Hidden Kingdoms

Hidden Kingdoms is a British documentary television series that was first broadcast on BBC One on 16 January 2014. The three-part series is narrated by Stephen Fry and shows how animals experience the world from their perspective.[1][2] Animals shown include a chipmunk, dung beetle, Rufous elephant shrew and treeshrew, and Japanese rhinoceros beetle.[3]

Hidden Kingdoms
Also known as'Mini Monsters (Discovery Channel Version)
Narrated byStephen Fry
Composer(s)Ben Foster
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes3 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Mike Gunton (Original Version)
Robert Zakin (Discovery Channel Version)
  • Mark Brownlow (Original Version)
  • John Cavanagh (Discovery Channel Version)
  • Simon Bell (episode 1)
  • Verity White (episode 2)
  • Gavin Maxwell (episode 3)
Editor(s)Stuart Napier (episode 1)
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Natural History Unit
Discovery Channel
RTL Group
France Télévisions
R.T.I S.p.A
DistributorBBC Worldwide
Original network
Original release16 January (2014-01-16) 
30 January 2014 (2014-01-30)
External links

In United States, the series was shown under the alternative title Mini Monsters, which aired at Discovery Channel on 31 May 2014.[4]


Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC's head of commissioning for natural history and science, announced the series on 21 November 2013.[3] The following landscapes were used for the series: savanna, desert, jungle, forest and the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.[3] The executive producer is Mike Gunton, senior executive of the BBC Natural History Unit, and produced by Mark Brownlow.[3] Hidden Kingdoms is a BBC, Discovery, RTL Group, France Télévisions and CCTV-9 co-production, in association with R.T.I S.p.A.[3][5][6]

BBC Worldwide announced pre-sales for Hidden Kingdoms before the 2013 MIPCOM.[7] The series has been licensed to Network Ten (Australia), BBC Knowledge (South Africa), Sveriges Television (Sweden) and RÚV (Iceland).[7] BBC Worldwide also signed a deal with the Korean Broadcasting System.[8]

On-screen warnings of re-enacted elements were shown in Hidden Kingdoms. One of the scenes, featuring a mouse leaping to escape the jaws of a rattlesnake, was created by filming rattlesnakes making strikes at a hot towel placed above a camera, which was then merged with footage of the mouse.[9]

Episode list

# Title Original air date Overnight UK viewers (millions)
1"Under Open Skies"16 January 2014 (2014-01-16)3.41
2"Secret Forests"23 January 2014 (2014-01-23)3.52
3"Urban Jungles"30 January 2014 (2014-01-30)2.74


Overnight figures showed that the first episode on 16 January 2014 was watched by 14.4% of the viewing audience for that time, with 3.41 million watching it.[10] The second and third episodes attracted 3.52m (15.5%) and 2.74m (12.4%) respectively.[11][12]

Some reviewers criticised the show's use of staged scenes and digital editing, stating that the depicted events and locations are "astonishing if true, but frustrating and worthless if merely a digital effect".[13]

Home media

In United Kingdom, a single DVD disc was released on 27 January 2014 by BBC Worldwide.[14]

In United States and Canada, DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released on 8 July 2014.[15][16] It was distributed by BBC Warner.

In Germany, DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released on 19 December 2014.[17][18]

In Japan, both DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released on 3 November 2015.[19][20]


Hidden Kingdoms
Soundtrack album by
Released11 March 2014
GenreSoundtrack, Classical music
LabelSilva Screen Records
ProducerBBC Worldwide
BBC Earth

The musical score and songs featured in the series were composed and conducted by Ben Foster, with the performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra. The audio cd soundtrack was released on 11 March 2014,[21][22] while digital soundtrack was available on 15 January 2016.[23]

1."Hidden Kingdoms Opening Titles"1:49
3."Lizard Attack"3:18
4."Exploring the Trail"1:10
5."The Dung Beetles"1:50
8."The Wild West"1:02
9."Scorpion Mouse"2:22
10."The Jaws of Death"0:55
11."In the Rain"0:55
12."The Flood"0:55
13."Run Mouse, Run!"1:38
14."Tom vs The Lizard"1:26
15."Running Free"4:13
16."Meeting Chip"2:53
17."A Burglar"1:12
18."You Naughty Moose!"1:01
19."It's a Fight!!"0:54
20."The Dark, Dark Wood"0:37
21."Forest of the Owl"1:24
22."Winter Approaching"1:00
23."Do or Die"0:55
24."Fight Fight Fight!"1:34
25."Life in the Trees"2:14
26."The Forest"1:20
27."Three Little Pigs"2:21
28."Forest Giants"1:33
29."Pitcher Plant"1:21
31."Snake Attack / The Leap"1:31
32."The Season Change"3:07
33."Urban Jungle"0:44
34."The Streets of Rio"2:22
35."Marmoset Investigates"1:31
36."Ant Colony"1:48
37."Cat on the Prowl"1:50
38."Tokyo Nights"0:47
39."Beetle Rock"0:53
40."Beetle Roll"1:50
41."Bright Lights"3:00
42."Ghek Off the Wall"1:33
43."Praying Mantis"0:54
44."Flight to the Temple"1:44
45."Beetle Beetle"1:31
46."Living Side by Side"1:27
47."Everywhere, A Hidden Kingdom"0:40
48."Hidden Kingdoms Closing Titles"1:09
Total length:78:44


  1. "Fry to narrate Hidden Kingdoms". Belfast Telegraph. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. "Stephen Fry to be the voice of new BBC natural history show". Radio Times. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. "Stephen Fry to narrate BBC One Natural History Unit series Hidden Kingdoms". BBC. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  4. "Mini Monsters: About the Show". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  5. "BBC Worldwide and CCTV9 unveil Hidden Kingdoms in new co-pro". BBC. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. Paoli-Lebailly, Pascale (30 September 2013). "France Télévisions co-produces BBC Worldwide's Hidden Kingdoms". Rapid TV News. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  7. "BBC Worldwide announces pre-sales for Hidden Kingdoms and Wild Brazil". BBC. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. "BBC Worldwide signs deals with key players in South Korea". BBC Worldwide. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  9. Conlan, Tara (11 December 2013). "BBC to air on-screen warnings of re-enacted elements in Hidden Kingdoms". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  10. Eames, Tom (17 January 2014). "Birds of a Feather edges Silent Witness on Thursday evening". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  11. Eames, Tom (24 January 2014). "Birds of a Feather bounces back to top Thursday ratings". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  12. Eames, Tom (31 January 2014). "Birds of a Feather down but still top on Thursday". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  13. Lawson, Mark (8 January 2014). "BBC telling us it staged sequences makes Hidden Kingdoms hard to watch". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  14. "Hidden Kingdoms (DVD)". BBC Shop. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  15. "Hidden Kingdoms (DVD)". Amazon.com.
  16. "Hidden Kingdoms (Blu-ray)". Amazon.com.
  17. "Hidden Kingdoms - Im Königreich der kleinen Tiere (DVD)". Amazon.de.
  18. "Hidden Kingdoms - Im Königreich der kleinen Tiere (Blu-ray)". Amazon.de.
  19. "Hidden Kingdoms (DVD)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp.
  20. "Hidden Kingdoms (Blu-ray)" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp.
  21. "Hidden Kingdoms-Soundtrack by Ben Foster". Silva Screen Records.
  22. "Hidden Kingdoms (Soundtrack)". Amazon.com.
  23. "Hidden Kingdoms (Original Television Soundtrack) by Ben Foster". iTunes Store US.

Radio Times, Hidden Kingdoms

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