Morgan Freeman: 'Through the Wormhole' Season 7 Will Explore "Some of the Most Challenging Social Issues of Our Time"

"These issues are so often mired in misconceptions and a lack of facts that it’s critical for us to explore them in depth," he tells THR of episodes that deal with terrorism, privacy and gender.
The Discovery Channel

Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman returns Tuesday night to explore more of life's big mysteries.

In its seventh season, which debuts at 10 p.m., the Science Channel show will explore such topics as "What Makes a Terrorist?"; "Are There More Than Two Sexes?"; and "Is Privacy Dead?"

Ahead of the show's season premiere, Freeman — who hosts the Emmy-nominated series and also executive produces — answered some questions for The Hollywood Reporter about what viewers can expect this time around.

This season, "Through the Wormhole" has an episode titled "What Makes a Terrorist?" and another that asks "Is Privacy Dead?" How important is it to explore topical issues vs. those big questions humans have been pondering for generations?

One of the things I’m most proud of in our seventh season is that in addition to episodes dealing with mind-bending speculative science, we’ve also decided to wrestle with some of the most challenging social issues of our time. These issues are so often mired in misconceptions and a lack of facts that it’s critical for us to explore them in depth. But yes, we’ll always keep asking the really big questions. Those are the things we continue to ponder and wonder about.

Other episodes this season will focus on gun violence and gender identity. So many of these episodes deal with provocative topics that stir up lots of debate. Is it hard to go into these deep dives with an open mind?

We don't find it difficult to approach subjects with open minds. In fact, we hope this is one of the show's strengths. It's my job to go in without carrying my own baggage — I’m there to ask the questions, learn from the answers, and share those with the audience. That’s not to say that we don’t take these provocative topics seriously. And the reason we can be confident in the answers is because we have qualified scientists and researchers who are dealing in facts and statistics to back us up!

What's something surprising you learned this season?

Much of the research going on in the area of gender identity I was not aware of until we began this investigation. It is fascinating to ponder what really makes us male or female — or something in between. And who gets to determine that? In an age where opinion and emotion often overrule facts, we are committed to presenting scientific data about gender identity. Science does more than give us facts and figures — it can also give us a greater insight into who we are, what makes us tick, and will hopefully promote greater empathy and compassion that we so desperately need today.

This marks the seventh season of the show. Does it get harder to come up with topics to explore, or have we only scratched the surface?

Every season we think we have exhausted the topics for us to tackle, and yet somehow, every year, we find more issues that deserve deep exploration. I am a curious person by nature, so I’ve found that as soon as I feel I’ve answered one question, five more pop up. We’ve only just started.

Are there topics you just haven't been able to crack yet, for whatever reason?

Ha ha, well, yes. I wish I knew the formula for predicting the future success of a feature film or TV series. 

You once told me that you get a lot of feedback from viewers about this show, from young kids to older adults. What has been the most memorable?

A couple years ago, a young boy came up to me and told me he’d decided to become a scientist after watching Wormhole. People find it interesting that I am interested in so many scientific questions. I hope it helps make them more curious about the world we all live in. 

Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman returns at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The show is produced for Science Channel by Revelations Entertainment, where Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary are executive producers and James Younger is executive vp factual. Neil Laird executive produces for Science Channel.

Watch a preview below.

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