Sir David Attenborough's new BBC show recycles footage from Netflix series

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Sir David Attenborough filming at Stokksnes beach in Iceland for Seven Worlds, One Planet (Credit: BBC NHU)

Sir David Attenborough’s new BBC nature series has come under scrutiny for using the same footage as his Netflix show.

The 93-year-old naturalist narrates Our Planet for the streaming network, which debuted in April and shocked viewers with footage of walruses plummeting from a cliff to their death in the Russian Arctic.

New BBC One series, Seven World, One Planet - also voiced by national treasure Sir David - is set to air the same scenes in its upcoming second episode on Sunday evening - revealing they have been chased by polar bears.

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The same tragic footage of the walruses will be shown in both the Netflix and BBC shows (Credit: BBC/NHU)

A BBC spokeswoman said: “It was a shoot share, which isn’t uncommon.

“The BBC sequence reveals a different phenomenon of the natural world that has not been shown on TV before.

“It shows the presence of polar bears spooking the walrus and causing them to fall over the edge of the cliffs.

“It is not uncommon to share filming shoots in natural history and there are only five shared shots out of a total of 60, which can hardly be described as the same footage.”

The heartbreaking scenes show the walruses cautiously moving to the edge of the cliff, before they are shown falling and landing with other lifeless walruses at the bottom. When the footage first aired on Netflix many viewers took to social media to express their upset.

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Both shows blame global warming and melting ice caps for putting the walruses in peril.

BBC series Frozen Planet, also narrated by David Attenborough, came under fire in 2011 when it emerged footage of a polar bear with her newborn cubs purported to be in the wild had in fact been staged in a zoo in Holland.