More than five years in the making, Planet Earth redefines blue-chip natural history filmmaking and continues the Discovery Channel mission to provide the highest quality programming in the world. The 11-part series will amaze viewers with never-before-seen animal behaviors, startling views of locations captured by cameras for the first time, and unprecedented high definition production techniques. Award-winning actress and conservationist Sigourney Weaver joins Discovery Channel as narrator. Planet Earth airs on consecutive Sundays from March 25 through April 22, 2007 on Discovery Channel and in high definition on Discovery HD Theater.
"Planet Earth is natural history for the 21st century," says Discovery Channel Executive Vice President and General Manager Jane Root. "The sheer scope of the locations and brilliant clarity of the images, captured using revolutionary film techniques, will immerse viewers into a majestic world that only Discovery Channel can deliver."
A technological marvel, Planet Earth employed new filmmaking methods to put wildlife into context with the epic landscape where it lives, for the first time. One of the new innovations is the Cineflex heligimble, a pioneering stabilization system that uses an extremely powerful camera lens attached to a helicopter, captured distant objects and creatures in close-up without disturbing the wildlife. The series also pushed the limits of high definition cameras to capture ultra low light images, deep sea marvels and incredible time lapse sequences.
Created by the team behind the award-winning natural history series Blue Planet, more than 70 camera operators spent over 2,000 days in the field to document nature's greatest spectacles for Planet Earth. Filmmakers lived for weeks or months at a time in remote locations both awe-inspiring and brutally difficult to reach, let alone live in.
For Mexico's Cave of Swallows, the crew descended 1,300 feet on a single rope no thicker than a finger, taking more than 30 minutes just to reach the bottom. More than 300 hours of film were logged before capturing the never- before-filmed 90-second Blue Bird of Paradise mating ritual, and an American cameraman spent frustrating hours crawling around Tibetan soil looking for foxes never before caught on film. Weeks into their Himalayan shoot, a crew filmed the first-ever up-close images of the elusive snow leopard -- and were stunned to witness not only a harrowing vertical hunt of a mountain goat, but quiet, intimate images of a mother and her cub.
Filmed in more than 200 locations, each of Planet Earth's eleven episodes focuses on a specific habitat, illustrating life in the highest mountains and the darkest caves; the shallowest water and the deepest oceans; ice-covered lands and great plains; untamed jungles and giant forests; fresh water and the harshest deserts. Planet Earth's premiere episode, "Pole to Pole," ties the series together with a fresh understanding of how these habitats are interconnected.
Following each episode, three minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage will show viewers exactly how Planet Earth filmmakers secured the series' most memorable images. Additional behind the scenes stories and video, and in-depth information about our planet and its animals and habitats, will be available in the Planet Earth website on www.Discovery.com. The site will also include a news feed, photo gallery, and informative games and puzzles.