Supersized Earth

Series 1 - 1. A Place to Live

A Place to Live
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Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

The Blue Danube waltz fills the soundtrack as a vast tunnel-making machine rotates under Mexico City, removing earth and laying sections of tunnel wall as it goes. It’s a sort of pastiche of 2001: a Space Odyssey, and one of many arresting sequences in Dallas Campbell’s look at how the past few decades have seen us re-engineer the planet.

There is no special agenda here: Campbell simply celebrates great feats of urban engineering, like Dubai’s half-mile-high Burj Khalifa tower, and tries to impress on us the stunning scale of the ways we’re changing the world
to accommodate seven billion of us.

It’s strikingly filmed, full of head-spinning statistics and accessible to a young audience, who may enjoy the have-a-go scenes where Campbell cleans the highest windows in the world or descends into a hellish Mexican sewer – and finds a horse’s skull.

About this programme

1/3. Dallas Campbell traces the story of how humans have transformed the world in just a single generation, visiting the largest and most ambitious engineering projects, exploring the power of human ingenuity and the making of the modern world. He begins by visiting some of the most amazing constructions on the planet, travelling from the glittering heights of the world's tallest building in Dubai to the bustling favelas of Rio and to the planet's biggest city of all - Tokyo. Along the way, he undertakes extraordinary feats, from dangling on a rope hundreds of metres above the ground to scuba-diving through Mexico City's toxic sewage.

Cast and crew


Dallas Campbell


Nat Sharman
Executive Producer
Helen Thomas
Nat Sharman
Series Producer
Simon Finch