Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction.
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1990  
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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David Attenborough's ground-breaking exploration of a group of organisms that are vast in number, yet often too small to be noticed: the invertebrates.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
David Attenborough ...  Himself 12 episodes, 1990
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Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction.

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nature | See All (1) »

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A natural history of animal behavior

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Documentary

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Official Sites:

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1990 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Az élet megpróbáltatásai See more »

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Followed by The Life of Mammals (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The complete opposite of a trial for the viewer
30 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee 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, 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, not a trial in any way at all. 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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