The Western Lines

October 22, 2009

The Future Is Wild –Episode One "Welcome to the Future"

Today on Discovery Enterprise we are going to take a voyage into the far future and embark on a zoological odyssey and visit an alien world – our own planet Earth where the Future Is Wild and Darwinian evolution has continued its grand handiwork to sculpt and mould life on Earth into even more fantastical varieties.

Imagine our world some five million, one hundred million and two hundred million years in the future. A world where humans have become extinct and life on Earth can continue to evolve and flourish without interference or the treat of encroachment into its nature habitats from human civilization. A world were Darwinian evolution can continue unabated as it once did before the dawn of humanity. What would that life look like and what kinds of fantastic creatures will be roaming the Earth, flying in its skies and swimming in its seas.

The Future Is Wild was a Canadian 2003 joint Animal Planet/ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany) co-production, which used computer-generated imagery to show the possible future of life on Earth. This television series was released with a companion book written by geologist Dougal Dixon, author of several “anthropologies/zoologies of the future” such as After Man: A Zoology of the Future, in conjunction with natural history television producer John Adams.

Based on research and interviews with dozens of scientists, this documentary was put together to show how life could evolve in the future if Homo sapiens became extinct. The Discovery Channel broadcast softened the harsh outlook by altering the plot line and stating the human race had completely migrated from the Earth and had sent back probes to examine the progress of life on Earth. The show was played out in the form of a nature documentary. For a time in 2005, a theme park based on this program was opened in Japan. In 2008, a special on the Discovery Channel about the development of the video game Spore was combined with airings of The Future Is Wild.

The Future Is Wild –Episode One “Welcome to the Future”

The episode gives a brief summary of the coming episodes. It opens by discussing which animals (such as the big cats and bears) will disappear in a few thousand years and explains that evolution will continue. It is also the only episode to touch upon the absence of humans in the future. It does not, however, explain what happened to the human race. The creators said that it was up to the viewers to make their own assumptions about the fate of mankind (although in the Discovery Channel’s airing of the series, it is stated that humanity migrated to another world and has been sending probes periodically to inspect their former home). It features many clips from later episodes and gives a good overview of the coming episodes.


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