ben lawrie / DIRECTOR
Documentaries for Brands & Broadcasters
extreme mountain challenge
2x60' BBC2 / BBC Worldwide, TX 2016
3x60' BBC1 / BBC Worldwide, TX 2017
In the vastness of the Pacific lies the Galapagos archipelego - a biological wonderland and one of the greatest treasures of the natural world.
Liz Bonnin and a team of international experts have assembled for one of the most ambitious scientific expeditions ever attempted in the Galapagos, a magical set of islands that are often described as nature’s biggest experiment.
Evolution has proceeded at an extraordinary pace in the Galapagos. But these islands are now under threat as our climate changes faster than ever before. For six weeks, the dedicated team travelled 1,000 km around the archipelago, embarking on a series of challenging missions to carry out important research that will help protect these islands and their inhabitants.
From scaling down volcanic caves to diving 1km in the ocean, the team reveal fascinating insights into this beautiful archipelago. The discoveries they make will inform research for decades to come and will help unlock not just the secrets of these extraordinary islands and their unique wildlife, but our entire planet.
Utilising advanced filming techniques and cutting-edge graphics, this series provides a unique window into one of the world’s most important habitats and its remarkable wildlife, including iconic giant tortoises, playful sea lions and extraordinary pink iguanas.
"Once in a lifetime. Voyage of discovery. Dive into the unknown. These are the clichés uttered in the opening seconds of Galapagos but, for once, they could hardly be deemed hyperbole. Galapagos is smart stuff… genuinely astonishing… fascinating."
"The deep-water exploration was hypnotic. The whole of the first programme could have been devoted to this adventure alone. Remarkable three-part series."
"Liz Bonnin is the lucky presenter who gets to see spectacular and rare creatures, including the pink iguana, in this beautiful series. Stunning. Fans missing Planet Earth should definitely tune in."
"It’s a voyage that takes in oceans, volcanoes and hidden caves, full of spectacular natural wonders. The perfect fix for anyone left wanting more by Planet Earth II… packed with stunning views and finds… Galapagos is a must-watch."
"Not many of us will go on a proper scientific expedition to the Galapagos islands, but this is probably the next best thing… it’s glorious. The footage, taken with blue light, of a coral reef is breath-taking, while the sight of giant tortoises lumbering through vegetation is both charming and magisterial. We also join Bonnin as she descends into a 100-metre deep volcanic chamber – it’s absolutely spectacular. There is one shot in this week’s programme that is worth the price of admission on its own: a large, magical school of hammerhead sharks seen from below. Beautiful."
"Watching this often felt like an episode of early Star Trek, with a shipful of space-age equipment on a mission to explore strange, new worlds. The highlight of last night’s episode (and possibly of Liz Bonnin’s life) was a breath-taking submarine journey into the deep-sea darkness, a place less mapped than the moon. The surface was no less jaw-dropping, though, especially the encounter with the marine iguanas, fierce salt-spraying aquatic foragers, whom Darwin christened “the imps of darkness”.
"There were moments of beauty and moments of scientific insight, and often they were the same moments."
"This is a worthy addition to the cannon of Galapagos docs."