Spider House

Natural History1 x 90' for BBC4

Ever wondered what spiders really get up to in your home?

Ever wondered what spiders really get up to in your home? In this Halloween special Alice Roberts overcomes her arachnophobia to enter a spider-filled house where an astonishing drama unfolds within its walls.

Inside she meets entomologist, Tim Cockerill, who loves spiders and quickly immerses Alice in the wonders of web building, the secrets of fly-catching and the dangerous spider-eat-spider world they inhabit.

Tim wants us to welcome spiders into our homes. Think of all the flies and unwanted insects they kill. He takes Alice on a macro mystery tour of the rooms of the Spider House revealing what goes on in the cracks and crannies of our homes.

Why do we always find spiders in the bathroom? They seem to lie in wait in our bathtubs. And what happens if we flush them down the plughole?  Using powerful macro photography they find out.

In the dining room, they uncover the complex engineering behind the most beautifully constructed ‘dinner plate’ in the home – a spider’s web.

In the kitchen Alice witnesses the extraordinary hunting ability of the keen-eyed jumping spider; while Tim finds out how spiders kill their prey using venom.

In the bedroom, the secrets of spider courtship are revealed. For spiders mating is a high stakes life or death game, where males risk being eaten by females.

In the nursery we enter an enchanting cocoon where tiny spiderlings struggle out of their exoskeletons – the first of many molts on the road to becoming adult spiders. Meanwhile, down in the cellar, we meet an unexpectedly voracious killer – the Daddy Long Legs.

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with spiders. The rational side of Alice Roberts understands their benefits, but can she overcome her irrational fears? She faces the ultimate challenge: to spend the night alone…  with the spiders… in Spider House.

Producer/Director Tom Cook , Clare Stronge
Executive Producer David Dugan
Researcher Charlotte Lathane
Assistant Producer Laura Voak
Production Manager Vicky Newman
Director of Photography George Woodcock , Stuart Dunn