BBC Earth Blasts Off Into Free Preview With Exclusive North American Premiere Of Astronauts: Toughtest Job In The Universe, Starring Renowed Canadian Astronauts Chris Hadfield

By October 3, 2017Press Releases

National Free Preview gives viewers across Canada access to brand new
BBC Earth programming beginning October 9

Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe, starring Chris Hadfield, premieres Sunday, October 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe starring Chris Hadfield premieres on BBC Earth on Sunday, October 15 during the channel’s eight-week free preview.


Toronto, ON (October 4, 2017) BBC Earth is offering Canadians a two-month free preview, packed with a slate of brand new original BBC-produced series, including the exclusive North American premiere of Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe, starring renowned Canadian astronaut and former Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, premiering on Sunday, October 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The free preview will kick off on Monday, October 9 and treat BBC Earth fans to a bevy of new and exclusive Canadian premieres that connect viewers to the awe-inspiring programming ranging from the scientific wonders of the human body to the fascination of space.

“Since launching BBC Earth in Canada earlier this year, we have brought viewers across the country access to the BBC’s greatest natural history experts and most iconic programming including Planet Earth II and Human Universe, said Jamie Schouela, EVP, Canadian Media, Blue Ant Media. “We’ve packed our free preview event with a fresh slate of highly anticipated new series, one of which gives fans a chance to get to join Chris Hadfield for an inside look at what it takes to become an astronaut.”

New series and specials:

Astronauts: Toughest Job in the Universe (North American Premiere) launches Sunday, October 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Chris Hadfield stars in this six-part, hour-long documentary series that follows 12 ordinary people as they take on a demanding training regime usually reserved for real-life astronaut candidates. Life in space is extreme, isolated and unforgiving and surviving it requires extraordinary physical and mental strength. From piloting skills to life-and-death decisions, the intense training program pushes the candidates bodies, minds and emotions to the limit. They take on a simulated space launch in a centrifuge, go through a simulation of what it’s like to escape a capsule landing on Earth following a journey in space, fly a helicopter and experience weightlessness on board the infamous vomit comet all while being assessed by a former NASA medical research doctor, a psychologist and legendary astronaut, Chris Hadfield, former Commander of the International Space Station. With six intense weeks of punishing physical challenges and tough mental battles to overcome, just one candidate will be selected as the winner and will receive the ultimate reference– a recommendation from Chris to join a space program as a civilian recruit.

The World’s Most Extraordinary People (Canadian Premiere) launches on Monday, October 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
What is it like to have a face that doesn’t fit in? This is a story of extraordinary people; people whose biggest obstacle in life is the body they were born with. In a world bombarded with images of perfection, this film follows the personal journeys of individuals affected by Goldenhar syndrome, which results in facial deformity; NF1, which produces deforming growths that can distort the body and face; and Prader Willi, which causes such an insatiable appetite that even pet food can seem tempting. It examines how these conditions affect their victims and their families and considers what the future holds for them in a world that tends to judge by appearance.

Meet the Humans (Canadian Premiere) launches Wednesday, October 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
This bold new six-part, one-hour series puts human behaviour under the microscope. A plush country house is rigged with surveillance cameras and a group of unwitting test subjects invited to take part in various group activities, from a flirty singles night to an awkward team building weekend. From inside a secret observational room, presenter MIchael Mosley and experts analyse the contributors’ every move. Stooges are thrown into the mix to manipulate the action and the latest scientific studies are used to explore the evolutionary factors and animal instincts that drive human behaviour.

Steve Backshall’s Extreme River Challenge (Canadian Premiere) launches Friday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
The remote Indonesian province of Papua is home to the Baliem River, a wild waterway of epic rapids. No one has ever dared navigate the full length of the river, until now. In a world first, Steve Backshall takes on the toughest challenge of his career: a complete descent of the Baliem. Along the journey, Steve infiltrates a notorious cannibal tribe, attempts to trap one of the world’s biggest saltwater crocodiles and searches for the beautiful and elusive birds-of-paradise. This is extreme nature – an adrenalised adventure where anything could happen. No outside support. No shortcuts. No limits.

Tribal Bootcamp (Canadian Premiere) launches on Friday, October 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Stand-up comedian Joel Dommett and his friend, comic Nish Kumar, visit six diverse communities who live highly active lifestyles based on ancient forms of exercise. Joel wants to see if he can keep up. Nish is just in it for the culture and the cooking. The friends visit Maasai warriors in Africa, Tagbanua in the Philippines, the Xavante tribe in the Brazilian rainforest, Shaolin monks and more. Finally, Joel takes on a specially-devised challenge. Is Joel fitter than a Maasai warrior? We’re about to find out.

Africa (Canadian Premiere) launches on Sunday, October 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
In this blockbuster, the BBC’s Natural History Unit reveals Africa as you’ve never seen it before. This is a journey through five diverse regions of an amazing continent, taking you seamlessly from the wild terrain of extraordinary landscapes to intimate encounters with its mesmerising creatures. From the beauty and serenity of the soaring Atlas Mountains to the Cape of Good Hope, from the brooding jungles of the Congo to the raging Atlantic Ocean: experience unexplored rainforests, never-before-filmed mountain ranges and even snow-covered desert. As the dynamic tension between wilderness and wildlife plays out, the drama, beauty and power of this majestic land is revealed: prehistoric-looking shoebills fight for ascendancy, plucky lizards playfully hunt for food on the backs of lions and giraffes engage in ferocious battles. Each episode promises intimate, eye-to-eye encounters with extraordinary wildlife, ventures into genuinely unexplored places, capturing never-seen-before behaviour, even of the most familiar wildlife.

BBC Earth seeks to inspire you by sharing the incredible wonders of our universe. It will take you on a thrilling journey of discovery, from the smallest creature under the microscope to the limitless expanses of space. BBC Earth will bring you face to face with heart pounding action, mind blowing ideas and the wonder of being human. In Canada, BBC Earth is owned and operated by Blue Ant Media in partnership with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC. Follow us on Twitter

Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator. From our production houses around the world, we create content for multiple genres including factual, factual entertainment, short-form digital series and kids programming. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a catalogue of 2,300+ hours of content, including the largest 4K natural history offering on the market. Blue Ant Media’s international channel business offers a portfolio of media brands such as Love Nature (International), ZooMoo Networks (International), Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada) and HGTV (New Zealand). Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with operations in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Sydney, Beijing and Taipei.

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