BBC2 is to shine a light on the way some of the UK’s most iconic wildlife behaves underground in a Dragonfly-produced fixed-rig series.
The Burrowers, a 3 x 60-minute commission, is an ambitious attempt to follow creatures such as rabbits, voles, badgers and moles as they survive in specially constructed burrows.
The burrows will be designed to be as lifelike as possible, before a huge glass wall is added which will allow the animals’ every movement to be captured.
Shine’s Dragonfly Film and Television is making the series, which marks the company’s first steps into natural history. The indie has also used the fixed-rig camera technique to create The Family, The Hotel and One Born Every Minute.
Springwatch presenter Chris Packham will front the series, which will look at the history of each species and reveal new information about how they operate, such as the way in which water voles store their food into several neat larders tucked away underground.
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Dragonfly execs Fiona Pitcher, who worked for over a decade at the BBC’s Natural History Unit on programmes such as Springwatch and Autumn Watch, is executive producing, along with
Edwina Silver, a former presenter of Animal Hospital who has also worked on a number of natural history and science programmes.
Martin Williams is series producing for the BBC after completing David Attenborough’s Galapagos for Sky1.
Dragonfly managing director Simon Dickson said: “We’re over the moon to be moving in to natural history programming with The Burrowers and we’re very grateful to the BBC for having entrusted us with this series. We’re famous for using the latest camera technology to unpack family and organisational dynamics - the difference this time is, we’re moving from kitchen sink dramas to an exploration of the complex systems that lie beneath our feet in Britain’s secret underground animal kingdoms”.
BBC science and natural history commissioner Kim Shillinglaw ordered the series with history, science and natural history commissioning executive, Cassian Harrison.