Earth's Natural Wonders

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Surviving Against the Odds

Series 2 - Episode 3 Surviving Against the Odds

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Review

This series continues to be oddly mislabelled: in this episode, the sequence about bomb-disposal experts clearing unexploded US ordnance from Laos doesn't depend on the wondrousness or otherwise of the place. Neither does an Amazonian tribe working together to catch fish. Both stories, however, are engrossing, and elsewhere there are examples of humans interacting with spectacular locations, albeit by choice rather than necessity.

We meet a Swiss Alps air rescue team, and the residents of the Faroe Islands, whose yearning for fulmar eggs prompts them to do some extreme abseiling. Even more stunning are the adventures of Ethiopian highlanders, who believe a particular church is the only place to baptise a newborn. It's carved into a sheer cliff, 400 metres up from the ground.

Summary

Documentary exploring some of the most inhospitable places on the planet concludes by shedding light on the lives of the Kamayura People, who reside in Brazil's Xingu Indigenous Park. For the Kamayura, pleasing the spirits is crucial to maintaining good health, and during one key festival, a warrior must dance for hours to appease a bird spirit, sustained only by food and drink brought to him by villagers. In Ethiopia, belief drives the residents of the Tigray region to climb a 400-metre mountain to reach their church. In Switzerland, the Zermatt air rescue team offers an insight into why millions of hikers, climbers and skiers visit the Swiss Alps every year, despite the risk of injury - or even death.

Cast & Crew

Director Russell Leven
Executive Producer Jane Aldous
Series Producer Jobim Sampson
Science