Television

Discovery focusses on 'Planet Earth' with an in-depth portrait

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MUMBAI: One of infotainment channel Discovery's biggest shows of the year focusses on Planet Earth. It kicks off on 1 February 2007 and airs every Thursday at 8 pm.

The 11 part show took five years to make. It used 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations. The programmes were made over four years by producer Alastair Fothergill and his team, who were responsible for the successful Blue Planet.

Filming involved visiting 62 countries. Each of the 11 episodes (except the first) focusses on one of the Earth's natural habitats and examines its indigenous features, together with the breadth of fauna found there. Several animals and locations are shown that have hitherto never been filmed, using innovative camera technology.

Previously unseen animal behaviour includes: wolves chasing caribou observed from above; snow leopard pursuing markhor in the Himalayas; grizzly bear cubs leaving their den for the first time; crab-eating macaques that swim underwater; and over a hundred sailfish hunting en masse.

From mountains to rivers, the series will take viewers on a journey through the challenging seasons and the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. The show uses HD photography and unique filming techniques.

Some sequences do have potentially disturbing content. Examples include a lone elephant being brought down by lions and a polar bear unsuccessfully attacking a walrus colony and subsequently being overcome by hunger and exhaustion. Fothergill was quoted in reports saying that he asked BBC in the UK for an appropriate warning before transmission in such cases.

In describing the show Attenborough in the opening montage says, "A 100 years ago, there were one and a half billion people on Earth. Now, over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity. This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before."

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