. The Great Sperm Race consists of teams of real people dressed as giant sperm. To give a sense of the monumental odds that sperm face in their quest for the egg, cameras are placed inside helicopters and computer-generated graphics are used to create a mammoth simulacrum of the universe of the vagina.

The world of sperm is increased by 40,000 times its size for dramatic effect in the Great Sperm race. To dramatize the struggle, the human competitors, dressed like sperm, are forced to hike and climb the most treacherous and dramatic landscapes in the world. In one scene, the Canadian Rockies are used to emphasize the cavernous nooks and crannies of the birth canal. In another section, enormous skyscrapers are shown, with computer-generated effects, to give a sense of the interior of the cervix, the final frontier en route to the egg. Human competitors must find ways to traverse these obstacles, not unlike their sperm counterparts.

In the Great Sperm Race, predictably, many competitors must drop out or fail completely. In the actual birth canal, millions of sperm - some 300 million - vie for one spot with the egg. Others get caught in the tissue en route to the egg while others are stuck in the egg's exterior. The vagina, like the breathtaking vistas that the competitors traverse, is designed to ward off foreign elements and ensure that that external invaders perish before getting too far.

The Great Sperm Race is aided with scientific explanations by reproductive science specialists, who provide commentary and explain the similarity between the particularly daunting challenges and the foreboding topography of the vagina, cervix, and outer shell of egg.

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Channel 4
1 Season, 1 Episode
Game Show, Reality
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The Great Sperm Race Full Episode Guide

  • It's the most extreme race on earth - a contest with 250 million competitors, only one winner and relentless obstacles thrown in for good measure.

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