CHARLES DARWIN AND THE TREE OF LIFE � U.S. PREMIERE ON BBC AMERICA
- Sir David Attenborough presents his deeply personal take on Darwin -
Multi award winning and world renowned natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough is a passionate Darwinian. Marking the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his world-changing book, On the Origin of Species, Attenborough shares his personal insight on Darwin's Theory of Evolution, explaining why he believes it's more important now than ever before. Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life premieres Sunday, June 21, 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT as part of the BBC Earth block*.
Also airing in the three-hour BBC Earth block are two channel premieres of Attenborough's previous shows. Great Natural Wonders of the World, 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT sees him traveling across the seven continents in a quest that begins in North America where he witnesses dawn breaking over the forbidding terrain of Death Valley and ends in Antarctica, where he reflects on the extraordinary, beautiful and inspiring natural wonders of the planet. Greatest Wildlife Show On Earth, 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT follows the path of the sun on its annual cycle, from the Equator, across the Northern Hemisphere and into the South, revealing all the natural rhythms of life - the urge to breed, feed and raise young - driven by the sun, moon and seasons, across the world.
Produced by the BBC, the largest producer of natural history programming in the world, Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life allows Attenborough to share his deeply personal views on this globally important idea. He sees evolution as the cornerstone of all his thinking � and Darwin's ideas have permeated everything he's ever filmed or written. In the hour-long documentary, Attenborough asks three key questions: how and why did Darwin come up with his theory, why do we think he was right and why is it more important now than ever before?
To find the answers he goes on a journey through the last 200 years, tracking the changes in our understanding of the natural world. He visits Darwin's home at Down House in Kent, where Darwin worried and puzzled over the origins of life as well as his alma mater at Cambridge where the DNA double helix was discovered. Many of these trips reveal the stories that underpin Attenborough's own passion for the subject of evolution and helps him search for the latest evidence that further strengthens Darwin's theory.
Ending his journey at London's Natural History Museum, Attenborough concludes that Darwin's great insight revolutionized the way in which the world is seen and how humans are not set apart from the natural world, and do not have dominion over it.
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*BBC Earth is the global brand for all the BBC's natural history content spanning the last 50 years. The BBC is the largest producer of natural history programming in the world and the brand highlights the vast scale of incredible content which is produced in this genre. Visible across all platforms; TV, digital and merchandising as well as expanding across TV stings, DVDs and digital products throughout 2009, BBC Earth encourages engagement with current as well as classic programs such as Planet Earth and The Blue Planet in addition to future commissions. BBC Earth branding is only visible outside the UK and is from BBC Worldwide the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
WHAT THE BRITISH PRESS SAID
"There can be no greater story � and certainly nobody better to write and present it... a superb documentary" Sunday Times
"Attenborough does a winsome job" Sunday Telegraph
Producer/Director David Attenborough
Executive Producer Brian Leith
A BBC production in association with the Open University
SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH
Sir David Attenborough is one of the world's best-known natural history presenters. His distinguished career spans more than 50 years, during which time he has done more than anyone else to popularize natural history programming and has become one of the world's most respected authorities on wildlife. His combination of charm and enthusiasm, together with concern for conservation and the environment, has been profoundly influential on several generations of viewers.
Born in London on 8 May 1926, Attenborough studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge. He served in the Royal Navy and joined the BBC in 1952 as a trainee producer of documentary programs. In 1954, he became a presenter and launched his famous series, Zoo Quest, which took him to the wilder parts of the world. In 1965, he took one of the top jobs in the BBC, Controller of BBC2, and was responsible for the introduction of color television into Britain. He went on to run both BBC television networks and in 1973, returned to program-making.
In 1979, he wrote and presented Life on Earth, at the time the most ambitious series ever produced by the BBC's Natural History Unit - an estimated 500 million people worldwide watched it. In 1984, came its sequel, The Living Planet, and in 1990, The Trials of Life, the final part of the epic trilogy spanning all life on Earth. This was followed by Life in the Freezer (1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), The Life of Mammals (2002), Life In The Undergrowth (2005) and Life In Cold Blood (2007), all of which received huge acclaim and many awards including the accompanying books and DVDs which topped bestseller lists.
In 2002, Attenborough celebrated 50 years with the BBC with Life On Air, a television biography and bestselling book and on his 80th birthday, in 2006, was on the Galapagos Islands filming giant tortoises for Life In Cold Blood. Other recent projects include The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. Over the years Attenborough has received countless prestigious awards and honorary degrees and in 2005, he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen which recognizes exceptional distinction in the arts,