David Attenborough (pictured) will continue the paleontological focus of his previous project for the BBC, Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard, with a 90-minute doc for the pubcaster that will present new evidence about the extinction of the dinosaurs, to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later in 2022.
Dinosaurs: The Last Day chronicles a three-year excavation by paleontologist Robert DePalma at a North Dakota dig site called Tanis, which contains the remarkably well-preserved fossilized remains of creatures that date back to the end of the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago. These discoveries could shed important new light on how the well-known asteroid impact led to the death of the dinosaurs.
The doc will combine location footage of Attenborough at the dig site examining the finds, with VFX sequences placing the presenter within a virtual recreation of the Late Cretaceous period.
“Tanis could be a place where the remains can give us an unprecedented window into the lives of the very last dinosaurs, and a minute-by-minute picture of what happened when the asteroid hit,” said Attenborough.
“BBC Studios Science Unit has brilliantly combined cutting-edge CGI with the very latest science to depict, in meticulous detail, what happened on the day of the asteroid strike,” commented Jack Bootle, BBC’s head of commissioning for science and natural history, who greenlit the doc with chief content officer Charlotte Moore.
“I’ve longed to know exactly how the dinosaurs died ever since I was a little boy. Now, finally, I can see it.”
Dinosaurs: The Last Day is produced by the BBC Studios Science Unit, in collaboration with ‘Nova’ and GBH Boston, PBS and France Télévisions. Helen Thomas serves as executive producer, with Tom Coveney as commissioning editor.
Attenborough’s most recent natural history project for the BBC, Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard, premiered on BBC One in late December 2021, and will air on ‘Nova’ on February 16 under the title Great Mammoth Mystery.