Reptiles and amphibians are as dramatic in combat, colorful in their communication and tender in their parental care as other animals. They also live their lives on a totally different time ... Read allReptiles and amphibians are as dramatic in combat, colorful in their communication and tender in their parental care as other animals. They also live their lives on a totally different time scale and harness their energy from the sun. The Cold-Blooded Truth reveals the secret of ... Read allReptiles and amphibians are as dramatic in combat, colorful in their communication and tender in their parental care as other animals. They also live their lives on a totally different time scale and harness their energy from the sun. The Cold-Blooded Truth reveals the secret of their success.
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.
"The Cold Blooded Truth" is a terrific first episode and has every single quality mentioned in the above paragraph.
Visually, "The Cold Blooded Truth" 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 and their episodes, "The Cold Blooded Truth" 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.
Further qualities are the wide ranging diversity of the creatures (a mix of the most common and the not so common) that are shown, that they are surprisingly big in personality and the emotional complexity. There is some 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 all the other episodes and so much of Attenborough's other work (especially his best), "The Cold Blooded Truth" doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like its 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, terrific start to a series that is not among Attenborough's finest but achieves a lot, particularly appreciation of widely misunderstood (even by me) species. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Mar 6, 2018