Saturday Morning Documentary: BBC Life

4 08 2010
Swordfish and shoal

Swordfish and a shoal of fish

Following in the tradition of fantastic fascinating documentary series produced by the BBC is Life. After the worldwide acclaim for Planet Earth, Life stepped in after for those who want a high-definition look at our world.  The series, ten episodes in total, covers various species and, well, life forms around our planet–from the first episode, Challenges of Life, to whales in Mammals, to even unique vegetation in Plants, this series is arguably on par with, if not better, than Planet Earth.  The original British series is hosted once again by David Attenborough, while the US version is narrated by Oprah; I’ve read many comments about how bad Oprah is as a narrator so I’d stick with Attenborough’s narration instead.

There really isn’t much I can say about this series except that the images and cinematography are phenomenal and captivating.  My favourite episode is probably Mammals (ep. 3) or Fish (ep. 4); there’s a sequence where the crew is filming flying fish and it looks like nothing I’ve seen before.

Though the episodes are an hour in length, the last 15 minutes are a unique behind-the-scenes/making-of documentary within a documentary, giving viewers a glimpse of the challenges of filming, the different and exotic locations they traveled to, and their interaction with the animals.  In the second episode, Reptiles and Amphibians, the crew must get extremely close to Komodo dragons in order to film them, putting their lives at risk amongst the unpredictable animals.  And in the Insects episode, the crew struggles to get their camera high enough in the trees with limited daylight to film monarch butterflies in South America (or was it Mexico?).

All in all, Life is definitely worth checking out especially if you enjoyed Planet Earth.  I’ll admit that the first episode left me a little disappointed but the following episodes featured some pretty amazing, cool, and of course, bizarre things on Earth.

BBC Life

BBC Life