Our planet is unique. It’s an extraordinary piece of engineering over four and a half billion years old. Now in a two-part series for BBC One, Richard Hammond embarks on a fascinating journey to the centre of the planet to investigate how the earth’s machine dominates the modern world around us.
Using state of the art technology, Richard Hammond’s Journey To The Centre Of The Planet lifts the lid on planet earth, peeling back the layers to reveal a machine more complex than anything else in the solar system. A giant 3D virtual earth brings together the latest scientific information from across the world – satellite maps, and sonar and radar images – to show us what’s happening beneath our feet in a way we’ve never seen before.
Richard Hammond says: “In making this show I learned that our planet is far, far from being an inert lump of rock that we live on; it has a vital, dynamic role to play in defining and enabling our existence. People talk about going on a ‘journey’ in TV shows: well this has to be the ultimate such journey, not only across and around our world but deep into it. It’s a journey that changed the way I think about the earth beneath our feet and I hope it does the same for the BBC One audience.”
Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioner of Science and Natural History, says: “Science is at the heart of everyday life – and the way our planet works affects every aspect of the modern world around us. There’s more scientific data than ever before that allows us to strip away the planets layers and explore the forces at work deep below. We’ve harnessed that data, together with Richard’s passion for the subject and stunning CGI to bring the subject to life for BBC One audiences.”
Viewed from space the surface of our planet appears solid and unchanging – but every day there are at least 50 big earthquakes and 12 powerful volcanic eruptions all over the world. Travelling across the globe, Richard witnesses this extraordinary machine in action, exploring how an enormous energy source buried thousands of miles within the planet affects every second of every day of our lives.
Along the way, Richard takes the plunge in Iceland, in a stunning dive between two continents that stand only three metres apart; travels into the abyss off the coast of California on a deep sea voyage and sets eyes on bioluminescent deep sea creatures in the depths of Monteray Bay Canyon.