Natural World

Series 31 - 3. Queen of Tigers: Natural World Special

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

In this tender, elegaic film, wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson charts his 13-year association with Machli, “Queen of Tigers”, in the Ranthambore National Park in India. He’s been on hand for most of the milestones in her life, but she’s reaching the end of her days (though, to the inexpert eye, she still looks pretty healthy). He wants to pay her one last visit because “I have no desire to see her when she’s dead”.

So this is effectively a greatest hits compilation from their association. She is irresistible, of course, and quite a scrapper; the footage of her fighting and killing a fully grown crocodile is familiar, yet remains incredibly powerful. Stafford-Johnson’s final “meeting” is touching and tearful.

About this programme

3/10. Machli is one of the world's most famous tigers - the star of five films, with her own Facebook page and more than a million YouTube hits of her attacking a crocodile. Wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson returns to India to find his old friend in this documentary charting the extraordinary milestones in Machli's life as a mother and a hunter.

Cast and crew


Colin Stafford-Johnson


Mike Birkhead