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Exclusive: Channel 4, Discovery partner on Ice Age doc

Warner Bros-owned producer Renegade is making a 90-minute doc on an expansive discovery of Ice Age remains for Channel 4 and Discovery Science – marking one of the first co-productions between the two broadcasters in several years.

The film, which is yet untitled, has been commissioned out of Science Channel in a rare international co-production for the broadcaster, which is now known outside the US as Discovery Science.

Science GM Marc Etkind told TBI that the film follows a group of scientists who have access to the remains of various mammals from the Ice Age, including woolly mammoths, rhinos, wolves, lions and hares, deep in a Siberian cave.

The story is told through the “tusk hunters” who look to sell the ancient mammoths’ ivory tusks, but donate the rest of their findings to science.

The program is also believed to delve into ongoing attempts to clone a mammoth. One of the storylines in the film follows a research lab facility set up close to the cave discovery.

Channel 4’s newly appointed factual boss Danny Horan, who is in Brisbane for this week’s World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, said the production was commissioned before he joined the broadcaster earlier this year, but that it is indicative of the international-focused direction of specialist factual commissioning at C4.

“The show has a Jurassic Park [quality] about it,” he said. “It will genuinely get a very broad and young audience, and that is super important for us.”

TBI understands that the Channel 4 film will feature a different presenter from the US version of the program.

One of the last collaborations between Discovery and Channel 4 was a 2012 episode of Discovery’s Curiosity strand, in which producers deliberately crashed a full-size passenger airplane into the remote desert along the US-Mexico border.

That project was officially a co-production between Discovery and Dragonfly, which was then picked up by Channel 4 and Germany’s ProSieben.