First episode of Ice Age Giants documentary proves a hit

A new BBC documentary masterminded by a Thame woman proved a big hit with audiences after it aired for the first time on Sunday night.

Mags Lightbody, 38, is the assistant producer of the three-part series, Ice Age Giants, which wowed BBC 2 viewers, of which there is a daily average of 12 million.

CGI experts and some of the best wildlife photographers have joined forces to create the Walking With Dinosaurs-style programme. But many were pleasantly surprised by the mix of current day fossil examination and research to support various theories and the brilliant animation.

Ahead of the first airing, Ms Lightbody said: “It’s been enormously rewarding. For me it’s been two years of my life and it’s the first time I’ve done a CGI show. It’s absolutely fascinating.”

The show, presented by Dr Alice Roberts, recreates the likes of a sabre toothed tiger and woolly mammoth. It explores how they acted and what brought about the Ice Age.

Online ratings saw the show given an average of 8.5/10 by viewers. Review website broadcastnow.co.uk described the show as a ‘classic’ documentary mix.

“It’s a classic BBC2 marriage of accessible, rooted, authentic science from professionals (to make us feel intelligent and like we are learning something), alongside something entertaining and accessible,” says TV critic Lottie Naughton-Rumbo.

“In this case, the entertainment is essentially Ultimate Ice Age Animal Fighting.”

Part two, titled Land of the Cave Bear, airs this coming Sunday when presenter Alice makes her way to Siberia which has been the home of woolly mammoths and rhinoceroses, cave bears and lions as well as early humans and Neanderthals. In Transylvanian caves she discovers evidence of a conflict between two ferocious predators which were later both victims of the deep freeze that hit Europe.

Video: Footage courtesy of BBC. You can watch the full Ice Age Giants episode on the BBC’s iPlayer.