BBC Darwin Season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The BBC Darwin Season is a series of television and radio programmes commissioned by the BBC in 2009 to celebrate the bicentenary of the great naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his revolutionary book, On the Origin of Species in November, 1859. In partnership with the Open University, the BBC produced a special documentary, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, narrated by David Attenborough, and three major series.[1] Other presenters involved are Andrew Marr, Melvyn Bragg and Jimmy Doherty.[1] The overall commissioning editor for the season is Martin Davidson, the BBC's commissioning editor for specialist factual (in-house).[2] Contributing units of the BBC are BBC Science, the Natural History Unit, the Religion and Ethics department and the children's channel, CBBC.[1]



Events in the Darwin season are broadcast on the broadcaster's flagship voice programming channel, Radio 4 and its arts and culture channel, Radio 3.

Radio 4
Radio 3

Darwin is also the subject of special editions of the programmes Night Waves and Words and Music.[6]


  • On BBC One:
  • On BBC Two:
    • Darwin's Dangerous Idea a three-part series presented by Andrew Marr showing how the theory of evolution has influenced politics and society in the last 150 years.
    • Jimmy Doherty in Darwin's Garden, a three-part series based in which the presenter recreates some of Darwin's experiments at Down House.
    • Did Darwin Kill God?, in which philosopher and theologian Conor Cunningham of Nottingham University discusses the history of Christian attitudes to Biblical literalism, arguing that it is legitimate to accept Darwin's theory of evolution and believe in God.
  • On BBC Four:
    • What Darwin Didn't Know, a 90-minute examination of what we have learned since Darwin, presented by Armand Leroi.
    • Darwin's Struggle: The Evolution Of The Origin Of Species, a 60-minute documentary featuring biographers and scientists examining, through Darwin's own private writings, the internal struggle which Darwin went through during the twenty years he took to develop his ideas into a revolutionary book.


  1. ^ a b c BBC Press Pack: The BBC's Darwin Season: marking the life and work of Charles Darwin – introduction
  2. ^ BBC unveils line-up for Darwin season, Broadcast, 3 July 2008
  3. ^ Dear Darwin, BBC Radio 4
  4. ^ Hunting the Beagle, BBC Radio 4
  5. ^ Darwin: My Ancestor, BBC Radio 4
  6. ^ a b c d BBC Press Pack part 2, 21 January 2009

External links[edit]