BBC’s flagship science strand ‘Horizon’ will be produced by BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films, all of which have secured commissions following a competitive process which opened up the long-running documentary series to pitches from the public.
BBC Studios has secured 16 films over the next two years, with Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films producing three films each. The BBC has also placed a number of single films into development with a variety of indie producers.
BBC Studios’ Science Unit credits include Forces of Nature, Stargazing Live and Trust Me I’m a Doctor. Wingspan Productions’ science titles include The Joy of Data, The Joy of Stats and Tails You Win: The Science of Chance for BBC4 and Computer Says Show for Sky.
Windfall Films’ — part of Argonon Group — recent programs include The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway for BBC2, Inside Chernobyl’s Mega Tomb and Inside Einstein’s Mind for the BBC and Inside Nature’s Giants for UK pubcaster Channel 4.
‘Horizon’ programming covers the entire spectrum of science, showcasing films on subjects ranging from engineering, technology, medicine, geology, physics, human biology, chemistry, the solar system, psychology and mental health. Recent titles include ADHD and Me with Rory Bremner, Strange Signals from Outer Space, Cyber Attack: The Day the NHS Stopped and 10 Things You Need to Know About the Future (pictured).
The government, under the terms of the new Charter agreement, asked the BBC to put all existing BBC Studios network television programming out to competition over the next 11 years — except where there is a value for money case not to. The pubcaster invited pitches for the ‘Horizon’ films from all producers — including BBC Studios. The evaluation panel made the decisions against criteria openly shared with all suppliers who qualified to pitch.
“BBC Studios, Wingspan Productions and Windfall Films are three of the best Science suppliers currently operating in the UK. Their ideas are original, exciting and bold. We look forward to working with them and other suppliers over the next two years to build on ‘Horizon’s’ reputation for the cutting edge,” said Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual, in a statement.