Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster (working title), a 60’ film for BBC One and iPlayer, made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and co-produced by PBS and the WNET Group, has been announced by BBC Factual.

Following on from Wild Isles, the documentary follows Sir David Attenborough as he unearths the discovery of a lifetime: the skull of a giant Pliosaur.

Fossil experts believe this Pliosaur to be a completely new species and working at a secret location are setting out on an expedition to excavate the skull.

David Attenborough  said: “Pliosaurs were the biggest and most formidable hunters in the Jurassic seas, the marine equivalent, you might say of T. Rex. The skull of this one is, by itself, over two metres long and armed with massive fangs. Frustratingly, skulls, which can tell us most about an animal, are only too easily smashed before fossilisation but this one is virtually undamaged and promises to reveal all kinds of new details about these terrifying hunters that preyed on Lyme Regis’ better known ichthyosaurs.”

He will join a team of scientists and palaeontologists as they unlock clues about this apex predator – from understanding how it looked and behaved, to uncovering the strategies it used to hunt and kill its prey – while vfx sequences will bring the sea monster to life, showcasing its astonishing size and strength.

Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual, BBC, said: “David has filmed some of the world’s very best fossil animals, so the fact he’s so interested in this skull makes me unbelievably excited. This film promises to be a thrilling trip through time to a moment when monsters ruled the seas around Britain. I can’t wait for viewers to experience it.”

Mike Gunton, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Natural History Unit, said: “It’s wonderful to be back on location with David – his eyes absolutely lit up when we told him about this amazing find – he couldn’t wait to join the ‘dig’ and get a first look at the fossil bones for himself.”

Fred Kaufman, Executive Producer, WNET, said: “Joining David on location is an honour as his insights continue to inform and delight us.”

Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster(working title), a 1×60’ for BBC One and iPlayer, is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and co-produced by PBS and the WNET Group. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. The Executive Producer is Mike Gunton, Series Editor is Tom Jarvis, Producer Director is Victoria Bobin, and Production Manager is Arpana Paterson. The Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney. The executive in charge for PBS is Bill Gardner. For PBS Nature, the Executive Producer is Fred Kaufman, Series Producer is Bill Murphy, and Series Editor is Janet Hess.

Jon Creamer

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