TV

BBC, Discovery head to “Centre of the Planet”

UK terrestrial BBC1 and U.S. network Discovery have tapped Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond (pictured) to front a two-part doc series that promises to journey to the Earth's core, uncovering its inner workings.
June 16, 2011

UK terrestrial BBC1 and U.S. network Discovery have tapped Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond (pictured) to front a two-part doc series that promises to journey to the center of the planet, uncovering the Earth’s inner workings.

Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Centre of the Planet is a 2 x 60-minute coproduction between BBC Scotland, Discovery and BBC Worldwide.

It will air in the UK later this summer alongside another title fronted by the Top Gear host, entitled Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean.

Journey to the Centre of the Planet is billed as using state of the art technology to lift the lid on our world, “peeling back the layers to reveal a machine more complex than anything else in the solar system.”

The series will see a giant 3D virtual Earth bring together the latest scientific information from across the world, including satellite maps, and sonar and radar images.

“In making this show I learned that our planet is far, far from being an inert lump of rock that we live on,” said Hammond. “It has a vital, dynamic role to play in defining and enabling our existence.

“People talk about going on a ‘journey’ in TV shows: well, this has to be the ultimate such journey, not only across and around our world but deep into it.”

The series was ordered by Kim Shillinglaw, BBC commissioner for science and natural history. “Science is at the heart of everyday life – and the way our planet works affects every aspect of the modern world around us,” said Shillinglaw.

“There’s more scientific data than ever before that allows us to strip away the planet’s layers and explore the forces at work deep below. We’ve harnessed that data, together with Richard’s passion for the subject and stunning CGI to bring the subject to life for BBC1 audiences.”

The exec producers for the BBC are Will Aslett and Greg Lanning, and the series producer is Lucy van Beek.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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