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Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild
E2 of 3
Series 1 - Episode 2
Understanding the Natural World
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Here’s a sobering thought: when David Attenborough started out in television, the origins of life were unknown, the structure of DNA had yet to be discovered, and the idea of tectonic plates shifting the continents was mocked (“Pure moonshine, dear boy,” scoffed Attenborough’s geology professor at Cambridge).
“I have lived through an era of extraordinary scientific discoveries,” sighs the presenter contentedly, as he sets out to show how his programmes have, over the years, explained and explored new discoveries, from chimpanzee “culture” to DNA fingerprinting. We get to see him howling like a wolf in Minnesota, snuggling up to meerkats in the Kalahari and charming tribespeople in his search for birds of paradise in New Guinea.
It’s an agreeable mix of archive and anecdotage. Look out for a wonderful scene with the great man next to a row of stuffed giraffe heads, ranged like bowling pins in a storeroom at the Natural History Museum.
David Attenborough reflects on scientific discoveries in his lifetime that have transformed the way the natural world is viewed - including evidence of how and where life began, the ways in which continents move, and research into animal communication and behaviour. He also recalls some of his more hair-raising attempts to bring new science to a television audience, and clips show him standing in the shadow of an erupting volcano and being charged at by a group of armed New Guinea tribesmen.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
A new fossil has been named after Sir David Attenborough
Fossil Mc Fossil Face didn't quite make the cut
Meet Sir David Attenborough... world music fan and collector
These childhood letters reveal how David Attenborough's love of nature goes way, way back
David Attenborough on profound gorillas, family life and what he'd like his legacy to be
David Attenborough – a history in Radio Times covers
BBC wanted to "find the new David Attenborough" 20 years ago
The evolution of David Attenborough in pictures
David Attenborough on 60 Years in the Wild
EastEnders: Steven to tell Lauren about cancer lie?
EastEnders: Whitney returns - and she's engaged to Woody!
Freeview film of the day: The Hangover
David Attenborough on his Brexit concerns - and why we DO need experts