The Trials of Life (TV Series 1990– ) Poster

(1990– )

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The Wonders of Nature
Rindiana11 September 2009
David Attenborough's first truly brilliant wild life mini-series, focusing on animal behaviour, is filled with spectacular photography... from the tiniest of insects to the biggest of mammals.

Attenborough's laid-back didactic approach would become slightly more effective in later shows which concentrated on individual species, but the wealth of images and the well presented information alone is worth every single second of this first-class twelve-part documentary, which baffles and astonishes its viewers time and time again. Nature's diversity is simply overwhelming!

9 out of 10 genitally interlocked wolf mates
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One of the best nature documentaries in existence!
mikecorvin1 August 2014
I ordered this on VHS back in the early 1990s and I consider this series to be flawless and beyond expectation. Gorgeous videography and Sir David Attenborough's sublime narration makes for a perfect educational experience. Breathtaking shots, sometimes brutal and raw. It is the Trials of Life, and there are trials to behold! If you are a nature buff, THIS is the series for you! I was raised on this stuff and I consider it to be one of the best nature series out there. Now it needs to be released on disc or download so I can get it again as I haven't had a VHS player in 10+ years. I would love to see this show in a HD format, so bring on the Apple TV or bluray format!
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Solid Gold Attenborough Classic
Dylan-Potter25 January 2014
The Trials of Life is an amazing show. Highlighting the trials for animals, showing great film such as the iconic orca hunting scene, but it also can be seen as a form of social commentary for the humans. About how animals and humans are quite alike. The beginning, Arrival is a show of how birth can be a hardship, and I'm never gonna know how hard it is, being a man, but my mum doesn't treat it like a painless thing, and I'm sure the stars of that episode don't either. Growing Up is something everything has to do, and it is just as hard for animals as humans. Finding Food shows how hard finding food can be for animals, and indeed for humans as well. By that I mean, not everyone has food at their doorstep and can easily be brought to their mouth. Hunting and Escaping is the thrilling story of staying' alive, whether you're a seal escaping a killer whale, or maybe a human giving up on drugs to escape the hunter. Finding the Way is the tale of finding a way out of things. Finding the Way to the top, or to another place, and Finding the Way is low rating, but it rings truest in the mind frame of sometimes you need to do it yourself, because we may sometimes need a little help, but you can't reply on a natural power, you need to be making it on your own. Homemaking-animals and humans all need a place to go. Living Together-animal species learn to live together, and so can humans. Fighting doesn't have moral relatable meaning, but is probably the best episode, because it's just such a very thrilling adventure. Friends and Rivals-we all need somebody to lean on, as Bill Withers wisely wrote, but not everyone can be our friend, and we need to have rivals because it is normal. Talking to Strangers can be useful as shown by the episode. Courting and Continuing the Line means getting somebody, and sex, which is what you get when you accomplish all of the above. So by David Attenborough making animals relatable, doesn't this make him a genius, doesn't he make you wonder like no other. That is why this, (one of my top 3 Attenboroughs) is great. It makes you see what you really are, the true genius of this program which I highly recommend.
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The complete opposite of a trial for the viewer
TheLittleSongbird30 October 2017
David Attenborough is nothing short of a national treasure. He may apparently dislike the term, but it is hard to not say that about such a great presenter who has contributed significantly to some of the best programmes (of the documentary genre and overall) the BBC has ever aired/produced.

It is really hard picking favourites, let alone a definite favourite, among what Attenborough has done because he has done so many gems, it is the equivalent of trying to choose your favourite ice cream flavour or your favourite operatic role (for examples) and finding you can't pick. 'The Trials of Life' may not be quite one of Attenborough's best or most ground-breaking, but is nonetheless another must-see gem of his and while the animals here face trials the main feeling the viewer has watching is awe. 'The Trials of Life' is not just one of Attenborough's best and most ground-breaking it's also one of the best documentaries of its kind ever viewed by me. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful, hence some of the reiteration of my recent reviews for some of his work (being on a nature documentary binge in my spare time), and deserves everything great that has been said about it.

First and foremost, 'The Trials of Life' looks amazing. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the invertebrates), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic with some of the shots being unique for a documentary series, making one forget that it is a series. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery of all the continents is pure magic.

The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.

Again, like so many Attenborough nature/wildlife documentaries, 'The Trials of Life' fascinates, teaches, moves, entertains and transfixes. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown, some facts being familiar to us while also dealing with very complex and very much relevant issues with tact.

Narration by Attenborough helps significantly. He clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He delivers it with his usual richness, soft-spoken enthusiasm and sincerity, never talking down to the viewer and keeping them riveted and wanting to know more.

It's not just visually beautiful and informative. The animals are wide in personality, prey and predator alike, are remarkably diverse in range. It also displays a wide range of emotions and found myself really caring for everything that was shown to us on screen. The conflict has genuine tension and suspense (the orca hunting scene is iconic for very good reason, nail-biting in tension and emotionally devastating), there is some fun and a lot of emotionally powerful moments done with a lot of tear-jerking pathos. Found myself really caring for what we're told.

Like much of Attenborough/BBC's other work, each episode doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like the best nature documentaries each feels like their own story and journey, with real, complex emotions and conflicts.

Overall, truly wonderful and leaves one in awe. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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