Sir David Attenborough will present a new documentary on natural history for Netflix, in the latest example of the streaming company that surrounds the BBC territory.
The 92-year-old broadcaster has been synonymous with producing the BBC's natural history for decades, but will now provide voiceover for the eight-part series of Netflix, Our Planet, which will be released in April.
"Our planet will take viewers on a spectacular journey of discovery that shows the beauty and fragility of our natural world," said Attenborough while the series was announced on Thursday. "Today we have become the biggest threat to the health of our home, but there is still time for us to meet the challenges we have created if we act now.We need the world pay attention."
The program is produced by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, who previously worked with Attenborough on BBC projects such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet. Unusually, their Netflix series was produced in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which allowed access to filming locations and provided advice.
Colin Butfield of WWF, who was the executive producer of the project, said: "I've never seen a series of natural stories combining real things you've never seen before, but that always has a really fantastic narrative in every episode. it's not a sermon at all, it's a spectacular mass spectacle, but in the end you're absolutely aware of the challenge of climate change and overfishing and deforestation. "
Our planet was initially announced without the involvement of Attenborough in 2015 and the team spent four years touring in 50 countries around the world, with over 600 crew members.
Last year the BBC aired Blue Planet II, flanked by Attenborough. It was the most watched television program of the year in the UK and was a global success and stimulated a re-evaluation of the impact of the use of plastics on the oceans.
Butfield said Netflix would make our planet available the same day all over the world – something that is impossible to achieve with traditional TV channels – in an attempt to influence governments. The series will only be available for paying subscribers.
"I can not think of a better platform that will reach so many people at the same time," he said. "This is all about having that global moment, it's hard to get a program on many national broadcasters at the same time, whether it's London or Delhi or Rio or Washington, we want it at exactly the same time."
He said that other materials produced together with each episode would be made available free online. "Our reason is educational and [improving] public understanding of the natural world. [It] it's telling a much bigger and deeper story about the state of the planet and how nature can recover. "
Our planet represents a huge financial investment for Netflix, given the substantial cost of producing natural history films. The BBC has collaborated with TV channels around the world to share production costs, although it is likely to end up fighting with deep online rivals for future series.
Attenborough is not cutting his ties with the BBC, and his new five-part series Dynasties, for which he has been involved in filming on location, will start on BBC One this Sunday.