Over the last several years, Tencent’s streaming video production subsidiary Penguin Pictures has built a solid co-production relationship with BBC Studio’s Natural History Unit. The partnership debuted with 2016’s Planet Earth II, growing with The Blue Planet II in 2017 and last year’s Dynasties. These natural history and wildlife documentaries have proven to attract a large audience in China — according to Julia Nocciolino, Greater China Business VP of BBC Studio, the three co-productions were viewed 250 million times on Tencent’s video streaming platform, accounting for a quarter of their one billion global views.
CCTV 9 — the documentary channel of China’s largest national television network — began working with BBC Studio even earlier, with 2008’s Wild China and 2013’s Africa. The network is jumping on board again for an upcoming seven-episode nature series entitled Seven Worlds, One Planet, along with BBC America, Penguin Pictures, Germany’s ZDF and France’s Télévisions.
Each episode will present the wildlife and landscapes of one continent. According to the BBC Earth website, the series will “reveal how each distinct continent has shaped the unique animal life found there.” The official description continues:
This series will feature remarkable, new animal behaviour from all the continents including the baking plains of Africa and the frozen waters off Antarctica. In Asia, the biggest of all continents, we will showcase life at the extremes, whilst in Europe we will reveal surprising wildlife dramas hidden right alongside us.
As always, Sir David Attenborough will present the narrative, his tone getting increasingly urgent with time. “The Garden of Eden is no more,” he warned at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos in a talk addressing global climate change. Seven Worlds, One Planet may emphasize the challenges that humans have made in the modern world, and that the animals of the seven continents are facing.
Oscar-winning composer and producer Hans Zimmer — perhaps best known for his epic soundtracks for Gladiator, Inception and Dunkirk — is also attached to the project, with his Bleeding Fingers Music studio composing the score.
Seven Worlds, One Planet will simultaneously air on BBC and Tencent Video this autumn.
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Cover image: BBC America
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