Wonders of the Monsoon

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Waiting for the Rains

Series 1 - Episode 1 Waiting for the Rains

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Review

A hard rain’s gonna fall. Starting in the dry season that precedes the yearly monsoon, this nature documentary has an apocalyptic feel, full of omens: 300,000 bats belly-flop into a river, dodging the exploding jaws of crocodiles; in scrubland, dry lightning sparks “fire devils”, 100m-tall tornados of fire. And over it all there’s Colin Salmon’s portentous voice-over: “The monsoon delivers deluge, and with it the miracle of rejuvenation,” he declaims. “The giver of life and the destroyer.”

It’s not all sturm und drang. The vibrant, saturated footage is spectacular enough to sell televisions, plus there’s the comedy of frill-necked lizards flouncing around like Beau Brummell and Sumatran orangutans making leaf umbrellas. But still it’s a relief when, in the closing moments, the skies finally open.

Summary

Colin Salmon narrates a documentary exploring how the lives of humans and animals across a vast area of the planet are affected by the transforming power of the monsoon rains. The end of the dry season in northern Australia sees 300,000 flying foxes gathering to drink while running a gauntlet of freshwater crocodiles, while in Sumatra a female orang-utan guides her youngster to where she knows a fig tree fruits at this time of year. At the Delhi stock exchange, the price of rice escalates every day the rains fail to materialise and priests submerge themselves in water and beseech Varuna, god of water, to come.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Colin Salmon
Executive Producer Chris Cole
Executive Producer James Honeyborne
Producer Kathryn Jeffs
Series Producer Paul Bradshaw
Education Nature