Award-winning BBC documentary film about EELS leader and his father:

The BAFTA and RTS Award-winning BBC documentary PARALLEL WORLDS, PARALLEL LIVES follows the lead singer of US rock band EELS, MARK OLIVER EVERETT, on his journey of discovery across America to learn about the father he never knew, HUGH EVERETT III, the quantum physicist.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Hugh Everett’s most important contribution to science – a controversial theory of quantum mechanics that predicts the existence of PARALLEL UNIVERSES, one of the most fantastic scientific predictions ever to have been conceived.

Hugh wrote the theory as a young Ph.D. student at Princeton University, but for 20 years it remained largely ignored by the scientific community. Faced with derision and rejection Everett abandoned academia and forged a career in the American defense industry. It was only at the end of his life, that his visionary work began to be taken seriously.

Hugh died of a heart attack in his home in 1982 where his body was found by 19 year old son Mark. Even though they had lived in the same house, the two of them were alienated and Mark knew nothing about his father’s work: “My father never, ever said anything to me about his theories. I was in the same house with him for at least 18 years but he was a total stranger to me. He was in his own parallel universe. He was a physical presence, like the furniture, sitting there jotting down crazy notations at the dining room table night after night. I think he was deeply disappointed that he knew he was a genius but the rest of the world didn’t know it,” – Mark Oliver Everett.

In this intelligent and imaginative film, the wry and charismatic Mark takes a journey back into his father’s life, meeting his old college pals, family friends and colleagues and takes a crash course in the weird world of quantum mechanics in order to understand his father’s mind blowing theory.


The film made its BBC premiere November 26, 2007 and has played several times since due to popular demand. The official U.S. premiere was at The Paley Center in New York City, May 29, 2008. The film was broadcast in America on PBS as part of the acclaimed NOVA series October 21, 2008, and will be replayed MAY 19, 2009.

Watch the whole show (divided into 6) here –