State of the Planet
State of the Planet is a three-part environmental documentary series, made by the BBC Natural History Unit, transmitted in November 2000. It is written and presented by David Attenborough, and produced by Rupert Barrington. It includes interviews with many leading scientists, such as Edward O. Wilson and Jared Diamond. Each of the programmes attempts to find answers to the potential ecological crisis that threatens the Earth.
|State of the Planet|
Region 2 DVD cover
|Presented by||David Attenborough|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Production company(s)||BBC Natural History Unit|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Picture format||SD: 576i (16:9)|
|Original release||15 November –|
29 November 2000
The series was specially commissioned by BBC One for the millennium, and had a budget of around GBP2 million. The BBC drew criticism for scheduling the first episode in competition with the final part of ITV's Inspector Morse; as a consequence, it drew just 4 million viewers, well below the channel's typical share. However, ratings recovered to around 7 million for the second and third programmes.
1. "Is There a Crisis?"
Together with leading experts, David Attenborough examines the latest scientific evidence in order to discover if the planet's ecosystems are really in crisis. If so, he asks how it could have come about, and what is so different now that prevents certain species from adapting to survive, as they did in the past?
2. "Why Is There a Crisis?"
Attenborough presents some stark facts. He states that humans are now triggering a mass extinction on a similar scale to that which wiped out the dinosaurs — but at an unprecedented rate. He investigates the five main activities of mankind that are the most likely contributory factors:
3. "The Future of Life"
As Homo sapiens relentlessly encroaches on the natural world and its inhabitants, the viewer is presented with a choice: leave behind a flourishing planet or a dying one.
The future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in our societies and our economics and in our politics. I've been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy, inhabitable by all species.— David Attenborough, in closing
The complete series was released on DVD (BBCDVD1498) on 27 September 2004.