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Pioneer Productions conducts an Ocean Autopsy on BBC Four

11 December 2019 | Pioneer Productions
Pioneer Productions conducts an Ocean Autopsy on BBC Four

In unprecedented ways humans are changing our seas and the life within. In Ocean Autopsy (1x90’) Pioneer Productions is taking BBC Four on a journey to carry out an ‘autopsy’ on the ocean itself, where leading oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski, along with zoologist Dr George McGavin, will reveal the startling changes it’s undergoing.

Two thirds of our planet is covered in water split into five distinct oceans, but in reality, they are part of one huge global water system. This system has been instrumental in shaping our destiny for millions of years. But now, in the 21st century, it’s humankind that is shaping the destiny of our oceans. The ocean bed, currents, marine life, even the water itself is transformed by what humans are putting into our oceans.

Throughout the film, Helen and George will look at the water’s toxicity due to industrial chemicals and will investigate a plague of microplastics saturating the water. They’ll discover how this human-wrought change is in turn impacting our own health, and they’ll perform an autopsy on a porpoise to witness the devastating impact these changes are having on marine life at the top of the food chain.

But all is not lost. Along the way Helen and George follow some surprising signs of hope, including re-wilded salt marshes, flooded to counter rising seas, and biodiversity hot spots at the base of wind farms. Both these enterprises show humanity working with nature and point towards a way forward for securing the health of our oceans.

Peter Collins, Executive Producer, says “We were really keen to tell the story of our fragile oceans beyond just plastics – invisible killers, like PCBs and other chemicals, are having devastating effects on entire marine ecosystems. The film uncovers the truth about these human induced pollutants, as well as exploring the possible solutions”


About Pioneer Productions

Pioneer Productions is one of the UK's most successful independent production companies. With an outstanding reputation for producing innovative, high quality, popular programmes for both the UK and US markets, with industry leading expertise in science and history. Recent highlights include Animals After Dark (Channel 5); Superstructures: Engineering Marvels (Nat Geo); Secrets of the Superfactories (More 4) and, now in its eight series, How The Universe Works (Science Channel)