BBC2 is teaming with London-based Grain Media for the documentary The Psychedelic Drug Trial: A Cure for Depression? (w/t), as well as Glasgow-headquartered Firecrest Films on the 90-minute special Michael Palin: Travels Of A Lifetime.
The Psychedelic Drug Trial: A Cure for Depression? (w/t) follows a team of scientists and therapists at Imperial College London, led by professor David Nutt and doctors Robin Carhart-Harris and Rosalind Watts, as they compare the effects of psilocybin (the active ingredient of magic mushrooms) with an antidepressant, on a group of participants with clinical depression.
The film was commissioned by BBC2 controller Patrick Holland and Jack Bootle, head of commissioning, science and natural history. Tom Coveney is commissioning editor and Anna Murphy is executive producer.
Elsewhere, Michael Palin (pictured) will return to the British pubcaster this December with a one-off Christmas special of Michael Palin: Travels Of A Lifetime.
In the special, Palin (Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole, Full Circle, Sahara) turns his attention to the Himalayas, where he journeyed in 2004 at age 60.
The special was commissioned by Holland and Claire Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries, history and religion. The commissioning editor is Beejal Patel and Iain Scollay is EP.