BBC natural history series The Hunt to film animal kills “like a car chase”

The new series will borrow techniques from film and TV to ehance the real life drama of battles between predators and their prey

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Next year’s landmark BBC1 natural history series The Hunt will deploy techniques from film and TV drama, and cut hunting sequences like a “car chase”, says its executive producer.

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Alastair Fothergill, who is overseeing the seven-part series focusing on the battles between predators and their prospective prey, said it will borrow from other genres to create a revolutionary look and feel.

“I think we are going to cut it in a different way. I think blue chip natural history has become a bit of a cliché and I want to learn some lessons from other genres,” he told RadioTimes.com.

“A hunt is a bit like a car chase so why can’t we cut it like a car chase with the appropriate music? Also why do we always start from the beginning? Why can’t we start with a kill and see how it happened, what led up to it?” 

The music will be provided by film composer Steven Price – who won a best original score Oscar this year for Gravity and is known for his experimental style – to create what Fothergill calls a “very different kind of sound”.

After an introductory episode, each programme will focus on predators and prey in a specific habitat, taking us from the tundra to forests, the open ocean to polar regions where animals have developed astonishingly varied techniques to either get a meal – or avoid becoming one.

The subjects include sea creatures who travel miles to feed and polar bears, which have adapted five key hunting techniques each dependant on the condition of the ice. 

But fortunately for the squeamish it won’t be just about animals getting torn to shreds.

“Most animals fail to get their prey so we will see a lot of failure,” says Fothergill. “I very much want this to focus on the prey as well as the predators and the techniques they use to survive. That’s why it’s called The Hunt.”

He said predation sequences are always the moments people remember from natural history shows.

“The competition between animals is the most fascinating. You can see feeding things you can see home building things and they are all good, they are all interesting, they are all pretty.

“But the real drama is always in predation. If we handle it well, and be sensitive to the fact that there are quite a lot of the audience who say we don’t like predation, I think it’s going to be a real winner.”

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The Hunt is due to air on BBC1 in autumn 2015