Four years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC, and also the first to be filmed in high definition. The series was co-produced by the Discovery Channel and NHK in association with CBC, and was described by its makers as “the definitive look at the diversity of our planet”. The series comprises eleven episodes, each of which features a global overview of a different habitat on Earth. At the end of each fifty-minute episode, a ten-minute featurette takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming the series.
This episode explores “Planet Earth’s final frontier”:
The World of Caves
“Two groups of caves decorated with hundreds of hand stencils have been discovered in northeastern Borneo, within the borders of Indonesia, confirming the presence of cave art on the island. A Franco-Indonesian expedition working on behalf of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, led by Jean-Michel Chazine of France’s National Center for Scientific Research and speleologist-photographer Luc-Henri Fage, found no archaeological material in the caves, leading them to surmise that they were probably used as sanctuaries. Based on stylistic comparisons with cave paintings on nearby islands, the researchers believe the art may be between 8,000 and 20,000 years old”. Said the Archeological Institute of America.