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The Great Salmon Run 

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, too.

Writer:

Jeff Turner
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
David Attenborough ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jeff Turner Jeff Turner ... Self
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Storyline

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, too.

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

User Reviews

 
Salmon beauty
21 April 2018 | 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.

Picking a favourite among so many gems, some ground-breaking, in Attenborough's enviously consistent career is exceedingly difficult. Some of them also doing remarkably amazingly at making one appreciate more species that they were indifferent to before, for instances reptiles and insects give me the creeps usually but Attenborough's work sees them in a new light in an illuminating way that there was more appreciation garnered from them. Picking any of them to include in your top 10 is also hard.

2009's 'Nature's Great Events' (aka 'Nature's Most Amazing Events') for me is up there though, not ground-breaking perhaps but still an achievement. 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.

The exceptionally high quality set in the first episode "The Great Melt" is maintained in "The Great Salmon Run".

First and foremost, "The Great Salmon Run" 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 and individual episodes from them, "The Great Salmon Run" 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.

Certainly the salmon are a thing of beauty but the grizzly bears similarly have episode-stealing moments as well. It may not be novel territory for Attenborough but animals that one can't get enough of and there is enough freshness to the material to not make one feel they're going round in circles.

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. One cares for what goes on in front of and behind the camera.

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.

At no point does "The Great Salmon Run" ever feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, instead feeling 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, amazing. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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Release Date:

18 February 2009 (UK) See more »

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