BBC Unveils New NH Slate (Including Survival…)

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The battle for survival, the unexplored world of the night and the first HD images of a wild Arabian leopard all feature in new commissions from the BBC's Natural History Unit.

For BBC2, Wild Arabia takes viewers on a journey into “virtually impenetrable wilderness and unimaginable landscapes” while The Dark uses the latest in military night filming technology to bring viewers a new perspective on the nocturnal activities of animals (over 60% of animals are nocturnal). Also on BBC2 is a new wildlife series called How Life Works. With insight from recent scientific discoveries, Chris Packham explores issues such as why the termite needs the rhino and why the shark needs the tiger.

Meanwhile, BBC1 debuts Survival, an epic six-part series that will “uncover the life stories of some of the world's most unusual animals through their struggle for success. With stunning landscapes, cinematic filming techniques and closely observed behaviour captured on tiny remote mini-cameras, Survival promises to deliver a wildlife extravaganza of impressive proportions”. It’s also an interesting choice of name, given that the Survival brand is closely associated with wildlife on rival broadcaster ITV.

Commenting on the slate, Andrew Jackson, Head of the NHU, said: "After almost 60 years of natural history filming you would think there were few places and subjects left for us to cover. The diversity of these programmes proves that, thanks to the unit's experience and expertise, coupled with some staggering advances in technology, we can continue to surprise and delight audiences. The Dark is a prime example of how filmmakers have harnessed the latest in military technology to give viewers a unique insight into animal behaviour at night. I'm excited to see what they uncover."

Note: Survival (6x60 mins) is due in 2014. The Executive Producer is Mike Gunton, with Rupert Barrington as the Series Producer.