In the wake of stark environmental warnings, will David Attenborough’s new show continue to break BBC viewing records?
The BBC have released a trailer for David Attenborough’s new show, Dynasties, which follows the families of five animal species threatened by the effects of climate change. Lions, chimpanzees, hunting dogs, emperor penguins and tigers all take centre stage in this highly dramatic trailer that wouldn’t be out of place advertising a blockbuster film.
The show, which has been in production for four years, will premiere this autumn as announced by the BBC. Attenborough notes that ‘the family is one of the most powerful forces in nature’, so the survival of these animal families is paramount to the continuation of their species: ‘the future of their dynasty hangs in the balance’. Attenborough’s most recent 2017 series Blue Planet II was the most watched programme that year with 14 million viewers; it was also the most streamed programme of 2017 on BBC iPlayer with its height hitting 4,768,000 views.
Why is Sir David Attenborough such an enduring national treasure? The answer to this long-asked question is a combination of factors. He is such a prolific documentary filmmaker, whose output is extraordinary considering the research and lengths that are required to put together such educational and innovative pieces. His series Life on Earth in 1979 was said to inspire a generation of documentary filmmakers and captured the British public’s imagination. He has 32 honorary degrees from British Universities for his work and was offered the role as director - general of the BBC in 1972 for his successes as the controller of the newly established channel BBC Two. He eventually left his position at BBC Two in order to focus more on writing and presenting his own environmental shows, which ultimately emphasises the passion he has for his subject.
Whilst it’s clear that he has his own politics, Attenborough remains neutral in his views, not voicing them so readily in the media or allowing himself to be baited by the press into petty comments. He continues to be the nation’s non-racist grandad with otherworldly knowledge of our planet and an iconic soothing voice that has become synonymous with the tension and heartache of the natural world.