Naturalist Valmik Thapar takes the viewer on a tour of the wildlife across the Indian sub-continent - a journey that takes in all types of weather and terrain. It starts in the icy Himalayas, through the lush forests, flat plains and parched deserts to the mighty rivers and the oceans. The video features all the episodes from the acclaimed BBC television series.
Not just tigers, but a wide range of indigenous creatures are the subjects of Land of the Tigers
, a two-tape set. In a fascinating contrast with the curatorial reverence with which most narrators of wildlife programmes treat their subjects, the hyperanimated Valmik Thapar not only presents some superb footage of the wildlife of the Indian sub-continent but describes how these animals are regarded within Indian culture--sometimes deified and revered, or the subject of dance or art or part of daily life.
Of course, one disadvantage of transferring nearly five hours of factual TV programming to video is that the continuity and the revisiting of key ideas and impressions can become grindingly monotonous if, as here, no attempt is made to edit the material into a single-package format. However, treat it exactly as it was first broadcast, by rationing yourself to one programme-sized chunk at a time and letting Thapar's recapitulations and lingering, revelatory moments happen as they were originally intended and, if you've any interest at all in the wild life and cultural heritage of the region, you won't be disappointed. --Roger Thomas