It is a fact widely acknowledged that the BBC makes the best television nature and science documentaries. David Attenborough’s name has become a global watch phrase for excellence. But it is always the whole BBC team bringing in the best nature writing and filming and locations, in this series using the Planet Earth Polar camera-man, and Jacques Cousteau’s front-line camera-man.
Recently the Beeb has begun using other presenters to fill void the looming void that will be left when Mr. Attenborough retires; Brian Cox, Alice Roberts etc.
In Ocean Giants, the BBC uses Stephen Fry to narrate a three episode series about Cetaceans, the charismatic megafauna of the ocean, to use a favourite environmental phrase.
It is of course stunningly filmed at worldwide locations. Fry is understated and doesn’t try to overwhelm the reason that we are watching. And the subject matter is more than just a images of whales and dolphins, with each episode taking a different theme. The first episode Giant Lives uses extremes as the subject, size, duration, temperature, depth, distance. The second episode, Deep Thinkers, focused on cetacean intelligence and was my favourite of the three, with some fantastic footage of dolphins who had learned and passed on skills appropriate to specific locations. The final episode Voices Of The Sea, is about the sounds of cetaceans and what we’ve learned of them.
It’s another fantastic series from the BBC and one which I really enjoyed.