Docs

BBC dives into dementia, climate change and more with multi-channel science slate

UK pubcaster the BBC has unveiled a slate of new factual science programs to air on BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4. Five Star Renovation: Inside The Luxury Hotel (w/t) follows the creation ...
July 5, 2019

UK pubcaster the BBC has unveiled a slate of new factual science programs to air on BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4.

Five Star Renovation: Inside The Luxury Hotel (w/t) follows the creation of a five-story basement underneath and new rooms and penthouses above the world famous and exclusive Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, London.

The 3 x 60-minute series was filmed over three years and explores the cutting edge techniques used to build the basement (as deep as the hotel is high) while keeping the hotel open to guests without disturbance.

Produced by The Garden, part of ITV Studios, for BBC2, Five Star Renovation is executive produced by Ninder Billing, Lucy Bowden and Emma Tutty for the Garden. It was commissioned by Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, specialist factual and natural history, and Patrick Holland, controller BBC2. The commissioning editor is Jack Bootle.

Living With Dementia (w/t), filmed over two years, takes a longitudinal look at dementia, following up to six people with dementia at different stages of the condition and offering a portrait of the complexities and diversity of experiences.

The 2 x 60-minute series is produced by Wonder for BBC2. Alexandra Fraser executive produces for Wonder. It was commissioned by McDonald and Holland. The commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle.

Last Chance Clinic (w/t) looks to solve complex medical cases in the UK with the help of the country’s top minds, in order to help patients who have exhausted every other option.

Hosted by frequent BBC presenter Michael Mosley, the 3 x 60-minute series is produced by Dragonfly TV for BBC2. Ros Ponder executive produces for Dragonfly. It was again commissioned by McDonald and Holland. The commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle.

Childhood, part of the ‘Horizon’ strand, revisits the groundbreaking BBC series Child of Our Time, filmed over 20 years and following a group of children since the turn of the millennium.

Now adults, the original cast narrate their own stories from the perspective of early childhood.

The 60-minute special is produced by BBC Studios’ The Science Unit for BBC2. Sacha Baveystock serves as executive producer for BBC Studios. It was commissioned by McDonald and Holland. The commissioning editor is Tom Coveney.

Over at BBC3, The Unshockable Dr. Ronx (w/t) is a pilot for a format in which NHS doctor Ronx Ikharia takes on the mission of getting young Brits to open up about their medical issues.

As a black, queer, androgynous medical practitioner, Dr. Ronx understands young people’s anxieties around healthcare and sets out to offer advice and support so that they will seek out medical services before the need is urgent.

The 1 x 40-minute pilot is produced by The Garden for BBC3. Ninder Billing executive produces for The Garden. It was commissioned by McDonald and Fiona Campbell, controller, BBC3. The commissioning editor is Jack Bootle.

Meanwhile, at BBC4, Planespotting Live gives viewers a sense of what is flying over them at any given time — there are more planes in the sky than ever before, and earlier this year 9,000 planes flew over the UK in a single day, setting an all-time record.

The 3 x 60-minute live docuseries is produced by Plum Pictures for BBC4. Emma Jay and Will Daws executive produce for Plum. It was commissioned by McDonald and Cassian Harrison, channel editor, BBC4. The commissioning editors are Emeka Onono and Tom Coveney.

Finally, Climategate: Science Of A Scandal (w/t) recounts the story of one of the biggest science scandals in recent history: when emails hacked from the world-renowned Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia seemed to suggest that climate scientists had been deliberately manipulating data to exaggerate evidence of climate change.

The scandal was fodder for climate change deniers and 10 years later continues to be cited by everyone from bloggers to U.S. president Donald Trump as evidence that climate change is a hoax.

The 60-minute special is produced by Red Sky Productions. Ross Harper executive produces for Red Sky. It was commissioned by McDonald and Harrison. The commissioning editor is Tom Coveney.

“These titles show our continued commitment to delivering science in a huge variety of forms and on an increasingly broad set of subjects. There is no other British broadcaster as committed to the genre — and after the recent success of Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life and The Planets to name just a few titles, science at the BBC feels increasingly vibrant and exciting,” said McDonald, in a statement.

“We’re committed to bringing the most timely and important subjects to our audience — from climate change to dementia; and bringing surprising forms to familiar subjects with our live BBC4 strip Planespotting Live and the film Childhood which uses 20 years of archive to deliver a fitting end to the Child Of Our Time story.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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