David Attenborough’s First Life

Published on 6th April 2017 by

A 2010 two part documentary written and presented by David Attenborough, a joint production in association with the BBC in the United Kingdom, ABC in Australia, and the Discovery Channel, in the USA it is known by the alternative title First Life with David Attenborough. In this series he tackles the subject of the origins of life on earth, studying evidence from the earliest found fossils of animals which are believed to suggest that animals first appeared in the oceans 540 million years ago, the result of an event known as the Cambrian explosion.

Attenborough travels to Canada, Australia, and Morroco to study some of the latest fossil discoveries to piece together what life on earth may have been like at that time. Computer generated images are then used to reconstruct and animate the various life forms that we know about because of those fossils. The documentary is split over two episodes, both of which can be watched here on Documentary Vine:

Episode List


A book was authored by Matt Kaplan to accompany the series, with a foreword written by Attenborough himself, David Attenborough’s First Life: A Journey Back In Time with Matt Kaplan. The book is available in hardcover only, it has not been digitalised for Kindle.

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