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Tv isn’t dead- watch planet earth

March 25, 2007

Planet Earth airs tonight on Discovery.

It’s one of the most ambitious TV projects ever and uses state of the art technology to bring the earth to life. It shows that when TV is done right, it can still be a real spectacle. When the series was shown in the UK- 9 million people tuned in for each episode

One example of the hi-tech wizardry on show is the Great White Shark sequence shown above, It was shot on a Photron super slow mo camera, that’s capable of capturing 1,000 frames per second. It’s the type of camera technology that’s used to film car safety tests.

The program also achieved a number of other firsts.


Wolves Hunting Caribou – a complete hunt filmed from the air. The speed with which wolves chase their prey makes it impossible to keep up with the action from the land but by using a new system to stabilise the camera in the air we were able to follow all the action from a helicopter for the very first time.

Snow Leopard hunting Markhaur (a mountain goat) in the Himalayas – until our eventual success nobody had ever filmed Snow leopards on the wild in close-up with a long lens. The only previous images were obtained with remote cameras. We have a complete sequence with a variety of different behaviours, including intimate images of mother and cub.

Golden Eagles taking Demoiselle cranes on the wing as they migrate over the Himalayas.

Grizzly Bears in the Rockies emerging from their dens in the Rockies with new born cubs plus unique images of grizzly bears feeding on moths.

Remarkable new images of displaying birds of paradise captured with a low light camera including the blue bird of paradise – never filmed in the wild before.

Footage of a new species of blind cave fish in Thailand.

Desert lions hunting oryx in the Namib Desert – filmed from both the land and the air for the very first time.

Pink River Dolphins herding fish in the Amazon and presenting stones as ‘gifts’ during courtship – the only known use of tools by wild dolphins.

Over a hundred Sailfish hunting together. To see one of these beautiful billfish is extraordinary.

Crab-eating macaques that swim underwater.

 Packs of Hunting Dogs – their spectacular hunting behaviour filmed from the air for the very first time.

New locations

The remote island of Kong Karls Land in Spitzbergen. Unique access to the breeding ground of the world’s highest densities of polar bears.

The Gobi Desert in the midst of winter, covered in snow.

The worlds deepest cave shaft – the Cave of Swallows in Mexico.

The depths of Lake Malawi – home to electric fish that hunt their prey in shark-like packs.

Under the ice in Lake Baikal – the world’s largest lake freezes over for five months of the year. Our cameras dive under the ice for the very first time to reveal a world more like an ocean than a lake.

The first high definition images from inside the remarkable Lecheguilla cave system – the world’s most beautiful cave system only discovered in 1986.

The first high quality aerials of Everest.

Unique access the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan which contains more of the world’s highest peaks than anywhere else on the planet.

The Tepuis in Venezuela – isolated mountain plateaus that inspired Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.

New techniques

A revolutionary new aerial photography system that can stabilise very powerful lens to film animal behaviour from the air as never before.

Ultra-high speed cameras capture great white sharks taking their seal prey and crocodiles grabbing wildebeest.

Time-lapse photography of tropical storms filmed from the air for the very first time. Time-lapse of sand storms in the Sahara, the cherry blossom in Japan, the Fall in the United States, the flood coming to the Okavango Swamps…

High definition images from space – only from space can you appreciate the scale of the Himalayas or the extent of the Amazon River. In every episode, Planet Earth provides this remarkable new high definition perspective on our planet.

Source: BBC Press Office

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