Sir David Attenborough considers the Great Barrier Reef the most magical place on Earth, having first visited the extraordinary locale off the coast of Queensland, Australia in 1957. Returning now to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, one of the world’s most renowned naturalists visits a place that has amazed scientists and wildlife experts for decades and which, today, brings up major concerns about climate change and the effects of human contact. Giving viewers a rare opportunity to explore the Reef via sky and sea, as well as unprecedented access to some of its most remote parts and all the incredible creatures that call it home, DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF premieres Wednesday, January 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
Since his first visit 60 years ago, Attenborough has wanted to return to the underwater paradise of the Great Barrier Reef, which is shrouded in mystery and difficult to explore. In DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF: BUILDERS, Attenborough is equipped with new, state-of-the-art technology as he climbs aboard the Alucia, an exploration vessel measuring more than 180 feet that features a Triton submersible, research laboratories and a helicopter. Diving at night, he explores the underwater wonderland like never before and meets some of the tiny creatures that helped build the great living structure into what it is today.
Subsequent episodes of DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF are:
Premieres Wednesday, January 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Attenborough continues his exploration of the Great Barrier Reef aboard the Alucia. This time, he travels to the Osprey Reef inside the Triton submersible to take a closer look at the animals that travel to the Reef every year, some covering thousands of miles to do so. In this episode, he dives into shark-infested waters, witnesses the hatching of baby sea turtles on the beaches of Raine Island and visits the Ribbon Reefs to meet a dwarf minke whale that arrives each winter season.
Premieres Wednesday, February 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
With the future of the Reef under threat, Attenborough learns about the adaptable nature of the great ecosystem, its inhabitants and visitors – including a shark that can survive out of water and communities of underwater creatures that have endured countless cyclones. Aside from the challenges that the Reef faces due to changes in climate and extreme weather, Attenborough discovers that the human impact on this amazing structure has had a dramatic effect on its health and future survival.
THE MAKING OF DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF
Premieres Wednesday, February 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Take an inside look into the making of DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage taken on location at the Great Barrier Reef, exclusive interviews with Attenborough as well as insights from the series’ producers, this episode helps viewers understand the intricacies behind the series’ filming. Watch as Attenborough dives into the depths of the Reef with the help of the Triton submersible to see the breathtaking wonders held deep below sea level, and see the amazing footage taken at shore’s edge come to life.