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When is Planet Earth III on TV? David Attenborough, 97, to present last ever series

 (BBC / Humble Bee Films / Talkback Thames)
(BBC / Humble Bee Films / Talkback Thames)

Planet Earth III, the final series in the award-winning BBC trilogy, will be fronted by none other than Sir David Attenborough.

The new series, which was shot over five years, combines cutting-edge filming equipment to showcase the greatest miracles of life on earth. Viewers can go to breathtaking unexplored settings, from distant jungles to sweltering deserts, and from the darkest tunnels to the bottom of the ocean, thanks to lightweight drones, high-speed cameras, and remotely controlled deep-sea submersibles.

Millions of Planet Earth fans will be eager to see the show when it airs later this year. So, when can we expect to see the final visual masterpiece on our screens?

Sir David takes an active role in front of the camera in the latest series (Toby Strong / PA)
Sir David takes an active role in front of the camera in the latest series (Toby Strong / PA)

What we know about Planet Earth III

BBC producers have kept relatively tight-lipped about the upcoming series. However, fans can expect stunning visuals, and a unique chance to explore the hidden corners of our natural world.

The show will be narrated by Sir David Attenborough, who at 97 is considered one of the longest-serving broadcasters in the country.

Speaking about the new series, as well as Attenborough’s influence on it, Planet Earth’s executive producer Mike Gunton said: “Planet Earth wouldn’t be Planet Earth without David, so I’m delighted he is presenting the third series. As ever, he has brought his huge enthusiasm and wisdom, has been encouraging about our new perspective and has, I know, really enjoyed seeing the extraordinary new wonders brought to the screen.”

He added: “The opening of the series with David was filmed in the beautiful British countryside in exactly the location where Charles Darwin used to walk whilst thinking over his Earth-shaking ideas about evolution.

“It seemed the perfect place for David to introduce Planet Earth III and remind us of both the wonders and the fragility of our planet... and for him, of course, the sun shined under blue skies one of the only days it did all summer!”

The series is being made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, and co-produced by BBC America and The Open University

Sir David Attenborough introduces the Wild Isles series at dawn at Old Harry’s Rocks (BBC / Silverback Films / Chris Howard)
Sir David Attenborough introduces the Wild Isles series at dawn at Old Harry’s Rocks (BBC / Silverback Films / Chris Howard)

When is Planet Earth III on TV?

Planet Earth III was first commissioned in 2019 but was set back by pandemic delays. Now producers have confirmed that the team is adding the final touches to the last installment of the nature series.

The show will be aired on BBC One on Sunday, October 22 at 6:15pm.

The last series of Planet Earth will be made up of eight episodes, each of which is one hour long.

In the first episode, Attenborough examines the world's coastlines, which are perilous frontiers governed by strong forces and where species struggle to live in the face of ongoing change.

Where can I watch the Planet Earth III trailer?

A trailer has been released by the BBC, with pop band Bastille’s hit single Pompeii featuring as the main soundtrack.

The lead singer of the band, Dan Smith, said it was a “dream come true” to be involved with the score.

“We started with a theme and worked on a bunch of scenes and then you know having now Pompeii with Hans (Zimmer) in the end credits and used in the trailer, it is unbelievably surreal but we’re so, so proud of being able to be involved. It’s amazing honestly.”

Will Planet Earth III be different from Planet Earth and Planet Earth II?

Planet Earth III will probably be bigger, better, and more visually spectacular than its predecessors. It will also feature more episodes than the earlier seasons.

Now in its final season, Planet Earth has already won four Emmy awards and a Bafta. The show has also worked with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, known for his scores on Interstellar and Dune.

There is a golden rule among wildlife filmmakers to “never intervene” but this has been broken in the upcoming series. The Daily Mail has reported that viewers will for the first time see the rescue of sea lions from fishing nets, the untangling of wildlife from plastic waste, and the lowering of weary turtles into the water.