David Attenborough revisits the Great Barrier Reef after nearly 60 years. His visit takes him from the most exposed part of the reef as well as down to 300m below the surface discovering corals never seen before.
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 documentaries there's ever been.
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. 'Natural World' is what Attenborough is all about, it is a truly beautiful series that entertains and teaches. One's viewing of Attenborough's huge body of work is not complete without watching at least one episode of 'Natural World'. It has everything that makes his work such a pleasure to watch and consistently among the best programmes of the respective years.
For me it is very hard not reiterating what was said in reviews of Attenborough's previous work because consistently they have exactly the same strengths in quality. 'Natural World' as always with Attenborough is a beautiful-looking series. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate and there is nothing static about it at all. The editing is smooth and succinct and the wide range habitats make for some truly eye catching scenery that are just as big in character as the animals and Attenborough himself. The music is fitting and memorable.
The animals are also wide in variety and not only do they look great their personalities, whether prey or predator, are big. One learns a lot about them and cares about them in the same way they would for a human character in a film (more so than most actually). This may sound like hyperbole, but it really came across that way to me. The more environmentally themed episodes are no less interesting and important, managing also to not be preachy.
Entertainment value is high, and as always with Attenborough 'Natural World' is incredibly informative. Found myself learning a lot and found that even familiar knowledge was expanded upon. Format-wise, the variety in habitats and animals is so diverse that repetition never kicks in. Like Attenborough's best work, it is easy to connect emotionally and it is hard not to be captivated by the fun, tension and pathos.
Attenborough is a huge part of the appeal, of course, and his contribution helps significantly. He is very candid, clearly knowing his stuff and knowing 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.
Overall, a gem all round and a requirement for fellow fans. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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