ZDF Studios has revealed Restless Planet (working title), a co-production between ZDF Digital, Curiosity and ZDFinfo, as well as acquiring the rights to a new nature documentary.
Restless Planet, in five parts, portrays the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth and the catastrophes that determined its destiny. In the last 500 million years alone, five periods of mass extinction have been identified.
The first episode details the planet’s birth as a molten rock before colliding with a Mars-sized protoplanet. The second episode reveals how the microorganisms became extinct due to the increased oxygen of the cyanobacteria. The third episode details greenhouse mass extinctions on Earth, presenting a new scientific theory. The fourth episode covers the period when dinosaurs began to conquer the planet, and the last episode examines the last 75,000 years that Homo sapiens populated the Earth.
Restless Planet is currently being shot in Chile, Australia, Indonesia, Iceland, the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Germany, with delivery scheduled for June 2023. ZDF Studios will handle all international sales outside of co-producing partner rights.
Ralf Rueckauer, VP Unscripted at ZDF Studios, commented: “Restless Planet is an extraordinary series based on all the latest research with the participation of some of the world’s best experts in the fields of planetology, science, geology, physics and biology. It is also a timely and thought-provoking documentary as we face the growing threat of climate change.”
Rob Burk, director of original content for Curiosity, added: “This is exactly the kind of epic series Curiosity viewers love. Combining the latest research with incredible storytelling and visuals to explore the past and its impact on our future will resonate deeply with fans of history, science and exploration.”
ZDF Studios has also secured worldwide distribution rights to the new nature documentary Smart Swarms, which studies the behavior of fauna that operates in swarms. Produced by ZDF’s Terra X, production of this two-part series is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.
Researchers in high-tech labs are trying to crack swarm codes, explain strange collective behaviors, and explore the possible application of swarm intelligence to the latest technological advances.
Rueckauer noted: “The scientists involved in making this production, their experiments and discoveries add level to this fascinating subject. Combined with beautifully shot scenes of swarms in the wild, this is a documentary that will captivate audiences around the world.”