Docs

BBC1 preps John Downer’s “Spy in the Wild”

UK pubcaster BBC1 has greenlit a five-part natural history series from Emmy-winning Spy franchise creator John Downer Productions. Spy in the Wild (5 x 60 minutes) will debut on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. GMT. The ...
January 4, 2017

UK pubcaster BBC1 has greenlit a five-part natural history series from Emmy-winning Spy franchise creator John Downer Productions.

Spy in the Wild (5 x 60 minutes) will debut on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. GMT. The series utilizes UHD technology and robotic animals (known as “Spy Creatures”) to offer an in-depth look at the animal world in what executive director John Downer said in a statement will be the “most ambitious and biggest Spy series yet.

Spy in the Wild‘s aim was to look across the whole of the animal kingdom and investigate how like us other animals really are,” added Downer, who’s been making nature documentaries for the BBC for over 30 years.

The first four episodes of the docuseries focus on animal behavior: love, intelligence, friendship and mischief. The program deployed over 30 animatronic Spy Creatures created by the prodco to capture the lives of featured animals.

“These robotic lookalikes make all the right moves to not only be accepted by animals but also to interact with them, providing revelatory insights into their world,” according to the BBC.

The fifth episode will focus on the making of the animatronic creatures.

Spy in the Wild series producers include John Downer Productions’ Matthew Gordon, Philip Dalton and Rob Pilley. Actor David Tennant will narrate the series.

Spy in the Wild took producers to 31 locations in 21 countries from African nations like Botswana and Kenya to the Arctic. The series took three years to film and involved 20 scientists and wildlife experts who were consulted or involved in the production.

Other Spy series include Lions: Spy in the Den and Dolphins: Spy in the Pod.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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