Animal Super Senses

From Monday 5 October at 20:30

About the show

Beyond the limits of human perception...

Explore the hidden world that animals across the globe can experience.

Our human senses are pretty incredible – but we only see, hear and smell a tiny fraction of what's out there. Explore how animals sense their world in ways far beyond our human capabilities.

Presented by physicist Helen Czerski and biologist Patrick Aryee, each episode of Animal Super Senses focuses on a central theme: sight, sound and scent.

Taking science out of the lab, Helen and Patrick travel five continents, getting up close to some amazing creatures and conducting an array of demonstrations and experiments out in the wild that reveal the amazing super senses of the animal world.

See how a cheetah views the world very differently from us, why the blind golden mole doesn't need eyes to find and capture its prey, and be amazed at the astounding power of a wolverine's nose.

Travel beyond the limits of human perception and prepare to be astounded by the surprising, weird and complex ways that our planet's animals sense the world around them.


Beyond Human

Helen Czerski

Helen Czerski is a physicist, oceanographer and science presenter.

She was brought up in Manchester and her inquisitive nature and passion for the scientific was evident early in life. Helen went on to graduate from Cambridge University in 2001 with a first in Natural Sciences (Physics), followed by a PhD in experimental explosives physics in 2006.

Helen’s continuing fascination with the world of small-scale phenomena led her onto the study of ocean bubble formation and a move to the USA. She spent the next four years working at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and the Graduate School of Oceanography in Rhode Island, before returning back to the UK in 2010 to begin her own research project.

Helen’s research focuses on the optics and acoustics of ocean bubbles, the structure of the bubble plumes caused by breaking waves, and the influence of ocean bubbles on the atmosphere.

Helen has appeared in a number of BBC shows including Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Operation Iceberg and The Secret Life of the Sun. She also writes a regular column in BBC Focus magazine called Everyday Science and was shortlisted for columnist of the year at the 2014 Professional Publishers Association Awards.

Beyond Human

Patrick Aryee

Patrick is a biologist, presenter and wildlife filmmaker.

After studying Cancer Biology at the University of Bristol, Patrick decided to pursue a career in wildlife filmmaking.

This led to him working on a number of prime-time BBC productions including Frozen Planet, Springwatch, and Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild. Patrick has also ventured into children’s programming, producing and directing the CBBC spin-off show Wolfblood Uncovered.

In 2012, Patrick started presenting the BBC’s online strand Zoo La La, a weekly show about weird and wonderful animal facts that launched the new BBC/YouTube platform, Earth Unplugged.

When he isn’t presenting, Patrick is a keen mountain biker and dance choreographer. He’s also a qualified scuba diver.



Keith Davis

Played by David Mitchell

Keith Davis is the recently-arrived British ambassador to Tazbekistan.

This is his third posting as an ambassador and Keith is making steady but not spectacular progress up the career ladder at the Foreign Office.

Keith is highly educated, high-minded and ambitious. He is capable of being both whimsical and forensic, but his innate caution also brings about a tendency towards inaction.


Neil Tilly

Played by Robert Webb

Neil Tilly is the deputy head of mission and the embassy number two. He is fluent in Russian and is an expert on Central Asia.

Neil is in love with Tanya who runs the local bar. She's self-reliant and uncompromising, but also passionate and great fun. To Neil, she represents everything that’s good about Tazbekistan.

Neil is more politically idealistic than some of his colleagues and is an excellent manager of the team, inspiring loyalty at the embassy.

But there’s also something furtive in him...


Jennifer Davis

Played by Keeley Hawes

Jennifer is Keith's wife. She lives in the embassy residence which she says is a bit like "living above the shop".

She helps organise the embassy's endless list of social events – anything from hosting intimate dinners for visiting UK VIPs to showcasing the best of British at large events for local dignitaries.

When she's not organising social events though, Jennifer has her own career as a doctor. She is lucky she can find work in whichever country they are posted in.

The couple have a 13-year-old daughter who is back in the UK at boarding school, which is tough on Jennifer.



Played by Susan Lynch

Caitlin is head of consular affairs and oversees visas, passports and tourists in trouble.

She’s Scottish, tough and streetwise and has low expectations of everyone.



Played by Shivani Ghai

Natalia oversees embassy communication and IT.

She’s a local and is always immaculately dressed compared to the Brits. Her English is really good, if a little ‘learned’.

She loves working with the British, but their cultural foibles and sense of humour sometimes confuses her. But she keeps on trying...



Played by Amara Karan

Political attaché Isabel has recently arrived in Tazbekistan, like Keith.

Her naked ambition and relentless energy sometimes ruffles a few feathers, especially Neil’s.

Isabel doesn’t really care what people think of her and she needs to understand that charm is a big part of successful diplomacy, but she is clever enough to learn from her mistakes.

Get it on...

South African audiences have access to five BBC TV channels: BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC World News.