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 ...
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The annual return from the Pacific Ocean of millions of salmon to the streams where they were born in North America in order to spawn and die. Grizzly bears depend for their survival on this event, ...
As winter finally passes and the sun climbs over the Arctic, the 4,000,000 square mile ice-sheet rapidly begins to melt, revealing an archipelago of islands, channels and seas. For the masters of the...
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 salmon to spawn, where the Okavango turns many thousands of miles into a lush wetlands. We also see the impact of the migration of wildebeest on a pride of lions, the annual winter sardine run along the coast of Africa, and the great feast in the ocean when the plankton blooms. Written by
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. To me though, 'Nature's Great Events' 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. 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, 'Nature's Great Events' looks amazing. 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, similarly really admired the wide-ranging diversity of the different landscapes rather than restricting it to just one habitat. The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.
Again, like so many Attenborough nature/wildlife documentaries, 'Nature's Great Events' 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 going into detail about the different animals, their challenges and some truly amazing wildlife events in their struggles for survival and interaction with other animals whether prey or predator.
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.
The animals are big in personality and very diverse. The conflict has genuine tension and suspense, 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 and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.
To conclude, great is far too much of an understatement for such an achievement in nature documentaries. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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