Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild
- TV Series
- 2h 55min
Over three very personal films, Sir David Attenborough looks back at the unparalleled changes in natural history that he has witnessed during his 60-year career.Over three very personal films, Sir David Attenborough looks back at the unparalleled changes in natural history that he has witnessed during his 60-year career.Over three very personal films, Sir David Attenborough looks back at the unparalleled changes in natural history that he has witnessed during his 60-year career.
'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' is not, one can argue, a typical series for Attenborough. It is not as much one of those documentaries where one encounters wildlife portrayed as individual compellingly real characters without being over-humanised, footage of them living, adapting to beautiful yet sometimes harsh environments and their difficulties with adversity, all of this unfolded like remarkably relatable individual stories, has footage that one is amazed what happens is caught on film. This may not be good news for anybody expecting all of this, especially if they are used to seeing them in his other work. For me, it was a really fascinating series. Am not the biggest fan of films, television episodes and cartoons presented in a clip show way, when done badly it feels lazy and like a cheat. There is so much that appeals in 'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' and the clip show-like structure is coherent, never edited cheaply and both affectionately nostalgic and entertaining.
Do know people who have also seen 'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' who feel that some of the 50s footage hasn't held up as much as the later footage, do agree with them in a way. This can be seen visually, where one can see clearly how far technology has advanced, parts are on the grainy side.
It is also the case in terms of momentum, have seen Attenborough explore the same or similar animals later on in his career more engagingly and that the footage from the later decades had more energy.
That is not saying though that the early footage is not interesting. That's far from the truth, as it was really quite invaluable seeing how the crew dealt with for examples the limitations of the time and how travel was nowhere near as easy back then than it is now, all handled very insightfully. Very interesting to see how much things have changed over the years, in technology, in science and in the environment, all without over-speculating. What makes 'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' particularly worth watching is Attenborough himself, he has always been an amazing presenter/narrator and his enthusiasm is so infectious, as is his never cold sincerity, inspirational candour and one of the most instantly recognisable voices ever to exist.
Particularly worth watching too is the footage. The wildlife is varied and a mix of adorable, dangerous and fun. May not have related to the wildlife in the same way as Attenborough's later work, but still found what is said about them incredibly informative and there is an admirable ability to both entertain and educate, done in a balanced and expertly way. It was not just the wildlife that interested, scientific breakthroughs and the environment were also focused upon and they were done in an accessible way for long-time fans and newcomers. It was wonderful to see Attenborough looking back on his career with clear great affection and intriguing to see how much his career and technology progressed over the years/decades, he has always been consistent in terms of the high quality of his work and how he delivers it and these qualities grew from strength to strength the more experienced he became. The komodo dragon, at sea, crawling through seaweed, the late-night lion encounter are just a few gems and it is impossible to not love Attenborough's anecdotes.
Overall, very well done and fascinating series, if not quite what one expects typically from Attenborough (in no way is that a bad thing). 8/10
- Mar 11, 2019