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Last year, Chris Packham told us the story of the planet we call home in Earth - one of the highest rating series on BBC Two in 2023. Now he’s tackling an even more ambitious subject in a major new blue-chip science series: Evolution.

All the incredible diversity of animal life sprang from a single organism. Every animal, no matter how weird, is related to every other.

And behind each species is an incredible story of the millions of generations that gave rise to it - every animal we know and love today sprang from creatures that looked nothing like it. In this landmark series Chris Packham is going to unravel five of these remarkable stories, to reveal how animal life became so diverse and beautiful and to discover the secrets of Evolution.

Each episode opens with an iconic animal, finely tuned through millions of generations of evolution.

For example, the bat whose ultrasonic hearing makes it one of the deadliest hunters on the planet. Or the peacock, with its magnificent feathered display, the spectacular pinnacle of sexual selection. Or the kangaroo, impressively leaping across the outback thanks to adaptations, not to its legs, but to its teeth.

To reveal the incredible forces that created these evolutionary phenomena, Chris will take viewers back in time into our planet’s past, along the myriad branches of the tree of life. On the way, we’ll also meet some of the bizarre creatures that died out: the crocodiles with hooves like horses, millipedes the size of cars, or bizarre sea creatures that were a cross between crabs and sharks.

And we’ll follow the fingerprints that evolution has left on all life today, from the viruses that helped brains evolve, to the hiccups that are remnants of the first air breathing fish.

Thanks to the latest research, and advances in genetic analysis, each episode can now take us back further than ever before and tell these extraordinary stories in astonishing new detail. Cutting edge CGI will bring millions of years of evolution alive and reveal how it took a single spark of life and turned it into the interconnected web of ecosystems that cover our globe.

We’ll discover the moments when life hung in the balance and the extraordinary twists and turns along the way, when threats from climate change to invading species and global extinctions have put life on the line.

Evolution, a 5x60’, is a BBC Studios Science Unit production.


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