Can we really live in a perfect world? A Perfect Planet is a new, five-part natural history series co-produced by The Open University and the BBC, which explains why the Earth is just right for life, so long as we look after it.
The series, set to air from Sunday 3 January 2021 at 8pm on BBC One, is narrated by Sir David Attenborough with scientific expertise from Open University academic consultants Professor Stephen Lewis and Dr Philip Wheeler.
The episodes describe forces of nature, such as volcanoes, the Sun, weather, oceans and humans. Each of these can be harmful and yet the combination is vital. All the forces of nature combine to make the Earth the only planet that we know harbours life. The fifth programme centres on humans, a force for recent and rapid changes to the complex Earth system and a key component in securing its future.
A Perfect Planet includes spectacular new footage of life across the Earth. Stories span the range from white wolves of Ellesemere Island, bears in Kamchatka to vampire finches of the Galapagos and golden snub-nosed monkeys in China.
Threat from human activity is clear
But life on Earth is not stable and unchanging. The past has seen several mass extinctions as the environment has altered. The new threat from human activity is clear. But there are positive actions that we can all take to protect our precious home.
Stephen Lewis, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at The Open University, said:
“Working on this series was a fantastic opportunity to see some beautiful and dramatic images and to tell an important scientific story. The Earth has a breathable, protective atmosphere with water and dry land at the surface, which is rich in nutrients. Solar energy provides the power for weather and life itself. All the sciences combined tell the story of our Perfect Planet.”
Dr Philip Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Ecology at The Open University, adds:
“Perfect Planet is full of remarkable stories showing how the dynamic forces of nature interact to support life and maintain the Earth’s system. As an environmental scientist, it has been fascinating contributing to the series and seeing how powerful narratives from the natural world can illustrate important scientific concepts in ways that hit home for scientists and the public alike.”
The first episode of A Perfect Planet will air at 8pm on Sunday 3 January 2021 on BBC One and will focus on volcanoes. It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
A Perfect Planet is a Silverback Films Production for BBC and Discovery, co-produced with Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF, China Media Group CCTV9, France Televisions and The Open University.
This series was commissioned by Broadcast and Partnerships and is supported by STEM, with particular relevance to (Q64)BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences; (Q52)BSc (Hons) Environmental Science; (R16)BSc (Honours) Geography and Environmental Science.
- Commissioned by Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast & Partnerships
- Academic Consultants Prof.Stephen Lewis & Dr Philip Wheeler
- Media Fellow Dr Julia Cooke
- Broadcast Project Manager David Bloomfield
- Digital Content Producer Georgia Axtell-Powell