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Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild

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S1-E1 Life on Camera

S1-E1 Life on Camera

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Review

Having spent 60 years making natural history films, David Attenborough has got close to pretty well every creature on Earth. He admits he’s lived through the golden age of the genre, although in a typically unassuming way, doesn’t mention the major role he played in it. Instead he takes us through the technological innovations that dramatically changed the way wildlife was filmed for TV.

He starts with the black-and-white footage of Zoo Quest in 1956, made after he won a battle with the BBC over using a small camera and boasting the most extraordinarily stilted, cut-glass commentary from him.

Alongside glorious clips from ground-breaking series such as Life on Earth, The Private Life of Plants etc, he tells some entertaining “out-take” anecdotes. Although technological advances were crucial, human involvement was the key. “The most memorable shot tends to come from just one camera and just one person with a deep understanding of the natural world,” he concludes.

Summary

David Attenborough reflects on his TV career, charting changes in the natural world and mankind's understanding of the planet as well as developments in wildlife film-making. In the first episode, he looks back on the animal encounters that have shaped his career - from the early black-and-white Zoo Quest days to a close encounter with a lion pride in the pitch dark. He also shares a few tricks of the trade, such as how to catch a Komodo dragon and the secret to maintaining continuity in the most difficult circumstances, and recalls the making of landmark series Life on Earth.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Attenborough
Executive Producer Alastair Fothergill
Series Producer Miles Barton

Nature

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