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The Real T.rex with Chris Packham
This hour-long documentary special follows British naturalist and life-long T. rex enthusiast Chris Packham as he embarks on an international journey to discover the truth behind planet Earth’s most infamous predator: Tyrannosaurus rex.
Documentary, Natural History
BBC 2, CBC Canada, France 5, Cineflix Rights & Discovery Networks

Using the latest groundbreaking paleontological discoveries and cutting edge technology combined with comparative studies of modern animals, we redefine this iconic dinosaur. We debunk centuries of inaccuracy and misrepresentation fuelled by films and gaps in our scientific understanding.

The journey spans the globe. Starting in the badlands of Montana, a T.rex is pulled from the rocks for the first time in sixty six million years. In the swamps of Alabama Dr. Gregory Erickson measures the bite of an alligator to unlock the mysteries of the infamous T.rex bite. Using drone technology, prehistoric trackways in Texas are deciphered providing vital clues about the way T.rex moved and how fast. In Ohio CT scanners provide a portal into the mind of the formidable creature that sheds light on the intelligence, senses and even social side. And in a music studio in Berlin, sounds from the natural world are altered according to the latest research, to give T. rex a voice.

The Hollywood myths are finally stripped away to uncover the astonishing truth about an animal we all thought we knew and loved. Utilising the latest CGI wizardry, the most scientifically accurate T. rex is digitally reconstructed from the bones up for viewers to witness in all its glory.

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Behind the scenes
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  • The Real T.rex was shot in Europe and North America over 6 months
  • World-leading palaeontologists supported and encouraged the reconstruction and revelation
  • Detailed lidar scans of the world’s most complete T. rex skeleton were translated into CGI, forming the basis of our reconstruction. In collaboration with scientists, layer upon layer of detail were added - from muscular locomotion to skin colour and adornment
  • This story was a passion project for Chris Packham, the presenter of the UK version. He grew up obsessed and inspired by T.rex, only to learn everything we thought we knew was wrong. To capture this magic, the team merged drama reconstruction with classic documentary storytelling and magical VFX
  • Extensive geographic research and access to paleontological digs informed T. rex's habitat and behaviours
  • Pioneering sound design gave the T. rex an accurate voice for the first time. Jurassic Park's 'roar' was beautifully but inaccurateley based upon tiger roars and the squeals of a baby elephant. These require physiological, mammalian structures in the voice-box that T.rex simply didn't have. Scientists beleve T.rex's most impactful 'roar' was at the infrasonic levels.- Social media reports from viewers claimed dogs and cats went wild when the T.rex audio was revealed
  • Chris Packham was nominated for a Wildscreen Panda for his performance and delivery
A stomping portrait of the Jurassic Park beastie – The Real T. rex with Chris Packham…its ground shaking enthusiasm was difficult to resist.
…a documentary that fizzed with energy. Even if you thought you’d long grown out of dinosaurs, this was as much fun as watching Jurassic Park for the first time with a barrel of popcorn.
Giants of natural world bring glamour and wonder to T-rex TV…my whole life has been spent waiting for the ultimate Man vs. Beast clash – and last night it arrived…T. rex TV is powerful and fascinating.

Producers: Talesmith & Cineflix
Executive Producers: Martin Williams, Glen Salzmann, Andre Barro
Director: Martin Williams, Mark Everest
Producer and Writer: Ruth Roberts
Edit Producer: Pete Chinn
Director of Photography: Robert Vroom
Editor: Matt Lowe
Associate Producer: Dom Walter

A 66 million year old true story