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On air after eight years!

Discovery Channel launches a show made from 3,000 days of footage, includes 130 stories from the wild shot over seven continents, this May.

tv Updated: May 14, 2010 13:59 IST
Serena Menon
Serena Menon
Hindustan Times

The apparent ideology of this channel is to constantly replenish human curiosity with information on everything under the sun, and over it. Having completed over 25 years in the business globally, and 15 years in India, Discovery now brings to Indian television their latest series titled Life.

Following in the light of their earlier projects like Blue Planet and Planet Earth, Life, a 10-part series will be aired on Discovery Channel, at 8.30 pm daily from May 24 till June 6. Produced with footage of more than 3,000 days, more than eight years, and shot over a variety of weather and geographical conditions over seven continents, the series covers the struggle and intelligence of all life forms and species in 130 stories told with a voice over by the popular broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

The show was previously premiered in the United States on March 22. It will be available in India in three languages — English, Hindi and Tamil. Rahul Johri, senior vice president and general manager of Discovery networks, Asia Pacific, says, “This is our piece of art.

A lot of detailing and hard work has gone into making this show, including developing new technologies and camera shooting techniques. For instance, a Yogi camera is a tiny device, which is hung from a delicate wire so that it can remain among butterflies without them noticing it. Stories of the creatures that we have covered, including some shot in India, will leave everyone stunned.”

To have the animals’ behaviour studied, a group of scientists toured with the film crew from location to location. There were about 30 production teams, 70 cameramen who travelled 52 countries in 150 film trips. “There are numerous things about life on this planet that we are unaware of, this show is not only enlightening, but also gives us an insight about how tough living in the wild is,” says Rajiv Bakshi, vice president, marketing.

So many stories
Stories ranged from the giant pacific octopus’ motherly act of starving herself and eventually dying at the place where she gives birth to over a million babies just to get some to live, to a specific kind of monkey whose calculation of picking a ripe nut is just as planned as a decision made by the complex mind of a human being. “The world is awesome,” says Vikram Channa, the programming head. “And this series just shows that we’re its biggest fans.”

Discovery’s newest addition to their league were Discovery Turbo, which claims to dedicate itself to speed and Discovery HD, which for the first time, brings all high-definition content to one channel. They also claimed to be the number one non-fiction channel on Indian television at a national conference.

Their recent popular show on Travel and Living, called Living With a Superstar just ended. When asked whether any plans of another edition were in the pipeline, the senior vice president and general manager gave an affirmative, but devious response. “Of course we will have another one,” says Johri. “But we cant say who that person is. I can’t give you some short listed names either, since it doesn’t have to be a film star. It could be a cult personality who is being followed avidly in the country. And of course, it has to be someone interesting for them to fit the requirement.”

Also, a show on the building where once the Twin Towers stood called Freedom Towers, is in the pipeline. For this, Discovery has roped in sci-fi director Steven Spielberg to recreate the structure of the new building. “This building is not supposed to be the tallest, but yes, definitely the strongest scientifically. So we will get him to de-construct and re-construct the building to understand the strength of its structure,” explains Johri.

The channel, that already has a website functional within the educational requirements of the United States, is also planning to open a library where their information and research can be accessed by students and researchers.

First Published: May 14, 2010 13:27 IST