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Earth Journey with Christopher Reeve Animal Encounters

Host: Christopher Reeve.

Host: Christopher Reeve.

New travel series kicks off with a purpose — watching wild animals — and, with actor Christopher Reeve bookending many of the segs, “Earth Journey” shows brief glimpses of places folks can visit. Promos are kept at a minimum during the episode, and the program itself makes for lively watching and dreaming.

The variety of acts is staggering: Millions of bats whiz out of a Texas cave (with the reassuring words that they’re totally harmless except to insects, which the bats devour by the carload), while in a Washington preserve orphaned otter pups learn how to cope before being gently deposited back into the sea.

Observing sharks at close range in Freeport, Bahamas, feeding kangaroos in Australia, eyeing wild horses in a Washington sanctuary, spotting giant worms on Philip Island and visiting a crocodile farm in Costa Rica are among the illustrated challenges in the fast-paced first edition of the series.

“Eco Quizzes” and “Eco Facts” are plusses to the environmentally correct essay, and the camerawork, editing and subjects are good.

How people get to Tippi Hedren’s animal preserve outside L.A., or to the wallabies in Tasmania, or to so many of the areas is another matter.

That’s where, apparently, the travel agents and airline reservation offices fit into the trim, purposeful, informational speciality.

Earth Journey with Christopher Reeve Animal Encounters

(Wed. (30), 8:30-9 p.m., The Travel Channel)

  • Production: Filmed at various sites by the New Travel Network and the Travel Channel. Exec producers, Jim Hornthal, Roy Walkehorst; senior producer, Phil Frank; producer, Sandy Garritano.
  • Crew: Camera, Brad White; editors, Ann Turley, Steve McConnell, John de Groot, Boris Zubor.
  • Cast:
  • Music By: