Inside Nature’s Giants Review: Sssssuperb

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

INSIDE NATURE’S GIANTS: Tuesday 15th June, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME

Inside Nature’s Giants returns and this time they’ve got their hands more than full with massive snakes. If the biggest snake you’ve ever seen belongs to Ron Jeremy, the 14 foot whoppers in this programme make him look positively diminutive.

The show begins with the team splitting up to see who can find biggest snake for the programme – a kind of scientific Safari Joe with wild reptiles.

Simon Watt is the eventual winner finding a guy who lost his pet python to smoke inhalation in a house fire three years ago. Instead of getting rid of it (this is one pet that isn’t going to flush) he put it in a giant chest freezer so it now resembles a kind of bizarre reptilian Popsicle. That’s something you don’t see advertised on the side of ice-cream vans around the country. It’s bloody enormous, not to mention incredibly heavy and Mark and owner drop it several times while manhandling it, closer up it looks like a sculpture for an ancient Aztec god.

Unfortunately, the subzero serpent has decomposed a little bit too much for it to be of use for autopsy. It seems three years is a little bit too much time for even freezing to delay the decomposition process – someone better tell Walt Disney.

When they finally do get to work on another snake they’ve found, they start slicing it up on possibly the longest autopsy table ever and stretch out so it looks like the world’s biggest draught excluder.

What could have been a tired and dull biology lesson scaled up about 20 times quickly becomes utterly absorbing – as with all documentaries, the presenter’s passion is half the show and the team are so involved and excited in their quest to learn things that you can’t help become totally enthralled.

While snakes look like fat tubes with a head at the end, once you get inside, you realise that they’re a brilliantly complicated network of muscles, bones and scales that work harmoniously together. Far from being the grim butcher shop you might expect, the programme shows a fantastic wonder and respect for nature that it’s impossible not to admire.

It’s a fascinating and mind expanding series and should required viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in how animals work.

Jez Sands says:

The snake they used was killed in a house fire. It’s legal to hunt pythons in the States now as they’re becoming a pest. Any snake they used would have been part of that cull in any case, so it makes sense to use one for science. And judging by the enormous respect the presenters have for nature, I think it unlikely that any animals used in the show were killed specifically for it.

john says:

I sincerely hope the animals cut up for the sake of these shows all died of natural causes, I don’t think you can honestly justify killing some of natures most magnificent creatures for the sake of making a TV show which hasnt really told us anything we couldn’t find out already.