All six episodes of the BBC's high-definition nature documentary series chronicling some of the planet's most spectacular natural events, and showing how these phenomena can transform entire landscapes, drawing in millions of animals and determining their fate. The series shows how powerful natural forces can trigger chain reactions involving everything from microscopic organisms to entire tracts of rainforest. Events featured in the series include the Pacific salmon run, the greening of the Serengeti, the plankton bloom in the Pacific Northwest, the spring thaw in the Arctic, the flooding of the Okavango Delta and the South Atlantic sardine run.
Nature’s Great Events takes up the mantle left by the stunning BBC series Planet Earth, and offers a closer look at some of the most fascinating and dramatic natural happenings on the planet. Narrated by David Attenborough, it digs in some detail into the impact on nature of certain events, and manages to hone in on small stories in the midst of major happenings. It’s a breathtaking cocktail.
What particularly lifts Nature’s Great Events too is the stunning photography. Those who recall Planet Earth will recall just how superb the shots within that frequently were, but if anything, Nature’s Great Events tops it. The cinematography here is world-class, and it greatly enhances the series around it as a result.
That said, there’s more than enough substance to Nature’s Great Events as it stands anyway. Diligently made and researched, and presented in an accessible, yet not condescending manner, it’s another major success for the BBC in this area, and further cements why it’s a world leader where natural history documentaries are concerned.
Credit must go too for the decision to include the making-of material. Back when the BBC broadcast The Blue Planet, these were often just as interesting as the main feature itself, and the same is true here. It’s a genuinely fascinating insight into the production of such an ambitious, and unmissable, series. --Jon Foster