Titanic director James Cameron will head back underwater for a new National Geographic series made by the natural history unit at BBC Studios.
The six-part series, with a working title Mission OceanX, will use “the most cutting-edge combined exploration and media vessel ever built” to take audiences to the farthest frontiers of the world’s oceans, seeking to capture marine life never seen before.
It will follow the exploration vessel Alucia2 on her maiden voyage of exploration with a team of filmmakers and scientists, who are hoping to uncover the ocean’s greatest secrets by exploring the darkest recesses of the seas, many inaccessible until now.
The former oil survey ship will be specially equipped with its own helicopter, two manned submersibles and a deep-diving robot and new discoveries will be examined in the ship’s state-of-the-art dry and wet marine laboratories while an on-board media studio will bring them to screens.
The original Alucia research vessel was used by production company OceanX Media in the BBC’s landmark series Blue Planet II.
Cameron has already completed a record-breaking dive to the deepest place in the ocean, the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, and made scores of trips down to the Titanic while making the 1997 blockbuster.
He said: “National Geographic is a global leader in scientific exploration and adventure, revealing the wonders of the ocean and the significant challenges that are part of ocean exploration.
“In Mission OceanX, we’ll take viewers on an unparalleled ocean journey on the Alucia2, introducing them to the trials and tribulations of ocean discovery in real-time and the principled, passionate people behind them.
“We’ll tell a visually spectacular and dramatic story—a story that inspires the next generation of explorers and adventurers committed to protecting and preserving our oceans.”
Julian Hector, head of the natural history unit at BBC Studios, said: “Discovering and telling the stories of inhabitants hidden beneath the waves and sometimes in mind-boggling depths of water raises huge filming challenges.
“Not only does this truly one-of-a-kind ground-breaking ocean exploration take us to the boundary of what is possible to film, we will define new boundaries.
“With OceanX Media, we’ve already had a tremendous history in capturing the most visually spectacular views of our oceans and by working with impeccable storytellers like James Cameron and National Geographic, we hope to tell the stories of the people behind the remarkable scientific discoveries and capture their trials and tribulations in the moment.”
Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic Global Television Networks added: “Along with our partners, we hope that Mission OceanX will not only entertain, but also spark curiosity, help solve big problems and push the boundaries of what we already know about our oceans.”