Host Michael Emerson

The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements tells the stories of seven extraordinary scientists whose discoveries, spanning nearly two centuries, laid the foundation for the modern understanding of matter. Knitting these stories into a coherent whole is host Michael Emerson, a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor.  Emerson is not present in every scene, as Jacob Bronowski and James Burke were in their landmark series Ascent of Man and Connections. But neither is he a “bookend” celebrity who appears only at the beginning and end of the programs. Instead, he appears 4-6 times per hour, often performing a chemical demonstration or interacting with graphics to make a key point in a lively way.

One of the host’s main roles is to maintain the sense of mystery throughout the series. Emerson continually reminds viewers that matter was a mystery for the scientists we’ll be featuring – that these men and women were searching for answers without the benefit of later discoveries we now take for granted; and that each time they solved one mystery, another one arose. Emerson serves as our guide, leading viewers on a journey of discovery as we retrace the steps of the “chemical detectives” who, clue by hard-won clue, solved the mystery of matter.  

Photo: Jeffrey Dunn
All photos copyright © Moreno/Lyons Productions, LLC


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