Another BBC nature documentary series worth checking out
"A Wild Year On Earth" (2020 release; 6 episodes of about 50 min. each) is a new nature documentary series from the BBC. As Episode 1 "The Year Begins" opens, we watch spectacular footage of the New Year's fireworks in Sydney's harbor. From there we start our journey as we learn why so many extreme weather patterns exist to begin with. The footage of the great horned owl in the Rocky Mountains is stunning. Footage of the sea otters off the California coast is playful. We fly with brent geese from Russia to the much milder winter in western France at Mont St. Michel. The documentary then shifts to Asia, as we learn why Japan is one of the snowiest places on earth...
Couple of comments: the BBC has a rich and longstanding heritage of nature documentaries, just think of all those that are narrated by David Attenborough. Well, this series is NOT narrated by Sir David, but instead is narrated by British actress Lauren Carmichael ("Downton Abbey"). There are 6 episodes, each one covering a two-month period. To date, I've see3 episodes, and I can tell you with certainty that "A Wild Year On Earth" is check full of spectacular footage, at times even shocking and heartbreaking. Watch how in Episode 1 the hippo mother fails to protect her calf properly and the calf has no chance against a massive crocodile. (We are told along the way that only 50% of hippo calves survive their first year.) Episode 2 "A Time of Renewal" continues the eye-popping footage. Did you know that a thing called "horizontal waterfalls" exists? no? Check out the footage from western Australia. Is there some overlap in "A Wild Year on Earth" with previous nature documentaries? Yes. I really don't see what the point is of covering the emperor penguins' march in Antarctica is. But in the end it's a minor quibble. Please note the while of course the animal kingdom is the primary focus, it is not the exclusive focus, and the series covers a number of specific human events, such as the Chinese New Year (being the largest human migration event on the planet), carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and Easter celebrations in South America. "A Wild Year On Earth" is a visual feast that you will not soon forget. The series' original score, courtesy of the Australian band The Da's Office, is quite varied and enjoyable along the way.
"A Wild Year On Earth" premiered in the US in late January on BBC America with new episodes airing Saturday evenings at 8 pm Eastern. Can't wait to see the remaining three episodes, with in particular Episode 4 "A Time of Migration" one that I am particularly exited about. If you have any interest in high-quality nature documentaries, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it on BBC America On Demand and other streaming services, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.
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