Filmed in one of the most extreme and hard-to-reach locations in the world, 'Galapagos' explores the unique environments and species of the Galapagos. It will take viewers on a voyage to ... See full summary »
Simon De Glanville,
As said many times, David Attenborough is 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. While 'The First Eden' may not be among Attenborough's finest work, it is still fascinating with everything that makes his documentaries so good evident. The Mediterranean, the people, mankind's relationship with nature and the environment, the natural world, the wildlife and its history make for riveting viewing and spoken about in a way that is remarkably detailed and comprehensive in typical Attenborough fashion.
The final episode of 'The First Eden' takes on a more sombre tone, while it's beautiful and moving it jars also a little bit too with the tone of the rest of the series.
Visually, 'The First Eden' looks great. It is beautifully filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate, way and never looking static. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery is spectacular. It's beautifully and fittingly scored too.
As always with Attenborough documentaries, 'The First Eden' does a great job teaching and entertaining, never ceasing to fascinate.
Narration and the presenting 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.
There's as always a wide range of emotions from tense conflict, awe and tear-jerking pathos. Nothing is episodic and it's all paced and structured beautifully.
In summary, another great Attenborough documentary series. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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