New BBC One documentary series charts how humans have transformed planet Earth

The way we live on the planet is changing in ways that our ancestors would have thought impossible. Telling that story has been utterly absorbing and fascinating and by far the most ambitious and demanding project I’ve ever worked on."Dallas Campbell, presenter
Date: 31.10.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.59
Category: BBC One; Factual
Supersized Earth traces the spectacular story of how humans have changed our world in a single generation.

In this awe-inspiring three-part series for BBC One, Dallas Campbell (Bang Goes The Theory, Horizon) travels the globe, visiting the world’s largest and most ambitious engineering projects, exploring the power of human ingenuity and the making of the modern world.

In 1980 the tallest building on the planet was the Sears Towers in Chicago and Dubai was a dusty strip of desert with a single highway. Fast forward 30 years and the world’s tallest building stands at more than 800 metres, cities like Las Vegas have sprawled across the desert and are home to millions, and China is the manufacturing capital of the world, with many of the fastest growing cities on earth.

In just a single lifetime, humans have changed the face of the planet on a scale unimaginable to our predecessors. Supersized Earth charts the epic scale of our redesign of the planet for the first time.

Throughout the series Dallas undertakes some extraordinary feats – from cleaning the windows of the world’s tallest building - the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to scuba-diving in raw sewage in Mexico City, in order to unblock the turbines driving the mega-city’s failing sewage system. He also flies a replica of the Wright Brother’s glider from 1902, paraglides over the world’s largest greenhouse array and travels to a cosmodrome on the desert steppes of Kazakhstan, to witness a new age of space travel.

Dallas said: “The way we live on the planet is changing in ways that our ancestors would have thought impossible. Telling that story has been utterly absorbing and fascinating and by far the most ambitious and demanding project I’ve ever worked on. I’ve had privileged access to the some of the world’s defining engineering projects - projects that are re-shaping the planet, and the chance to experience first-hand some of the extraordinary innovations that allow us to live the way we now do.”

In the first episode, Dallas looks at how we are building faster than ever before and the extremes that are gone to daily in order for us to live the way we do.

In episode two, he explores how we are shrinking the planet, transforming our transport networks, and moving more objects around the globe faster.

In the final episode, Dallas examines what it takes to keep seven billion of us alive, in terms of energy, food and water.

Drawing on high‐resolution satellite imagery, photo-real CGI and specialist filming, the series provides a new view on the world and compresses time to watch a generation of change pass in a few moments. Multiple time‐lapse cameras track the progress of the biggest construction projects underway today, from bare rock to engineering marvels. Each an emblem of a global trend, together they capture the sheer scale of human ambition to remake the planet. Filmed in HD, Supersized Earth invokes the stunning and sometimes terrible beauty of the man-made world.

Supersized Earth will broadcast on BBC One later this Autumn.

Notes to Editors

3 x 60 minutes

A BBC/Discovery Channel/CCTV co-production

Supersized Earth was commissioned by Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History and Danny Cohen, BBC One Controller.

Executive Producer: Helen Thomas, BBC

Series Producer: Simon Finch

Presenter: Dallas Campbell (Bang Goes The Theory, Horizon)

GH

31/10/12 - This press release has been updated to reflect the confirmation of programme title, Supersized Earth (previously referred to under the working title Generation Earth).