February 23, 2015

BBC AMERICA Premieres New Natural History Co-Production Wild Alaska March 10th

Part of the most modern nation on Earth, Alaska is a unique wilderness marked by extremes. This series offers a beautiful insight into life in this untamed land.

New York, NY Alaska is huge – a fifth of the size of the US – but with fewer than three-quarters of a million human beings. Instead, it has a phenomenal range of wildlife. Why should such a vast land, part of the most modern nation on earth, still be so untamed and barely trodden, yet full of life? It’s because a unique combination of forces made it, and still dominate it. Narrated by Dougray Scott, this three-part BBC Earth series explores spring, summer and winter, discovering the unique species that have learned to thrive in these harsh conditions. Wild Alaska premieres Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00pm on BBC AMERICA’s Earth Night. TRAILER HERE

Alaska has its head in the Arctic Circle, so the whole land has been shaped by ice-sheets and glaciers, which have made huge rivers and vast lakes.  Its northern position means the most extreme winters on earth – but the size and shape of the land brings heatwaves and wildfires to the interior every summer.  And surrounded on three sides by the sea, it has great coastal storms to the south and a frozen ocean to the north.

All this has created a land of great variety and extremes – but also a wilderness full of life.  All across its face, animals – and people – have adapted to the land, under the influence of the most extreme seasonal variation on earth.

This is a tough landscape, where the human population density is lower than Siberia.  But dotted through the land are small communities where life is unusual – where fearless fishermen go extreme crab-fishing and fire-jumping, and where there’s high-stakes gambling over epic river breakups, and competitions to grow monster vegetables in the endless summer daylight.

Wild Alaska is a BBC AMERICA and BBC co-production, from the BBC Natural History Unit. The executive producer is James Honeyborne. The series come to BBC AMERICA’s Earth Night, after Frozen Planet.


Twitter: @BBCAMERICA Hashtags: #WildAlaska #EarthNight

As spring lights up the land, Alaska faces the greatest transformation on earth. Temperatures soar, and as the sun hits the snow and ice, water, light and warmth return.  Alaska’s transition to spring may look magical, but for those animals emerging from a winter’s sleep, it’s a time of intense competition. And treacherous weather can return to strike at any time…


  • A mother sea otter, trying to get her vulnerable baby through the early, chilly days of spring
  • Black bear cubs, emerging for the first time into a new world of light, but also danger
  • Wake-up time for the Arctic ground squirrels, who have to race against the clock to feed up and breed – in competition with everyone else
  • 50-ton sperm whales stealing fish right from the end of fishermen’s lines, as everything rushes to make the most of the spring bounty of the sea

The few short weeks of an Alaskan summer must sustain the abundant wildlife for the whole year.  No season brings more surprises. There is a predictable wealth of riches – but there is so little time to master the art of survival. And no matter how hot it gets, winter is always just around the corner, and there is so much to do before the sun sets again. Summer is a time of madness, and is not all easy living – forest fires, a Sahara in the Arctic Circle and the very speed of seasonal change remind you how untameable Alaska is, whatever the season.


  • A young caribou calf joining a vast flock on their great migration – and discovering that summer life is not all easy
  • Hummingbirds – surprising visitors from Mexico – looking for something to eat in the world’s biggest temperate rainforests, and not above stealing nectar from other birds
  • A dedicated grower of giant vegetables in Alaska’s 24-hour daylight, taking his 2-ton pumpkin to compete at the Alaska State Fair
  • A huge male moose finding unlikely ways to a woo a female, as summer fades and autumn snows start to fall

The vast mountains, the surrounding oceans and the northerly latitude combine to deliver one of the most extreme winters on the planet. In this wilderness of epic proportions, nowhere are risks greater.  Preparation is everything as winter tightens its grip: how do you cope when the land freezes, storms rage, and finally endless darkness descends? Amidst the raw beauty of an Alaska winter, how does life hang on until the sun returns?


  • Young Polar bears taking tentative steps on ‘bouncy ice’ as the freeze begins and puts them back in their element
  • Flocks of bald eagles, feeding and fighting around a warm spring in the middle of the freeze
  • Crab fishermen risking their lives chasing snow crabs in the deadly Bering Sea
  • The Northern Lights, that fill the sky in the perpetual twilight – but with the promise of a return of Spring


BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. A joint venture between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and AMC Networks, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including four Emmy® Awards, five Golden Globes® and 12 Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in 80 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting or follow us on