How to Get the BBC’s ‘The Voyage of Charles Darwin’ (1978) on DVD

A comment on Pharyngula in 2007:

In the Before Time, in the Long Long Ago, there was a BBC miniseries called The Voyage of Charles Darwin (imdb page) which was quite good. Much of it was filmed on location, and they even built a replica of the Beagle for it! Unfortunately, I do not believe it was ever available in VHS, Betamax, Laserdisc, or Selectivision(to say nothing of DVD…). Our University’s copy is in U-matic (a video format from the Proterozoic of homevideo). I would like to think that maybe the BBC will reissue it for the bicentennial, but who knows?


And in 2008:

There are several ways to put out a positive film about evolution and science – and one good way has already been broadcast, but not released, “The Voyage of Charles Darwin” in 1978. See for details. Surely it would be relatively inexpensive to persuade the BBC to release this, or even re-edit it and update it for the upcoming Charles Darwin anniversary? Perhaps the Friends of Charles Darwin could lend a hand?

Then several blogs noted that the series had been uploaded to YouTube in many parts, including myself: DoD, Dawkins, The Red Notebook, The Beagle Project Blog, and New Papyrus. You could even download it from Atheist Movies. But the quality is not great…

With such interest in this film, you would think BBC would, in this year of all things Darwin, release it for all to enjoy (now and future generations). Well, apparently the decision to make a BBC series available on DVD is handled by a company called 2entertain, and they review each quarter public enquiries/requests. So, contact 2entertain at and request they release “The Voyage of Charles Darwin” on DVD in 2009!

32 thoughts on “How to Get the BBC’s ‘The Voyage of Charles Darwin’ (1978) on DVD

  1. Thanks Danny Boy & Karen!

    Karen – sorry for overlooking the BP post with the nice image of the poster, I’ll add it in…

  2. Hi! I’ve would LOVE to get this on DVD, remastered or not. We just watched the whole thing on youtube and I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE that they never released this!!!

  3. PLEASE release this video on DVD. I have only seen the first few episodes, but I would DEFINITELY order the entire production on DVD.

  4. Hello, everyone. It would appear you can order the magnificent series “THE VOYAGE OF CHARLES DARWIN on four DVD’S. Just scroll up to where it says Voyage of Charles Darwin DVD Movie Voyage of Charles Darwin
    This company is selling it for just under $40.00.

  5. Pingback: 2009 in review « The Dispersal of Darwin

  6. “The mysteries of all mysteries”….Why the BBC won’t release this TOP SHELF, BEST DOCUMENTARY EVER in it’s genre, on DVD!

  7. I tried to follow up on Julian Mazur’s post about being able to order the Voyage of Charles Darwin DVDs at, but there’s no such website! can you help?
    Have sent an email to 2entertain to ask about DVD release.
    Any other thoughts?

  8. Aarrgggh, would love to see this again. Saw it on TV back when, tried to watch on utube, but quality was so poor on my computer, I didn’t want to ruin it for myself.
    Trouble is, if they didn’t release it on DVD for 2009, I doubt they will for 2010; but hope, foolish or not, does spring…
    Is it because of the evolution v. creation controversy?

  9. This is the response I got back in June 2009:

    “Dear Michael

    Thank you for your recent communication.

    I am sorry to have to disappoint you but upon investigation I can confirm that we have no immediate plans to clear and release this title on DVD.

    We have passed on your request to the relevant parties and your correspondence will be kept on file as each quarter we review public enquiries and often revisit titles which are frequently requested.

    We appreciate all of the feedback that we receive from the viewing public, so thank you again for your correspondence.

    Yours sincerely,
    2Entertain DVD Enquiry Team”

  10. Also, I have the Study Guide that I ordered back in 1980 when the series was broadcast on PBS. This and the COSMOS series around the same time shaped and brought focus to my passion for the scientific method of understanding the universe.

  11. The files on Veoh are 800 Megabyte WMV files which must certainly be better than the 180 Megabyte AVI files on the atheistmovies site.

    They certainly make for a decent DVD which I watch and share often.

    Sure would like to see an official release!

  12. @sabbatology – Is your study guide “A Viewer’s Guide to The Voyage of Charles Darwin,” published by Kendall/Hunt, 47 pages?

  13. @darwinsbulldog

    Yes, it is exactly that publication. I’ll try to get it scanned sometime.

  14. I see it is now available on a 3 DVD set in German through now and costs 19.99 Euros. The description only mentions German as the language.

  15. I´ve written to the BBC several times over the years about releasing this series, obviously without success. I read once that thousands of people complained to the Beeb before they would release Civilization and the Ascent of Man. How about we all write to David Attenborough and ask him to put in a word with the DG? I should imagine he will be sympathize with our point of view.

  16. I have dvds which I bought from someone who had copied the series from home vhs recordings onto disc.
    Picture definition & sound quality are as good as can be expected from 1970s vhs recorders, although the picture format varies between 4:3 and 16:9 on the 4 discs, but this can be adjusted on the viewer – computer or tv.
    If anyone wants copies, please contact me on john46stolATgmailDOTcom
    The arrangement would be that you send me 4 blank dvds plus stamps for return postage.

  17. Re the May 12 2014 post:
    I forgot to mention that there are no menus. The discs which contain two programmes will need navigating from the scroll bar to find the start of the second programme. Disc 1 has prog 1; disc 2, progs 2 & 3; disc 3, progs 4 & 5; disc 4, progs 6 & 7.

  18. Thank you, John, for sharing your offer to help others see this series!

  19. I bought a DVD version (4 disks) in 2008 from a dealer in the UK on eBid (who doesn’t seem to be selling it anymore). I donated it to the main library at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville after viewing it. They might loan it to another library.

  20. Pingback: The Voyage Of Charles Darwin: The Complete Series on DVD (Region 2) | The Dispersal of Darwin

  21. Thank you Derrick! I saw that it is Region 2, wondering if they will release Region 1, too.

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