Natural Curiosities (2013– )
8.6/10
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Curious Minds 

David presents the progress into IQ research concerning some highly intelligent, long under-estimated species. First the orangutan, a forest primate from the Indonesian jungles, originally ... See full summary »

Director:

Hilary Jeffkins
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
David Attenborough ... Himself - Presenter
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Storyline

David presents the progress into IQ research concerning some highly intelligent, long under-estimated species. First the orangutan, a forest primate from the Indonesian jungles, originally mistaken for a violent degenerated human, hen believed never to use its learning ability, shown in captivity, in the wild, as research on Borneo indicated, but now found enterprising in more demanding Sumatran marshes. Next the crow family, which proves that predatory birds can be as observant and agile problem-solvers as any primate. Written by KGF Vissers

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Release Date:

9 February 2015 (UK) See more »

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Under-estimated intelligence

As said many times, David Attenborough is 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 documentaries there's ever been.

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. 'Natural Curiosities' is another gem of his, there is nothing artificial about it at all, it's imaginatively done and there is more than enough in every episode to make one stick with it, the curiosity factor is high. It is also very entertaining, very candid and very much accessible. It's very natural and wonderfully curious.

"Curious Minds" does nothing to break the consistently exceptional quality and in its own way it's just as wonderful.

The episode looks beautiful for one thing. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate and there is nothing static about it at all. The editing is smooth and succinct and the wide range habitats make for some truly eye catching scenery that are just as big in character as the animals and Attenborough himself.

One learns a lot about the animals and finds themselves rooting for them in some way too, something that has always been pleasingly apparent in Attenborough's work. This may sound like hyperbole, but it really came across that way to me.

Entertainment value is high, and as always with Attenborough "Curious Minds" is incredibly informative. Found myself learning a lot and found that even familiar knowledge was expanded upon. The diversity ensures that repetition never kicks in. Like Attenborough's best work, it is easy to connect emotionally and it is hard not to be captivated by the fun, tension and pathos.

Attenborough is a huge part of the appeal, of course, and his contribution helps significantly. He is very candid, clearly knowing his stuff and knowing 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.

"Curious Minds" made me appreciate species that always fascinated me in some way but never realised how intelligent they actually were.

Remarkably, in typical Attenborough documentary fashion, a lot is covered here. Yet it never feels like "Curious Minds" is trying to do too much and none of it feels under-explored.

All in all, wonderful as one would expect from someone of supreme calibre. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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