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The Great Tide 

The sardine run, which takes place each winter along the South African coast. Dolphins first find the sardines and gannets, seals, sharks and whales follow for the biggest fish supper on the planet.
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
David Attenborough ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Didier Noirot ... Himself
Joe Stevens Joe Stevens ... Himself - Assistant Producer
Steve Benjamin Steve Benjamin ... Himself - Skipper
Roger Horrocks ... Himself - Assistant Cameraman
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Storyline

Seasons are the main motor of natural phenomena in biology, such as climate-driven currents in the ocean. Thus each year a flood of over half a billion sardines assemble in sea-darkening schools near the South African and Angolan coast. It draws equally epic armies of fish-eaters. The ablest hunters, first of all dolphins, spot the prey first, and are followed by others who fish at sea, like whales and sharks, from land and by air, many in colonies, like seals, as a stable food source to feed their young. Fishing techniques vary widely, most recent and devastating being those of man. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

natural history | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Release Date:

30 May 2009 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The amazing tide
22 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.

Can't find anything to fault "The Great Tide". Great isn't enough to describe it. Amazing is more like it.

First and foremost, "The Great Tide" 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 Tide" 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.

The more predatory scenes are visually beautiful and emotionally tense, like the scenes of the lions in "The Great Migration" it is surprising that scenes of such power were captured on film.

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 Tide" 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.

Summarising, cannot praise "The Great Tide" enough. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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