Africa, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles an... Read allAfrica, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles and meet up with some of Africa's amazing wildlife.Africa, the world's wildest continent. David Attenborough takes us on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most diverse places in the world. We visit deserts, savannas, and jungles and meet up with some of Africa's amazing wildlife.
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. 'Africa' to me though is right up there, so are the likes of both 'Planet Earth' series, 'The Blue Planet', 'Life' and 'Frozen Planet'. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful and deserves everything great that has been said about it.
Once again, 'Africa' first and foremost is a wonderful looking series. 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. 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.
Along with so much of Attenborough's work, 'Africa' continually fascinates and illuminates, in terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown. Because there was such a large breadth and variety of habitats, wildlife and what it covered, it was so easy to learn so much more about the animals and Africa itself, portraying them in ways beyond how Africa is portrayed elsewhere. Attenborough's narration helps quite significantly too, 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. The "behind the scenes/making of" scenes too gave some humanity to the series and allowed us to get to know those behind the camera as well as in front.
The animals are big in personality and wide in range, they are a mix of cute and predatory, which helps give any conflict genuine tension, any fun moments their fun and the emotional moments pathos. How they adapt to their surroundings, why they behave the way they do, how nature works and how what the wildlife does affects the environments were all touched upon and made their points subtly, not hammering it home too much (a potential danger with documentaries). It completely succeeds, and brilliantly, at both educating and entertaining.
Many powerful and poignant moments, as well as suspenseful ones, while not trying too hard to evoke a viewer reaction. One really cares for what they're told and the wildlife. Like much of Attenborough/BBC's other work, each episode doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like the best nature documentaries each feels like their 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.
Altogether, a gem and sees Africa and its wildlife in all their splendour. 10/10 Bethany Cox
- Oct 15, 2017