A nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, that looks at the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles.
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2008  
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Life on Earth (TV Mini-Series 1979)
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David Attenborough's groundbreaking study of the evolution of life on our planet.

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This is a documentary series looking at the most dramatic wildlife spectacles on our planet. We see the impact of the melting of the arctic ice in the summer, the annual return of the ... See full summary »

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State of the Planet (TV Series 2000)
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David Attenborough investigates the latest scientific research to discover whether or not there is a global environmental crisis, and, if so, what solutions there are to it.

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First Life (TV Mini-Series 2010)
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David Attenborough goes back in time to investigate the origins of life.

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A nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, that looks at the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles.

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4 February 2008 (UK)  »

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Attenborough - koldblodigt eventyr  »

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Follows Life in the Undergrowth (2005) See more »

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Reptiles and amphibians may be cold-blooded but there is nothing to be left cold by here
19 October 2017 | 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.

There are so many gems from Attenborough. Both 'Planet Earth' series, 'Life', 'The Hunt', 'The Blue Planet', 'Frozen Planet', 'Africa' and 'Madagascar', all amazing and they are just a few examples. 'Life in Cold Blood' may not quite be on the same level as the above and not quite one of Attenborough's crowning achievements, but it is still an exceptionally well done series. It's engaging, hugely informative, extremely well made and evokes joy, tears and chills in equal measure. Another thing that it achieves wonderfully is clearing up many misconceptions about reptiles and amphibians, allowing the viewer to learn so much more about them, and anybody indifferent to them beforehand (like me) are likely to find themselves appreciating them much more.

Visually, 'Life in Cold Blood' may lack the awe-inspiring, almost cinematic quality of Attenborough's best work. With that being said, it is still beautifully shot, shot in a fluid, graceful and never static way, and is chock-full of strikingly memorable images. In every episode, the scenery and environments are beautiful to look at and are like their own characters. The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.

Again, like so many Attenborough nature/wildlife documentaries, 'Life in Cold Blood' fascinates, teaches, moves, entertains and transfixes. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown. In this case it was mostly unknown facts and so much of the information was illuminating and made me see reptiles and amphibians in a different light and appreciate them more. All that are featured are given a good amount of detail, whether it's the why, how and what factors in terms of how they behave and their adapting in their respective environments.

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 "behind the scenes/making of" scenes too gave some humanity to the series and allowed us to get to know those behind the camera as well as in front.

'Life in Cold Blood' really appeals in the wide ranging diversity of the creatures (a mix of the most common and the not so common) that are shown and they are surprisingly big in personality. Any has genuine tension and suspense as well as a surprising spontaneity, there is some fun and a lot of emotionally powerful moments done with a lot of tear-jerking pathos. Found myself really caring for these reptiles and amphibians (an admission that surprises even me). 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 and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.

Overall, 'Life in Cold Blood' may not be one of Attenborough's very finest but it is nonetheless really wonderful that really fascinates and will induce much more appreciation for a widely misunderstood species. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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