Dynasties: Discovering the Animal Kingdom

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It took four years to make BBC’s newest five-part documentary, Dynasties, intimately featuring five of the world’s most celebrated and endangered species of the world. Getting up-close and personal with these beings, the show manages to capture not just dramatic milestones in the animal’s life, but also tells the story of politics, battles, alliances, take-overs, rivalries, and family feuds within the animal kingdom.

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Dynasties focuses on never-seen-before detail on one particular family from each species per episode – Emperor penguins in the frozen wastes of Antarctica, chimpanzees on the edge of the Sahara in Senegal, West Africa, lions on the savannahs of Kenya’s Masai Mara, painted wolves on the floodplains of the great Zambezi river in Zimbabwe, and tigers in the jungles of Bandhavgarh, India.

“Making Dynasties was a very rewarding experience. We have taken great care to capture the most intimate and intense stories of these endangered animals, portraying both the immense challenges of leadership in nature and the relentless determination of animals to protect their families. I am very excited to now be able to share this landmark documentary with the Malaysian audience,” said Dr Mike Gunton, Executive Producer of Dynasties and Creative Director, Factual and Natural History, BBC Studios.

“When I spoke to David Attenborough about it, he said I was absolutely mad because it’s so risky, because with this, once you decide on your animal and story, you are going to put all your resources into following these animals for a few years, and if nothing happens, you haven’t got a film so we needed to have the confidence that these would be dramatic and exciting stories, which is also why we chose these 5 animals,” Gunton added.

Picture Shows: Chimpanzee, David. When we start his story, David had been alpha for 3 years – a time when most alphas get deposed in this group.

We were shown a preview of the first episode that featured David, the chimpanzee. Never have we had so much empathy or even had an understanding of these wonderful creatures, until we watched this riveting episode. Suffice to say that we, too, are anxiously waiting for the show to premiere!

“These are the most extraordinary situations and no one gets to see it. You don’t get to tell the full context of their lives and in this case, the drama of their lives,” said Gunton.

Dynasties will premiere exclusively in Malaysia on BBC Earth (unifi TV – channel 501) on Sunday, 11 November at the same time as the UK (8.30pm GMT, 4.30am local time). Unifi TV subscribers can catch the encore telecast on Monday, 12 November at 9.55pm Malaysia time. Fans can also catch Dynasties on BBC Player ( which will be available right after it premieres in the UK. BBC Player is available to all Unifi ultimate pack subscribers and Unifi broadband subscribers for free for 30 days.

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