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Tiger: Spy in the Jungle 

David Attenborough narrates the lives of four growing tiger cubs using footage collected by hidden-camera-carrying elephants. Over two years, the elephants help capture the most intimate portrayal of tigers ever filmed.
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2008  

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David Attenborough ...  Himself - Narrator 3 episodes, 2008
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David Attenborough narrates the lives of four growing tiger cubs using footage collected by hidden-camera-carrying elephants. Over two years, the elephants help capture the most intimate portrayal of tigers ever filmed.

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Documentary

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Die geheime Welt der Tiger See more »

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Connections

Follows Wildlife Specials: Lions: Spy in the Den (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The intimate life of tigers
20 September 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Saw the 'Wildlife' specials as a big fan of the national treasure that is David Attenborough. As much as he may dislike the term it is a perfect way to sum him up, with his best works being documentary masterpieces and masterpieces in general.

There are twenty two of these specials in total, fourteen listed under 'Wildlife Specials', the others listed as one-offs. Eighteen of these up to 2008 were narrated/presented by Attenborough, the others ('Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice', 'Penguins: Spy in the Huddle', 'Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasion', and 'Dolphins: Spy in the Pod')up to 2014 by David Tennant. Some of the individual episodes of those that have more than one part instead of a one-off like most are are also listed here as 'Wildlife Specials: The Spy Collection'. All are must sees, have a preference for Attenborough's work here (being more familiar with his work and being a big fan of it) but Tennant's contributions are very well done too.

As has been indicated, 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle', while not one of the best of the specials, is highly recommended for nature lovers, documentary lovers and those who love Attenborough. It is very diverse/varied, looks great and shows a great deal of technological advancement in the camera work and the unique techniques used. This is apparent in 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' once again, this time dealing with tigers, their physical and psychological qualities, the different kinds of them and how they adapt and survive in their varied habitats.

First and foremost, 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' looks amazing. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the tigers), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic and intimate, the hidden spy camera is used cleverly and feels like the viewer is a presence amongst the tigers (and elephants, which play a crucial role here) but as a spy invisible to them. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery is pure magic. Some of it is rarely seen footage and makes one wonder how it came to be filmed.

Music score fits very well generally, generally not overly grandiose while never being inappropriate with some lovely sound. Occasionally it is a little intrusive and could have been used less, my only complaint of 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' (other than it maybe could have been a little longer with so much to cover).

'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' fascinates, teaches, moves, entertains and transfixes. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown, of the well known species and more rare ones, some facts being familiar to us while also dealing with the subject with tact. Their intelligence comes out on screen crystal clear and how they live and their cultural aspects are handled in a way that does illuminate. We know of some of the stuff that is talked about but it is rarely seen, certainly not in the way shown here, and it is amazing that they were filmed in the first place and so intimately that you feel like a spy yourself.

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. Some may not find 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle', and in general the 'Wildlife Specials', treating the respective animals in a human-like way in all the instalments to their taste, personally love it myself and it made it easier connecting and relating to the animals and the things covered.

It's not just visually beautiful and informative. The tigers featured show a mix of playfulness, pathos, cuteness and ruthlessness. 'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' 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 in seeing moments of ferocity in the more predatory moments (though the tigers are shown as having more than just one side), seeing how the tigers adapt and survive amidst much adversity, there is some charm seeing the behaviours, though treated in some parts sympathetically, there is a lot of personality. Found myself really caring for what is said and shown to us, loved the intimate roles of the elephants and how adorable the tiger cubs are in their life stages, allowing for some lovely little moments.

'Tiger: Spy in the Jungle' doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like the best nature documentaries all three parts feel like their own story and journey, with real, complex emotions and conflicts.

Overall, wonderful with very little to complain about. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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