The Life of Mammals (2002–2003)
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Insect Hunters 

Mammals that hunt insects shared the planet with the dinosaurs, but when the giant reptiles disappeared, these creatures seized their chance to conquer new territory. David Attenborough ... See full summary »


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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Presenter


Mammals that hunt insects shared the planet with the dinosaurs, but when the giant reptiles disappeared, these creatures seized their chance to conquer new territory. David Attenborough meets strange bats, dim-witted anteaters, less familiar pangolins, moles that swim through sand and the garden hedgehog in the second part of his new series. Written by Anonymous

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27 November 2002 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

The hunting of insects
23 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

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. To me though, 'The Life of Mammals' is up there with his crowning achievements and one of the best documentaries ever viewed, and as has been said already there are a lot of great ones. For documentaries on mammals, 'The Life of Mammals' is one of the quintessential ones. 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.

After the first episode "A Winning Design" brilliantly set up the consistently high standard of the series and compelled the viewer to see the rest, the slightly more diverse (in animal variety) second episode "Insect Hunters" doesn't disappoint in any way.

First and foremost, "Insect Hunters" looks wonderful. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals), 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 is pure magic.

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

Like any episode of any Attenborough documentary, "A Winning Design" is fascinating, entertaining and emotionally impactful, leaving one riveted for the whole 50 minutes it lasts. 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 going into detail about the different animals, how they evolved, their behaviours and how they adapt.

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.

The animals are big in personality and very diverse. Also wide ranging is the different moods one feels while watching, one finds themselves really caring for what they're told.

"Insect Hunters" doesn't ever feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, instead feeling like its own story (as has been said about Attenborough's work many times by me already), with real, complex emotions and conflicts and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.

Concluding, brilliant once again. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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