BBC One Announces ‘Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History’ Special Exploring JK Rowling’s Creatures Connections To Real Animals

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08 Jan 20

BBC One Announces ‘Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History’ Special Exploring JK Rowling’s Creatures Connections To Real Animals

BBC One has announced an interesting new documentary commission, produced in partnership with Warner Bros. and London’s Natural History Museum, which explore the origins and stories of mythical creatures and the fantastical beasts from J.K. Rowling’s stories and their history and connections with animals roaming the planet today.

The one-off special, which is, of course, narrated by national treasure and voice of Rowling’s audiobooks, Stephen Fry, will take viewers on an incredible journey from the hidden corridors of London’s Natural History Museum to the frozen steppes of Siberia and secret caves of Madagascar. From centaurs to Nifflers, birds of paradise to the Phoenix, 11,000-year-old woolly rhinos to the Erumpent and giant squid to the Zouwu, the gripping stories and surprising science behind specimens in the Natural History Museum is a global journey of discovery drawing parallels between the real world and the fabulous worlds of mythology and literature – including elements which will be immediately recognisable to fans of Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts film series.

“The BBC is world-renowned for its amazing natural history programming and it is a delight to bring the natural world and Wizarding World together on BBC One,” commented Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content.

The documentary will also feature the Natural History Museum’s exhibition, titled Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder Of Nature. The exhibition, set to open in Spring 2020, combines the creative power of film, television, literature and science and is the Museum’s most ambitious exhibition to date. Visitors will encounter legendary beasts next to dazzling specimens and historic objects from their world-leading scientific collection.

Offering exclusive access behind the scenes at both the Natural History Museum and Warner Bros. Studios, the documentary will dive deep into the bewitching secrets, marvellous wonders and surprising truths behind a host of fantastic beasts, both real and imagined.

Footage from the BBC Natural History Unit’s extensive treasure trove of archive content, alongside spellbinding scenes from the Fantastic Beasts films, will show how closely real-world animals, mythological creatures and wizarding world beasts are intertwined.

“This incredible partnership between three of the UK’s leading institutions will bring an astonishing array of creatures to our screens,” commented Mike Gunton, Executive Producer and Creative Director of the BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit. “We are thrilled to be working with these talented partners to bring natural history content to a wider young audience.”

“I could not be more delighted to be a part of this magnificent opportunity for us Muggles to show the wizarding world that the fantastic beasts in our world are more than a match for theirs,” adds Stephen Fry. “Joining forces with the combined powers of the fabulous BBC, it’s legendary Natural History Unit and the magical Natural History Museum we hope to be able to bring you closer than you’ve ever been to some of the most spectacular and extraordinary creatures ever seen.”

‘Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History’ (working title) is an hourlong documentary for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content. It is made by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit and Warner Bros Entertainment UK Limited. The Executive Producer for the BBC is Mike Gunton. No announcement of a premiere date yet, but we’ll let you know when we hear more.