A 1979 series by the BBC in association with Warner Bros., David Attenborough travels the globe to trace the story of the evolution of life on the planet. The series was divided into 13 episodes, each around 55 minutes in duration. This historical important series was the first in Attenborough’s ‘life’ series of programmes and helped establish Attenborough as an iconic figure in the UK and beyond.
In episode 12 of the series we see his famous encounter with a family of Gorillas who groomed and played with him, a scene which was later voted one of the greatest ever TV moments on the Channel 4 show 100 Greatest TV Moments. We have all 13 episodes available to watch here on Documentary Vine, navigate through them using the numbered tabs beneath the video player or by using the episode list below.
- Episode 1 – The Infinite Variety
- Episode 2 – Building Bodies
- Episode 3 – The First Forests
- Episode 4 – The Swarming Hordes
- Episode 5 – Conquest of the Waters
- Episode 6 – Invasion of the Land
- Episode 7 – Victors of the Dry Land
- Episode 8 – Lords of the Air
- Episode 9 – The Rise of the Mammals
- Episode 10 – Theme and Variations
- Episode 11 – The Hunters and Hunted
- Episode 12 – Life in the Trees
- Episode 13 – The Compulsive Communicator
The accompanying book by David Attenborough, Life on Earth: A Natural History, became a worldwide bestseller and has been reprinted several times since the initial run. The book was initially released only in hardcover format but it later became available in paperback.