See the very first BBC landmark series to focus on human beings rather than animals

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More than any other species, humans can be said to have taken over the world. From vertiginous mountains to steaming jungles, and scorching deserts to endless oceans, humans have proved they can adapt to almost any hardship in their unremitting quest for survival.

Cliff Farmers in the Simien Mountains of Northern Ethiopia. The indigenous farmers of these highland areas have to protect their crop from Gelada Baboons that live around their vilages and fields.


“Human Planet is the very first BBC landmark series to focus on human beings rather than animals and, as a result, it gave birth to Human Planet Explorer.

The team went to some of the most remote and inaccessible locations on earth, visiting every continent, apart from Antarctica. Each episode in the eight part series is based around one iconic environment – oceans, deserts, arctic, jungles, mountains, grasslands, rivers and cities. For each episode The team looked for the most incredible stories imaginable, personal real life dramas about people who still live in “the wild places”. The team even discovered that cities can be pretty wild in their own way!


Over two intensive filming years shot and over 70 stories for the main series but always on the look out for extra stories for the website. This was really important for the production team and whenever location, weather and wildlife allowed the team tried to find extra stories to film. The team were all incredibly aware of how privileged the team was to be able to film such remarkable people living the most incredible lives.
Some of these clips are extras from sequences you may see in the main series but many are totally new stories featuring different people but all shot on the locations the team visited.

The team never travelled light, filming such a technically demanding and high spec HD series meant that they had to lug hundreds of kilos of kit to places that were often inaccessible by road or air. In Nepal the team trekked for days at altitude in the freezing cold. In the arctic the team travelled by dog sled. The team rode horses in Mongolia and for the oceans episode the team travelled in boats of all shapes and sizes. Even when the team got to location things were rarely easy. Many of the sequences often involved wildlife and wild weather doing the right things at the right time!

Evelyn, a young girl from the Huli Tribe with some friends at a Sing Sing.  Central Highlands, Papua New Guinea. Pic: Copyright Timothy Allen  http://www.humanplanet.com

With the inexorable march of the modern world many cultures, languages and practices are disappearing at an alarming rate. In some cases whole societies are vanishing. the team have undoubtedly reached a turning point for the Human species. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but what the team have been able to do is to produce a lasting record of the incredible skills, diversity, ingenuity and bravery that still make up today’s Human Planet.”

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“See the very first BBC landmark series to focus on human beings rather than animals”