Pernel Media, the Paris-based production company behind After The Asteroid, is preparing a one-off doc exploring the origins of mammals having secured access to a recent discovery in South Africa’s Karoo Basin.
The 1 x 90-minute film will explore the work of paleontologists Bruce Rubidge and Julien Benoit, who in 2023 unearthed the oldest known deposits of therapsids – giant reptiles – that date back 268 million years.
The fossils are believed to represent the oldest mammalian ancestors ever found and the paleontologists claim they prove that mammalian ancestors were the rulers of the Earth long before dinosaurs.
The film, which will be directed by Thomas Cirotteau and co-written with Eric Pincas (After The Asteroid), will track the excavation and research process, using CGI and VFX to bring back to life the extinct creatures and illustrate the evolution of mammals.
Céline Payot Lehmann, executive producer, said: “It’s not often that we come across paleontologist endeavors of such scientific significance, and we take great pride in having secured an exclusive access to this story.”
The doc marks Pernel’s latest foray into paleontological expeditions, following After The Asteroid for France Télévisions, NHK Ushuaïa TV and Banijay.
The company’s slate also includes Rise And Fall Of The Maya for National Geographic, ZDF, Histoire TV, RMC Découvertes, TV5 Quebec and Banijay Rights, as well as Canal+ show Ancient Megastructures and The Real War Of Thrones: A History Of Europe for France Télévisions, RTBF, TV5 Quebec and History UK.