Eyewitness (British TV series)

(Redirected from Eyewitness (1994 TV series))

Eyewitness is a British nature and science television series produced by the BBC and DK Vision.[1] The series is based on the bestselling series of Eyewitness Books by Dorling Kindersley, which still continues to this day. Guy Michelmore composed the series` opening and ending themes, as well as the score for each individual episode of Season 1, with Guy Dagul writing the score for each individual episode of Seasons 2 and 3, respectively. Dagul`s scores for season 3 also incorporated stock music tracks and cues by Dick DeBenedictis.

Created byJill Matthews
Narrated byAndrew Sachs (Seasons 1–3, UK, Season 3, US)
Martin Sheen (Seasons 1–2, US)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39 + 3 specials
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesBBC Worldwide Americas (Seasons 2–3)
BBC Lionheart Television (Season 1)
Dorling Kindersley
DK Vision
Cafe Productions
(Season 2)
BBC Scienceworld
(Season 3)
Original networkBBC (UK)
Original release8 August 1994 (1994-08-08) –
8 December 1997 (1997-12-08)


Eyewitness, like most other shows of its kind, is a documentary series. Each half-hour episode focuses on a single subject in the field of natural science, such as the Solar System or the various functions of the human body, similar in form to the book series on which it was based, with most being based, in part or in whole, off of existing book titles at the time, with few exceptions(though some titles, such as Planets and Natural Disaster, the series finale, started off as episodes and were made into books years later.) Combining fact with fiction, the series takes place in the fictional Eyewitness Museum", a CGI science museum made to replicate, enhance, and expand upon the much-imitated white and empty signature visual style of the books that made them so successful in the first place. Various galleries within the museum are always featured and change constantly with each season and episode and stock footage, which is usually seen through large windows or other depressions in the walls of the museum is also shown regularly. The original book series has ben renowned for its striking visual style involving objects specially photographed against a plain white background, and the accompanying TV series brings this to life through video and audio. In addition, almost every episode features a "Hero". The Hero is an animal, character, or object which drives the action of the episode and is continually referred back to throughout. These include the rooster-shaped weathervane from Weather, Legs the claymation Tyrannosaurus from Dinosaur, the shape-shifting paper boat from Pond and River, the hyena from Monster, the salmon from Fish, the crab from Seashore, the cockroach from Prehistoric Life, the robotic human mime artist from Human Machine, Smedley the living human skeleton from Skeleton, Connell from Dog and the husky and King Penguin from Arctic and Antarctic.

The original British version of the series was narrated by the late Andrew Sachs for its entire run, while the US version was narrated by Martin Sheen for the first two seasons. However, Sachs took over narrating both versions (with separate accents provided for each country) for the third and final season. The series producer was Bill Butt for the first season, Briget Sneyd and sometimes Richard Thomson whenever Sneyd had to serve as editor for the second season, and Martin Mortimore for the third season.

In the US, the series aired in primetime on PBS nationwide. When the series was released onto VHS following the original run of each season, the US version of episodes from the first two seasons featured brief behind-the-scenes "making of" clips, each lasting five minutes after the main program, with the UK version having this feature for episodes of the third and final season. In 2003 and 2004, eight episodes of the program were released onto "interactive DVDs" that featured interactive links to brief clips from other episodes of the series during the main program. The UK narration was kept in the American releases of these interactive DVDs, which were distributed by the Library Video Company through its Schlessinger Media division. A few years later, continuing well into the early 2010’s, a larger number of episodes were released onto DVD in the US. The US narration was included on these releases, as well as the first special as a bonus feature.

There are also four Eyewitness Virtual Reality software titles based on the series: "Cat", "Bird", "Dinosaur Hunter", and "Earth Quest". One of these, "Shark", although seen on the elevator console, was never made.

Eyewitness has also been dubbed into other languages for broadcast internationally, including Spanish, French, German, Russian, Indonesian, and Finnish, among others.


Season 1 (1994)Edit

No. Title Original air date
1"Cat"8 August 1994 (1994-08-08)
Discusses cats, both wild and domestic.
2"Fish"15 August 1994 (1994-08-15)
Discusses fish.
3"Horse"22 August 1994 (1994-08-22)
Discusses horses and their wild relatives.
4"Dog"29 August 1994 (1994-08-29)
Discusses dogs and their wild relatives and ancestors.
5"Jungle"5 September 1994 (1994-09-05)
Discusses rainforests.
6"Bird"12 September 1994 (1994-09-12)
Discusses birds.
7"Amphibian"19 September 1994 (1994-09-19)
Discusses amphibians.
8"Insect"26 September 1994 (1994-09-26)
Discusses insects.
9"Shark"3 October 1994 (1994-10-03)
Discusses sharks and their relatives, rays and skates.
10"Elephant"10 October 1994 (1994-10-10)
Discusses elephants.
11"Reptile"17 October 1994 (1994-10-17)
Discusses reptiles.
12"Dinosaur"24 October 1994 (1994-10-24)
Discusses dinosaurs.
13"Skeleton"31 October 1994 (1994-10-31)
Discusses the skeletal system and how it varies in different species, including humans.

Season 2 (1996)Edit

No. Title Original air date
1"Desert"16 September 1996 (1996-09-16)
Discusses deserts.
2"Tree"23 September 1996 (1996-09-23)
Discusses trees.
3"Ape"30 September 1996 (1996-09-30)
Discusses non-human primates.
4"Mammal"7 October 1996 (1996-10-07)
Discusses mammals.
5"Butterfly and Moth"14 October 1996 (1996-10-14)
Discusses butterflies and moths.
6"Volcano"21 October 1996 (1996-10-21)
Discusses volcanoes and earthquakes.
7"Rock and Mineral"28 October 1996 (1996-10-28)
Discusses geology.
8"Seashore"4 November 1996 (1996-11-04)
Discusses the intertidal zone.
9"Pond and River"11 November 1996 (1996-11-11)
Discusses rivers and ponds.
10"Weather"18 November 1996 (1996-11-18)
Discusses weather.
11"Arctic and Antarctic"25 November 1996 (1996-11-25)
Discusses the Earth`s polar regions.
12"Prehistoric Life"2 December 1996 (1996-12-02)
Discusses the origin and evolution of life on Earth, from the earliest microbes to the appearance of modern humans.
13"Shell"9 December 1996 (1996-12-09)
Discusses shells.

Season 3 (1997)Edit

No. Title Original air date
1"Flight"15 September 1997 (1997-09-15)
Discusses the history and properties of flight-both in nature and in human civilization, past, present and future.
2"Bear"22 September 1997 (1997-09-22)
Discusses bears.
3"Sight"29 September 1997 (1997-09-29)
Discusses the world of vision.
4"Island"6 October 1997 (1997-10-06)
Discusses islands.
5"Survival"13 October 1997 (1997-10-13)
Discusses how animals survive in the natural world.
6"Mountain"20 October 1997 (1997-10-20)
Discusses mountains.
7"Monster"27 October 1997 (1997-10-27)
Discusses both mythical and real-life monsters.
8"Human Machine"3 November 1997 (1997-11-03)
Discusses the human body.
9"Plant"10 November 1997 (1997-11-10)
Discusses plants.
10"Ocean"17 November 1997 (1997-11-17)
Discusses oceans.
11"Planets"24 November 1997 (1997-11-24)
Discusses the planets and other objects in our Solar System, as well as their study and exploration, past present, and future.
12"Life"1 December 1997 (1997-12-01)
Discusses biology.
13"Natural Disasters"8 December 1997 (1997-12-08)
Discusses natural disasters-earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, avalanches, drought, wildfires, and asteroid impacts.


  1. The Making of Eyewitness - November 7, 1994 (US only)
  2. The Making of Eyewitness 2 - December 16, 1996 (US only)
  3. The Making of Eyewitness 3 - December 15, 1997 (UK only)


It has won several awards, including at least two Emmys:


  1. ^ "History of DK". DK. Archived from the original on 7 February 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2008.

External linksEdit