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Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist

  • Premiered: 
    December 6, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Nat Geo
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Biography
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
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Plot Synopsis

DIAN FOSSEY: SECRETS IN THE MIST is a three-part documentary that tells the story of Dian Fossey, who left the United States for Africa in December 1966 and began her gorilla studies soon after. While in the central African nation of Rwanda, Fossey fell in love with the species and dedicated her life to ensuring their survival. She became an international icon and renowned primatologist, all while fighting an endless battle against encroaching gorilla poachers. The fight likely cost Fossey her life, though her murder was never definitively solved.

Using rare and unseen footage of Fossey in her daily habituations and up-close studies of gorillas, this program tells Fossey's life story from her lonely childhood to her work in Rwanda, where she founded the Karisoke Research Center in September 1967 and spent 18 years studying and protecting the mountain gorilla population there. The series details her close friendship with the young gorilla Digit, whose merciless mutilation and decapitation by poachers would deeply affect Fossey, as well as the people who worked by her side, including National Geographic photographer Bob Campbell, with whom she fell in love but who would leave her heartbroken when he returned to civilization and his wife. Fossey was brutally slain in her remote mountain cabin in 1985. The series explores the investigation around her murder and the subsequent trial of McGuire, who was found guilty in absentia by Rwandan courts. McGuire's conviction has long been questioned by those familiar with the circumstances, and now -- with exclusive access to Fossey's belongings and personal effects, including objects from the scene of her murder as well as a rare interview with McGuire himself -- his claims of innocence are given new credence.

Also featured are in-depth interviews with her close colleagues and friends, including gorilla researcher and doctoral student Wayne McGuire and friend Sir David Attenborough. This series is narrated by Sigourney Weaver, who won a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Oscar, for her portrayal of Fossey in the 1988 film GORILLAS IN THE MIST.
On Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 7pm ET/PT, Nat Geo Channel premiered "Murder on the Mountain," the finale of DIAN FOSSEY: SECRETS IN THE MIST. Gorilla researcher Wayne McGuire is found guilty of Dian Fossey's murder after an inept investigation by Rwandan police; McGuire flees the country and is tried and convicted in absentia, living with the consequences of his conviction ever since. Is he truly responsible?


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Tigress Productions


  • - Rwanda