Untouched India

Sony BBC Earth’s new show premiering 22 April discovers wildlife and heritage experience from the Indian hinterland

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Sony BBC Earth showcases a variety of shows—everything from fun science to human stories. Starting 22 April, the channel will air Hidden India—a series that discovers wildlife experiences in the country’s untouched areas. In a phone interview from London, Julian Hector, the show’s executive producer, speaks about the moments that encapsulate this series, such as filming a rare purple frog in the Western Ghats. The shoot happened over three years, wrapping up in 2016, before the controversy about another BBC documentary on the aggressive protection measures at the Kaziranga National Park broke out. Edited excerpts:

Tell us more about the ‘Hidden India’ series. The concept and processes behind it.

We love India. It has the most wonderful interactions between people and the natural world. India has a rich colour palette, deep natural history and symbolism (related to animals) within the people. Hidden India was both embracing that and trying to find those pockets where there is this sort of emptiness. That was the invitation—to find those pockets of natural world which are less seen by audiences.

India is full of extraordinary wildlife. People are quite familiar with the Asiatic rhino, for example, that lives in the North-East. They might have even heard of the lovely Asiatic lion. But your country is also full of interesting reptiles, amphibians and birds. We found ways of cutting down stories and keeping the light and atmosphere that you have in India. That is a lovely projection of India, but perhaps these are stories that people haven’t heard of.

If you think about all the shoots that made up the series, the material was collected over a three-year period. Some of it was specially shot, and other elements were shot for other series but were saved for this series. We also collaborated with a lot of our colleagues at the NHU (the BBC Natural History Unit).

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