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The Polar Bear Family & Me

The Polar Bear Family & Me

  • Premiered: 
    January 7, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: BBC2
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    2nd series in the BEAR FAMILY & ME franchise, following The Bear Family and Me 
  • Subject Matter: Animal
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Plot Synopsis

THE POLAR BEAR FAMILY & ME is a one-hour docuseries that follows wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan as he chronicles the life a wild polar bear family over three seasons in Svalbard. The series opens with Gordon and arctic survival experts traveling by boat to far-flung Svalbard. They manage to find a polar bear birth den and meet mother Lyra and her cubs Miki and Luca as they emerge from their den. Little is known about the family life of polar bears because nobody has been able to follow them this closely before. Gordon helps scientists fit Lyra with a tracking collar and takes on the mission of living with this remarkable bear family. To help him observe the polar bears, Gordon tests a 'bear-proof' filming hide -- the 'Ice Cube' -- and gets closer to polar bears than anyone has ever done before. Then, in the second episode, Gordon and the team return to Svalbard in mid-June on the trail of Lyra and her cubs Miki and Luca. Gordon works with scientists to try to understand how his polar bear family are surviving the unusual arctic weather. He finds Lyra and renews his bond with her, but discovers that cub Luca is missing. Lyra is devoted to her remaining cub Miki, but his future is also uncertain. Gordon documents the intimate details of polar bear family life as he sees Lyra and Miki in their epic struggle to survive as this mother bear tries to keep her cub safe. In the finale, Gordon and the team return to Svalbard in September on the trail of Lyra and her cub Miki. They have been away for six weeks and don't know if either bear is still alive. Lyra's collar hasn't sent a signal for a month -- finding her this time will be a huge challenge. But Gordon does find her, and Miki is also alive. Times are tough, though. Lyra is very thin and has been reduced to eating moss and seaweed. Gordon discovers that Lyra has been eating plastic fishing floats to stave off her hunger. She is very thin and her milk is starting to run dry, so she is refusing to let Miki suckle. Lyra is so desperate that for the first time she sees Gordon as a possible meal. THE POLAR BEAR FAMILY & ME had its U.S. premiere on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on BBC America.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by BBC Natural History Unit


  • - Svalbard Norway