After half term away I settled down with the family last night and looked through the DVR to see what interesting stuff we had recorded whilst away. The kids are crazy about about aquatic creatures of all types so I put on the first episode of the new BBC wildlife production “Frozen Planet”.
My word, this is astonishing.
I’m used to the combination of David Attenborough and the BBC producing great work but this absolutely blew us all away.
As always we have Sir David’s sparse comments plus the daily life and death dramas of the animal world…but the VISUALS! Too many set-pieces to recount. Too many amazing shots to discuss in one post. Whether animal or scenery the photography is incredible. The sweeping shots of the Antarctic wilderness presented the continent in a way I had never seen before. More than ever you felt the vastness and the isolation. Breathtaking.
I’m not given to hyperbole but I honestly believe this is the most beautiful production I’ve ever seen.
Do yourselves a favour and see it. See it on HD on the biggest screen you’ve got and revel in the fact that there are hours still to come.
The footage of the killer whale pod hunting seals was spectacular. Diving in unison in order to knock the seal off the ice floe with the resulting wave, amazing.
I watched the end credits and it seems to be a co-production with Discovery Channel, ZDF and a few others, so maybe it’ll be coming to US/German/etc. screens too, albeit presumably without Attenborough’s voiceover.
I hope they include the little “making of” segment at the end, because there were some startlingly close encounters between the cameramen and the killer whales popping out of the water!
I have so many memories growing up with Attenborough’s nature stuff for the BBC. It’s always been top-notch. There aren’t many networks in the world which would spend so much on such a niche subject and pull it off so well.
Sir David Attenborough is my favorite person on earth that I don’t know personally. I can’t understand why they voice him over for American audiences, since so many of us grew up watching him. It’s never as good when someone else is narrating. Other narrators will just be reading the script, but if it’s Sir David, you know that what he’s saying is accurate by the current best scientists, as he has both the knowledge and resources to make sure, and he seems to be the kind of person who would make sure what he was saying was valid.
This series will run in the U.S. in January, according to this wiki page.
True, I know our license fee is looked at askance by some, and my gut reaction should be to be against it…but…When you see something like this it brings home how rare program-making of this quality actually is.
In particular you get the feeling this is a true labour of love, years in the making and heavily reliant on serendipity…who else would indulge it and fund it? (though I’m sure it is a calculated risk seeing how marketable the end product is oversees)
I confess, I am a massive fan of the BBC. It probably makes up 95% of my viewing and listening so I definitely get my money’s worth. It is worth the money for the lack of adverts and the IPlayer.
And no David Attenborough voice-overs abroad? how can that be? Isn’t there a UN treaty for this sort of outrage?
Seriously, we can get Sir David occasionally. BBC America, while filled mostly with junk, does run nature shows on Sunday daytime, and they leave Attenborough in. Plus, I have the full set of Blue Planet on DVR from Animal Planet, with Sir David’s narration. Oddly, I had already seen it on another channel with Pierce Brosnan narrating. Why they would sub in a different Brit puzzles me no end.
BBC America also shows some things by Charlotte Uhlenbroek, who is pretty good. But she’s not David Attenborough.
I saw the first episode last night, it was a first run on free to air TV in Australia.
Absolutely agree on the visuals they were truly spectacular. I got goosebumps watching those killer whales working together like that. Amazing.
I have been in love with nature doco’s since I was a kid and that opening music from the Life on Earth series still sends a shiver down my spine. No matter what I’m doing if I hear David’s voice coming out of the TV I’ll always pause for a minute to see what he’s telling us about today.
Why of course, she’ll provide the gravitas that was missing. :smack: What does that upstart Attenborough know anyway? He’s only been writing, directing and presenting natural history programs for half a century.
Did you catch it on HD GreedySmurf? I’m normally a little sceptical as to the added benefit but not in this case.
One of my favourite shots was the beautiful glassy wall of water as the wave broke near the penguin colony and, swimming along that wall was the patrolling form of the sealion. That and the shot of a different exhausted seal being dragged slowly off the ice-floe by the orcas.
It seemed to look at the camera with a resigned air that said simply…“bugger”
And it’s not like she does a good job. Attenborough conveys a sense that he’s sharing his sense of wonder at the marvels of nature with you. Winfrey sounds like she’s a zoo guide repeating her canned spiel to a bunch of schoolchildren.
The polar bear got to me. Walking for weeks and weeks through a frozen wilderness to find a willing female, then having to fight off rivals again and again, ending up bloody, spent, exhausted and disillusioned… all for some brief tender moments in a lifetime of loneliness.
Unfortunately not. I’ve got the TV for it, but I’m not willing to pay the extra $20 a month that the cable company wants for a HD box. I will probably pick the series up on Blu Ray when it comes out though.
I know it’s nature and all, and I’m not really squeemish generally, but seeing the poor little bugger, that he couldn’t even get the energy to pull his tail out of reach, and the Orca head coming up and just casually grabbing his tail. :eek:
I was watching it with my six year old and she loves orcas and seals. Because she reads about them constantly she knows full well that orcas eat seals but even so I was tempted to distract her if the poor thing was going to get torn to shreds.
As it happened, she just looked up at me with a sad face when it was pulled off the ice.
In true Hitchcock fashion the camera didn’t pursue the horror and the gore was left to my imagination.
I asked her what she thought about the seal getting eaten and she said “well…it is sad, but the orcas have to eat something as well”
So I’m either bringing up a realist or a psychopath.