A controversial decision last month by the Discovery Channel to forego airing its new nature series collaboration with the BBC in its entirety appears to have been resolved.
"Frozen Planet", the the newest high-budget series chronicling the amazing wildlife and nature found in earth's polar regions, recently debuted in the UK to rave reviews and record-breaking ratings. While audiences there were treated to the series' full seven episodes, the BBC made the unusual decision to sell the program worldwide without the final one titled "On Thin Ice"; dealing specifically with climate change.
The Discovery Channel was initially game to go along with the subtraction - saying that "scheduling conflicts" and the series light addressing of climate change in other episodes was good enough. Environmentalists, however, cried foul - saying that the BBC was allowing network's to censure the issue and that outlets like Discovery were giving in to climate change skeptics.
“It’s a bit like pressing the stop button on Titanic just as the iceberg appears," said one Greenpeace rep. "Climate change is the most important part of the polar story, the warming in the Arctic can’t be denied, it’s changing the environment there in ways that are making experts fearful for the future.”
Yesterday, the Discovery Channel backpedaled on their decision, announcing that the network would run the full seven episodes starting in March 2012.
According to the AP, Discovery and TLC networks head Eileen O'Neill called the series remarkable "because it's so surprising. You see sequences that have never been captured on film before—a world you would expect to see in a 'Narnia' film, not on this planet."
She adds, "You see an environment that's changing, if not disappearing, in our generation."
David Attenborough, the legendary naturalist who narrates the UK version of "Frozen Planet", will also personally host the seventh episode. In speaking at a hearing of The House of Lords, he saw no reason for any controversy to have erupted over "On This Ice".
“I don’t believe it’s controversial, the only controversial element in climate change is to what degree it’s anthropocentric, what degree humans have been responsible, but the facts of climate change are scientifically established facts and I don’t think we go beyond that."
Frozen Planet airs on the Discovery Channel starting March 18th.