20 Oct 2011

Delve deeper into the Frozen Planet with The Open University

Gentoo penguins (credit: Mark Brandon)

Gentoo penguins (credit: Mark Brandon)

TX 26 October, 9pm on BBC One

Frozen Planet, a new landmark series on the BBC and produced in partnership with The Open University, will feature David Attenborough’s epic voyage across the Arctic and Antarctica.

It will showcase the fragile, jaw-dropping beauty and majestic power of the elements in the greatest wilderness on Earth. From underwater images of a deadly brinicle, a finger of ice, growing and killing everything in its path to teams of orcas working to generate massive waves to wash their seal prey from the ice, the story will cover ice, seasonal change and animals’ struggle to survive.

Dr Mark Brandon, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science at The Open University and academic consultant for the series, said: “Having carried out scientific research in the polar regions for many years and been on location with the Frozen Planet team, I know firsthand just how unique this frozen wilderness is – and how fragile. We want to show what rising temperatures mean to the people and animals living there, but also the effect it will have on the rest of the planet.”

Alastair Fothergill, Executive Producer, Frozen Planet, said: “This ultimate polar expedition will show many filming firsts and reveal the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctica as never seen before – and which may never be seen again. We spent four years producing the series, and relied heavily on scientists to make it happen. The seemingly hostile environment will impart a whole new sense of wonder and understanding, and we hope it will inspire people to undertake their own journeys of discovery.”

The Open University is offering the chance to continue exploring the icy wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctica. OpenLearn, its free interactive study site, offers geographic information from Arctic and Antarctic experts, videos of the wildlife in each polar region and historical moments in polar exploration.

A free Open University poster with maps, images and fascinating facts about the polar regions can also be ordered from

Or take the learning journey even further with the new The frozen planet course starting 12 November 2011. The course reveals the wonders of the polar world and explains how ice has shaped – and controls – the planet. It has polar-focused activities and film clips from the spectacular Frozen Planet series, and looks in depth at the environment, science and wildlife.

Programme Credits
Frozen Planet is a partnership between The Open University and the BBC. The Executive Producer for the BBC is Alistair Fothergill and the Series Producer is Vanessa Berlowitz. The Open University academic consultants for the series are Dr Mark Brandon and Dr David Robinson.

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