Life Review: Animals Do The Cleverest Things

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


LIFE: Monday 12th October, BBC1, 9pm ALERT ME

When I read a ridiculous statistic claiming that a further 50,000 (or so) species remain undiscovered in some rainforest, it always makes me smile because it ensures that the BBC shouldn’t run out of material to include in these ground-breaking shows any time soon.

Indeed there are so many weird and wonderful creatures knocking about on this planet of ours that Attenborough hasn’t bothered buying a new machete just yet – this programme shows us some well-known animals, but as we have never seen them before.

We all know that life is full of little challenges, and animals are no exception to this rule. Having said that, not many of us need to worry about being eaten by a pack of killer whales – but that’s the price you pay for living in Antarctica.

You might be pleased to know that the brave little seal in question avoids being gobbled by hiding behind an iceberg – apparently it’s the oldest trick in the book.

Four years in the making, Life is a programme that focuses on the clever little ways in which some creatures solve all the most important problems in life, like finding food, getting laid and escaping hungry murderers.

Those people who enjoy such shows will love this series, and even a person with a shelf full of nature DVDs will find nothing but original material here, of which examples are truly too numerous to mention.

Much of the animal behaviour caught on camera is very fresh – and while the programme will rightly fuel Attenborough’s legend – it’s important to give credit to the BBC camera crews who trek all over the planet to bring us such remarkable footage, and there is an interesting piece at the end which pays homage to their efforts.

During this episode, I realise that one of the finest parts of shows like this is that we often end up rooting for one animal or another as the little stories unfold, and I can’t ever remember wanting to see a killer whale get his dinner.

Maybe they just need some decent PR…

Sean Marland