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David Attenborough's Galapagos

S1-E3 Evolution

S1-E3 Evolution

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Review

There is a poignancy here as one octogenarian lowers himself on creaking knees to recline alongside another, Lonesome George, the last remaining Pinta giant tortoise in existence. Fourteen days after the scene was shot, George died and his species became extinct. Not that Attenborough lingers for long as he has a wider story to tell, of how each individual Galapagos island came to be home to so many distinct species. He also needs time to ponder the discovery of a new species, the pink iguana – though genetic testing suggests it’s been around for five million years, so it’s not so new as very good at hiding.

For a 3D natural history programme there are not many spectacular wildlife scenes – even a hawk hunting a marine iguana is dispatched with swift, brutal realism – but there are some nice touches such as the visual trick of Attenborough sitting beside himself presenting a 1978 film.

Summary

The broadcaster concludes his exploration of the archipelago with a look at how, despite their proximity, no two of the 19 islands are the same. He also uncovers evidence that evolution on Galapagos is occurring faster than Charles Darwin could ever have imagined, and encounters Lonesome George, the last remaining giant Pinta Island tortoise, which died just a few weeks after filming in June 2012.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Attenborough
Director Martin Williams
Producer Sias Wilson

Documentary

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