BBC Earth to launch in October

New premium factual channel BBC Earth will launch on Foxtel and Fetch on Thursday, October 10, bringing audiences incredible stories about the world around us.

BBC Earth will make its debut with four of Sir David Attenborough’s biggest titles – Blue Planet IIPlanet Earth IIFrozen Planet and The Hunt.  Each series will screen in its entirety across one of the first four days of the channel launch.

The BBC Earth channel will showcase a broad range of world-class factual programmes including the best of Sir David Attenborough from BBC Studios acclaimed Natural History Unit, alongside adventurous travels, human stories and science programmes from passionate experts such as Michael MosleyLouis TherouxKate HumbleProfessor Brian Cox and Ben Fogle.  BBC Earth will replace the existing channel BBC Knowledge and many more hours of programming will also be available to view in an enhanced on-demand offering.

Monday nights will be home to a series of one-off documentaries from Sir David Attenborough starting with Attenborough and the Sea Dragon. Titles premiering on the channel during the first week include Tribes, Animals and Me which sees charismatic wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan joining a different indigenous tribe to get closer to the animals that they hunt; Rituals, exploring the rites that mark some of the most significant events in human lives across different cultures and Wild Mexico, exploring the country’s landscape, animals and culture.  In addition, Expedition Volcano takes a dangerous scientific journey into the Democratic Republic of Congo. week.

Tim Christlieb, Director of Branded Services, BBC Studio ANZ said:  “BBC Earth is for everyone who is interested in the world they live in and will offer best-in-class premium factual programming fronted by the BBC’s renowned presenters. Many of the best-shows and much-loved faces from BBC Knowledge will find a new home on BBC Earth.  If you want to view nature in all its magnificence, be amazed by animals that you never knew existed and marvel at their behaviours, connect with your fellow humans through touching stories, explore other cultures, experience hair-raising adventures from the comfort of your arm chair or ponder on the big scientific questions of the universe, then BBC Earth is for you. BBC Earth is a well-established global brand, with channels in over 160 countries and we’re looking forward to bringing this channel to Australian audiences.”

Titles to air on the channel in the first week of launch include:

Blue Planet II (7.30pm tbc,10th October, 7 x 60’)

Filmed over four years this series takes viewers on a magical adventure across the greatest, yet least known part of our planet – our oceans. Since Blue Planet aired in 2001, our understanding of life beneath the waves has been transformed. Travelling from the icy polar seas to the vibrant blues of the coral atolls, Blue Planet II shares astonishing new discoveries. Meet a tool-using tusk fish that cracks clams for its dinner. Watch giant trevally fish leap to catch birds in mid-air. And ride on the back of a sperm whale as it dives into the abyss. Inspiring awe and wonder, this series reveals surprising new places, charismatic new characters and extraordinary new animal behaviours. Australian stories include the tusk fish, co-operative hunting between the Coral Groper and Octupus, spawning behaviour of Giant Cuttlefish and coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Frozen Planet (5pm, 11th October, 6 x 60’)

Embark on the trip of a lifetime, as the BBC’s acclaimed Natural History Unit takes you on a spectacular polar expedition into a breathtaking landscape most humans will never experience. Ambitious and epic in scale, this landmark series is the ultimate portrait of the great wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic before they change forever.

 

Planet Earth II (5pm, 12th October, 6 x 60’)

When Planet Earth was released it transformed how viewers saw their planet. The first natural history series to be filmed in high definition, it captivated a global audience of over half a billion people by giving them an unprecedented view of life on Earth. Ten years on, Planet Earth II revists this rich subject but with a new perspective, immersing audiences in the most spectacular landscapes and habitats on Earth and bringing them eye to eye with the animals that live there.

 

The Hunt (5pm, 13th October, 7 x 60’)

Predators face many challenges in their lives but the most defining is also the most difficult: catching their prey. Statistics support this claim – most hunts fail. Predators must not only overcome the significant defences of their prey but also the unique challenges of their habitats. How do you get close to your prey on the open plain, where there’s nowhere to hide? How do you even find your prey when you live in a thick forest? How do you cope when the world beneath your feet melts away every summer as it does in the Arctic? Survival depends on many skills – speed, stealth, stamina, strength, ingenuity, and teamwork – but it’s how these are applied that makes the difference between success and failure, life and death.

 

Attenborough and the Sea Dragon (8.30pm, 14th October, 1 x 60’)

On the Jurassic coast of Britain a remarkable 200 million year-old fossil is discovered – the bones of an Ichthyosaur – a giant sea dragon that ruled the oceans when the dinosaurs ruled the land.

In this one-hour special, Sir David Attenborough brings a passion project to the screen as he joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature’s story to life.

 

Tribes, Animals and Me (8.30pm, 15th October, 6 x 60’)

From the lion-hunting San Bushmen of the Kalahari, to the Huorani Indians of Ecuador who search for giant green anacondas, from the Sepik River people of Papua New Guinea who  hunt crocodiles with their bare hands to the shark people of the Solomon Islands, Gordon Buchanan meets the tribes who  live alongside the world’s most feared animals.  This series reveals the remarkable relationships between humans and the nature’s most dangerous creatures which are based on respect, bravery and an understanding of wildlife never seen before.

 

Expedition Volcano (8.30pm, 16th October, 2 x 60’)

Towering above one of the world’s most environmentally and politically hostile regions are the Virunga mountains, home to some of the least explored volcanoes in the world. Join a team of scientists and mountaineers as they take on an extraordinarily dangerous expedition into the heart of these volcanoes, uncovering some of Earth’s deepest secrets. The team pass lava-destroyed cities, spend three days living inside the crater of a volcano and venture into toxic gas clouds – all to gather information that could save millions of lives and answer geology’s biggest questions.

 

Rituals (8.30pm, 17th October, 4 x 60’)

In every culture, our rituals reveal what it means to be human. They allow us to express our identity, join us together and help us navigate through life. This visually stunning series uses cinematic filming techniques to immerse viewers in incredible rituals practised by cultures across the globe, from the cities of Japan to the jungles of New Guinea. These surprising rituals touch on moments we all experience – from birth and death to marriage and funerals. Highlighting ancient to modern ceremonies, Rituals captures the human race’s most remarkable stories, revealing in breathtaking detail the extraordinary and extreme rituals that connect us all.

 

Wild Mexico (7.30pm, 19th October, 3 x 60’)

With its lush tropical jungles, sunburnt orange deserts and deep blue lakes, Mexico is a country bursting with colour and life. Wild Mexico explores this unique country from the scorched north to the tropical south. Journey along the Sierra Madre mountains, meet a diverse cast of creatures – including black howler monkeys, quetzals, monarch butterflies and Caribbean flamingos – and discover the explosive force of one of the most volcanic places on Earth. The series also examines Mexico’s rich culture, from the ancient Mayan Empire to the spectacular Day of the Dead festival. Discover the magic of Mexico in one of the most vibrant natural history programmes ever made.