David Attenborough is to present a new BBC One film that documents minute by minute what happened when the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs hit earth
BBC Factual commissioned Dinosaurs: The Final Day, with David Attenborough, from BBC Studios Productions for BBC One.
66 million years ago, at the end of the Late Cretaceous, an asteroid hit the planet and wiped out the dinosaurs. But while the asteroid impact itself is well documented, no direct evidence has ever been found that confirms how it killed the dinosaurs.
“Now, a new dig site promises to change that. Hidden in the low hills of North Dakota lies a secret, prehistoric graveyard known as Tanis. There, fossilised creatures dating from the very end of the Late Cretaceous lie buried in a mysterious crumbly layer of rock. And they are preserved in such detail that they could help give us a clearer picture of that time than ever before.”
David Attenborough says: “Dinosaurs were among nature’s most extraordinary creatures, dominating the planet for over 150 million years before they became extinct.
“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.”
Jack Bootle Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, says: “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. I’ve longed to know exactly how the dinosaurs died ever since I was a little boy. Now, finally, I can see it.”
Followed by a BBC Studios Science Unit film crew for three years, palaeontologist Robert DePalma has explored the site and unearthed creatures which can shed light on life at the very end of the age of the dinosaurs. He has been searching for new evidence at Tanis that can link the site to the actual day the asteroid hit, perhaps allowing a blow-by-blow visualisation of the devastation that occurred on the last day that dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Attenborough looks at some of the fossil finds with leading experts and follows the dig team as they carry out cutting-edge visualisation and scanning techniques to reveal fossilised secrets invisible to the naked eye. Brand new VFX production techniques are used to immerse David in the Late Cretaceous and bring the creatures which lived at Tanis to life.
Dinosaurs: The Final Day, with David Attenborough, a 1×90’, is a BBC Studios Science Unit production with NOVA and GBH Boston for BBC One and iPlayer, and PBS, co-produced with France Télévisions. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Executive Producer is Helen Thomas and the Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney.
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