A Head-spinning Spectacle with a Serious Message

Sheila Prophet is dazzled by Earls Court’s new BBC Earth Experience

A message from David Attenborough that will stay with you

May 1, 2023

Among people who have already shared Earls Court’s new BBC Earth Experience, the most frequent complaint is the lack of seating.

As you walk into the exhibition’s vast main gallery, you can see why. You are suddenly surrounded by gigantic screens showing animals and landscapes from across the world. Some of these screens show the same scene from different angles, while others have different “storylines”and it is tempting to keep twisting and turning to try to catch them all. Do this standing up and you will soon be dizzy!

Local people have seen The BBC Earth Experience gradually taking shape over the last few months on the wasteland that is the future Earls Court development, created within a temporary building called the Daikin Centre.

The Daikin Centre
The Daikin Centre

The Earth Experience offers a 50 minute long whirlwind tour across the world’s continents, with spectacular footage, music and sounds taken from the BBC series Seven Worlds, One Planet, accompanied of course by narration from Sir David Attenborough.

The aim is to display the vast diversity of our world’s environments, climates and animal inhabitants and so the scenes are constantly shifting, from ice worlds to deserts, from enormous close-ups of cute penguins to fearsome fighting leopard seals, from baby chimps and orangutans to lions and tigers on the hunt.

Get surrounded by lions on the hunt
Get surrounded by lions on the hunt

And while the screens mostly show different scenes, at certain points they switch to one simultaneous view and this is when the exhibition is at its most immersive, as you are completely enveloped in the sights and sounds of rushing waterfalls, dancing fireflies or the endless night sky.

Another beautifully designed feature is the Vista screen, where you stand on a platform with scenery rolling beneath you, giving you the feeling that you are flying over forests, mountains and even an erupting volcano. I was mesmerised and could have stood there for hours.

The vista screen
The vista screen

Apart from the main gallery there are two smaller rooms, both with neat features for children - Micro Life, which includes an “enter if you dare” bug room and Water Life, which has interactive screens allowing you to redirect shoals of fish or underwater bubbles by waving your arms or jumping around. This also proved popular with many of the big kids in our party.

You are able to direct shoals of fish
You are able to direct shoals of fish

The Earth Experience is billed as suitable for the whole family, and there is plenty to keep children entranced, though be warned - there are some all too close up gory scenes showing nature at its rawest.

As well as being a breathtaking visual experience, the exhibition also feels like a tribute to the life and work of Sir David Attenborough and his passionate pleas to protect the planet and everything living within.

You leave the main gallery along a corridor lined with photos of location filming. Then as we turned a corner, there were audible gasps at the sight of a stunning 3D globe suspended among the stars.

Below it spelled out the great man’s words, how we must make changes to protect the planet and make it safe “for all of us”.

The BBC Earth Experience isn’t cheap, with tickets priced at £28.50 for adults and £15 for children, so obviously it isn’t for everyone. However, as it will be open in Earls Court for the next two years, there will hopefully be moves in future to make it more universally accessible.

For those planning a visit, you can expect a jaw dropping, head spinning spectacle - and a message from Sir David that will stay with you.

Find out more on the venue’s web site.


Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.