Natural History Museum

Fantastic Beasts BBC series to bring Natural History Museum a huge engagement boost?

Article: David Styles | Image: © Lucie Goodayle/NHM Photo Unit

A partnership has been established between the Natural History Museum, BBC Studios Natural History Unit and Warner Bros to jointly deliver a new major exhibition and BBC One series presented by Stephen Fry.

Opening in spring 2020 at the Natural History Museum, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature will simultaneously showcase creatures from the natural world and those from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s successful spin-off franchise.

Cited as the Museum’s “most ambitious exhibition to date”, the hybrid show will take over the site’s Waterhouse Gallery, with digital installations designed to bring the fictional elements of the show to life expected to be popular with visitors.

The complementary BBC One programme – which will bear the same name as the exhibition – will explore the origins of mythical creatures and assess their connections with animals roaming the planet today.

Drawing parallels between specimens in the Natural History Museum collection and the worlds of mythology and literature, the series will open up many of the institution’s objects to huge new audiences. The programme will also go behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum, offering up a glimpse of the organisation which many people in the sector will never have seen.

“Bringing characters from the wizarding world together with some of the most fantastic creatures from the natural world will produce a captivating experience that will show how the natural world has inspired legends and stories that have enthralled generations,” noted Clare Matterson CBE, executive director of engagement at the Natural History Museum.

The newly formed partnership will be aiming to harness the heightened global awareness around protecting the natural world and the strong commercial interest in the Fantastic Beasts series.