Life is a nature documentary series made for BBC television, first broadcast on BBC One and BBC HD from October to December 2009. The series takes a global view of the specialized strategies and extreme behavior that living things have evolved in order to survive; what Charles Darwin termed “the struggle for existence”. Four years in the making, the series has been shot entirely in high definition.
The UK broadcast of Life consists of ten 50-minute episodes. The opening programme gives a general introduction to the series, a second looks at plants and the remainder are dedicated to the major animal groups. They aim to show common features that have contributed to the success of each group, and to document intimate and dramatic moments in the lives of selected species chosen for their charisma or their extraordinary behavior. A ten-minute making-of feature Life on Location airs at the end of each episode, taking the total running time to 60 minutes.
Life is produced by the BBC Natural History Unit in association with the Discovery Channel, Skai TV and the Open University. The original script, used in the British and Canadian versions of the series, was written and narrated by David Attenborough. In the USA, the series was shown in an 11-part run beginning in March 2010, with narration by Oprah Winfrey.
The series is marketed internationally under the BBC Earth brand and is distributed by BBC Worldwide. It has already been acquired by several Latin American broadcasters and by Discovery Channel Canada, where it made its North American premiere on 15 November 2009.