Sky has announced that Sir David Attenborough's Flying Monsters 3D is to be given its first airing on Christmas Day.
Despite sounding like a show that Alan Partridge may have pitched ("Monkey Tennis, Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank, err, Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough") the programme is in fact a 1-hour pioneering feature documentary about the evolution of pterosaurs written and presented by Attenborough himself.
Speaking about the show, when it was first announced earlier this year, the great man said:
"Having learnt my television skills in the days of black and white, and been involved with the introduction of colour, I'm thrilled to be part of one of the first 3D television projects".
"3D is a wonderful way of seeing the world as the pterosaurs did, and it's to Sky's credit that they've taken on the challenge to be the first to broadcast in 3D".
The film took more than 80 people (including a crew of 12 plus Sir David) 9 months to create and was filmed across numerous locations including Germany, New Mexico, France and the UK.
The film has been produced by Anthony Geffen and his company Atlantic Productions (the same team behind Attenborough's First Life) and was directed by Matthew Dyas. It features 3D technology from VFX studio ZOO.
Geffen said that one of the scenes in the film, where Sir David flies in a glider alongside a Quetzalcoatlus, was one of the most complicated sequences ever filmed in 3D. "We shot David in a real glider and later superimposed, using CGI, the biggest pterosaur – a Quetzalcoatlus", he said.
"The idea was to demonstrate the extraordinary scale of the pterosaur, a creature that was longer than a bus and could fly at 75 miles an hour, by setting it beside something from the modern day of the same size that people could relate to".
Flying Monsters 3D will be shown on the Sky 3D channel on Christmas Day and then it will be released theatrically in IMAX cinemas around the world in 2011. It will return to Sky 3D later in the year.