Edinburgh ’16: C5 orders Alaska, Elizabeth I doc series

The UK network has greenlit two natural history projects from Tigress and GroupM, plus a docudrama from Oxford Film & TV about Queen Elizabeth I.
August 25, 2016

Channel 5 has greenlit a natural history special on Alaska and a history series about Queen Elizabeth I.

During the Edinburgh Television Festival, director of programs Ben Frow said the UK network is coproducing two natural history projects with Tigress Productions and GroupM Entertainment that will air in 2017.

A Year in the Wild of Alaska (four x 60 minutes) charts a year in the life of the U.S. state through the lens of its wildlife and flora and fauna. Exec producers are Sarah Swingler  for Tigress and Melanie Darlaston for GroupM.

The second, The Dales and Moors: A Year in the Wild (four x 60 minutes), looks at British wildlife in the Dales and North York Moors National Parks, which cover 1,000-square miles in Northern England. The parks are separated by 20 miles and attract 16 million visitors each year.

The production will use high-speed cameras to capture animals in addition to remote cameras inside nests, drones, cranes and tracking time-lapses. Dick Colthurst is the executive producer for Tigress and Darlaston is the exec producer for GroupM Productions.

Sean Doyle commissioned both projects for C5.

Meanwhile, C5 is also working on a series with Oxford Film and TV about Queen Elizabeth I. The as yet untitled three x 60-minute docudrama will be driven by the contrasting viewpoints of historian Suzannah Lipscomb, who will represent the point of view of the monarch, and historian Dan Jones, who will highlight the threats posed by her enemies.

The project will mix documentary elements with scripted drama chronicling three stages of Elizabeth’s life: as a young princess, as the newly crowned Queen and as “the aging lioness who vanquishes her enemies at home and abroad,” according to the network.

Sue Jones and Nick Kent are exec producing for Oxford Film and TV. The series was commissioned by Channel 5’s Lucy Willis.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.