Wild New World
|Wild New World|
Series title card from US broadcast
|Also known as||'Prehistoric America|
|Narrated by||Jack Fortune|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Executive producer(s)||Neil Nightingale|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Production company(s)||BBC Natural History Unit|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Picture format||576i (16:9)|
|Original release||3 October –|
7 November 2002
|Preceded by||Wild Africa|
|Followed by||Wild Down Under|
|[Official website Website]|
Wild New World (also known as Prehistoric America) is a six-part BBC documentary series about Ice Age America that describes the prehistory, landscape and wildlife of the continent from the arrival of humans to the end of the Ice Age. It was first transmitted in the UK on BBC Two from 3 October to 7 November 2002. Like several other BBC programmes, it contains both computer graphics and real-life animals. Occasionally, footage of non-American counterparts of the extinct North American beasts (like the American lion and the American cheetah) are used in juxtaposition with footage of native American animals, like the pronghorn.
Wild New World was co-produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and Discovery Channel. The music was composed by Barnaby Taylor and performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra. The series was narrated by Jack Fortune and produced by Miles Barton.
All episode names were given from BBC website. All broadcast dates refer to the original UK transmission.
Each of the episode consists with the prehistory and wildlife of a particular region in the United States, except for final episode which is about various modern American animals.
|Episode||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Land of the Mammoth"||3 October 2002|
Preserved in the frozen soil of Alaska are clues to an unknown land, where muskoxen and wild horses roarmed alongside woolly mammoths. Enormous American lions harried the families of mammoths, formidable in the defence of their young. The lion were more successful at hunting at bison in the snow but they were no match for the giant short-faced bear.
|2||"Canyonlands"||10 October 2002|
The first people to experience the splendours of the Grand Canyon would have seen a much greener, richer land. Today it is cougar country but then bizarre ground sloths sheltered in the caves and browsed in the canyons alongside Columbian mammoths. Camels were on the menu for both the first people and the impressive sabre-tooth cat (Smilodon).
|3||"Ice Age Oasis"||17 October 2002|
America's Deep South is today a haven for the manatees, alligators and waterbirds which abound in its clear, turquoise springs. But when the Ice Age gripped much of the continent, the south was a warm paradise for the earliest human hunters as well as warmth loving wildlife. Tapirs and capybaras grazed in the swamps, dwarfed by the giant ground sloths which towered above them. Sabre-tooth cats came to face to face with skunks and jaguars stalked armoured glyptodons (Glyptotherium).
|4||"Edge of the Ice"||24 October 2002|
The towering rainforests of the Northwest have a timeless quality, yet when the first humans reached this coast, they witnessed a very different landscape. Open woodlands and Arctic tundra were home to caribou and strange elephant-like mastodons - all potential prey for the scimitar-toothed cat (Homotherium).
|5||"American Serengeti"||31 October 2002|
The vast seas of grass on the Great Plains are home to bison, coyotes and prairie dogs today. But previously the area was an American Serengeti, populated by Columbian mammoths (the largest of all mammoths). Here cheetah hunted pronghorn antelope and lions stalked horses and bison. But the most impressive of all the carnivores was the giant short-faced bear.
|6||"Mammoths to Manhattan"||7 November 2002|
The final episode shows how the megafauna become extinct, and about how modern animals living on the continent have adapted to the increasing human population and development in North America.
The meeting between human and megafauna in North America was a deadly one - most of the large land animals, including all the mammoths and mastodons, horses, camels, giant ground sloths, short-faced bear, and all the big cats (except the cougar) disappeared and the landscape changed dramatically. But some animals learned to flourish in human's environment. Today chimney swifts roost in the towering smokestacks of Portland, kit foxes den in Los Angeles suburbs, moose trample the gardens of Anchorage and red tailed hawks nest in Manhattan.
The show's episodes offer several common themes, the main one being the coming of humans to America via the Ice Age's land bridge and causing the extinction of the North American megafauna featured in the episodes. Another BBC programme, Monsters We Met picks up and elaborates on this topic in greater detail. A more recent Discovery show, Prehistoric (2009/10 show), also features scenic elements of Prehistoric America, such as the present melting away to reveal the past, as well as creatures already shown by the show, like the American mastodon, Arctodus and Columbian mammoth.
- Grand Canyon - From Dinosaurs to Dams Everglades
- To Hell and Back Other: Fact Files Documentary
In United Kingdom, an accompanying hardcover format was written by Miles Barton, Nigel Bean, Stephen Dunleavy, Ian Gray and Adam White, with foreword by D. Bruce Means. It was released on 19 September 2002 and published by BBC Worldwide. (ISBN 0-563-53425-7)
- Ice Age Giants
- The Blue Planet
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Walking with Beasts
- Walking with Monsters
- Walking with Cavemen
- Monsters We Met
- "Three new shows from BBC-Discovery renewal". C21 Media. Retrieved 13 April 2002.
- "BBC and Discovery explore Wild New World". C21 Media. Retrieved 16 September 2002.
- BBC Two - Wild New World, Land of the Mammoth
- BBC Two - Wild New World, Canyonlands
- BBC Two - Wild New World, Ice Age Oasis
- BBC Two - Wild New World, Edge of the Ice
- BBC Two - Wild New World, American Serengeti
- BBC Two - Wild New World, Mammoths to Manhattan
- "Prehistoric America (DVD)". Amazon.com.
- "Wild New World: The Complete Series (DVD)" (in Chinese). Excel Media.
- "Wild New World (Hardback)". Amazon.co.uk.
- "Prehistoric America: A Journey through the Ice Age and Beyond (Books)". Amazon.com.