Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

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Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives
Box cover for the 2004 DVD release
2004 DVD box cover by 2 Entertain
Also known as 'Kadonneen elämän jäljillä (Finland)
Genre Documentary television
Written by David Attenborough
Presented by David Attenborough
Theme music composer Terry Oldfield
Composer(s) Terry Oldfield
Country of origin England
Original language(s) English, Spanish
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 4
Executive producer(s) Mike Salisbury
Cinematography Graham Frake
Editor(s) Colin Cradock
Camera setup Stephen Bolwell, Jim Harris
Production company(s) BBC Bristol, TBS
Distributor BBC (TV), 2 Entertain (DVD)
Original network BBC Two
Original release 23 April – 14 May 1989
Preceded by The First Eden (1987)
Followed by The Trials of Life (1990)
External links
BBC Two Programmes – Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002wq9b

Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives is a four-part BBC documentary series concerning the discovery of fossils. It is written and presented by David Attenborough, produced by Mike Salisbury, and was originally broadcast in April 1989. It was made in between the second and third instalments of Attenborough's "Life" series: The Living Planet and The Trials of Life, respectively. The study of rocks and their ancient secrets was something of a boyhood passion for David Attenborough. In these programmes, his enthusiasm for the subject is undiminished. With the help of expert palaeontologists, fossil hunters and (for the time) modern animation techniques, Attenborough attempts to show how life evolved in Earth's distant past. To do so, he travels the globe to visit the world's most famous fossil sites.


2 Entertain published the series on DVD (catalog number BBCDVD1466) on 27 September 2004.

List of episodes[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Magic in the Rocks" 23 April 1989 (1989-04-23)

A picture of prehistoric life emerges, as Attenborough unearths several major clues in the form of fossilised remains that were undiscovered for millennia.

2 "Putting Flesh on Bone" 30 April 1989 (1989-04-30)

Attenborough explores vanished lives of prehistoric creatures and using the latest evidence, scientists reconstruct a pterodactyl in the form of a model aircraft — to see if such a beast could indeed have flown.

3 "Dinosaur" 7 May 1989 (1989-05-07)

Attenborough visits several museums of natural history. With the aid of dinosaur skeletons, he demonstrates how they existed in real life, and speculates about the reasons for their sudden demise.

4 "The Rare Glimpses" 14 May 1989 (1989-05-14)

Four famous locations that have the most suitable conditions for fossilisation are explored. Not only are common animals preserved, but also plants and other, seldom-seen creatures.

External links[edit]