×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nature’s Most Amazing Events

Docu is a visually splendid compilation of footage that doesn't quite match its hyperbolic title.

With:
Narrator: Hasani Issa.

Spectacular photography has been a hallmark of Discovery’s collaborations with the BBC, from “Planet Earth” to this three-night, six-hour documentary. Despite the title, though, “Nature’s Most Amazing Events” is less of an event than its high-rated predecessor — a visually splendid compilation of footage that doesn’t quite match its hyperbolic title. Discovery still has a winner on its hands, but the highlights seem fewer and farther between — or maybe just our amazement quotient has been slightly numbed by the welcome new wave of high-def nature films.

Divided into six rather arbitrary chapters, “Amazing Events” begins with “Arctic Summer” — chronicling the long, cruel winter months before the summer thaw arrives, as polar bears, arctic foxes and oddities like the horned narwhal whale adapt to survive; and “Grizzly Wilderness,” as grizzlies and wolves feast on the annual return of Pacific salmon.

Subsequent chapters — perhaps the best being “Army of Predators,” where sharks, dolphins, whales and birds prey on the massive sardine run up South Africa’s coast, a feeding frenzy that resembles a “Star Wars” space battle — range far and wide in search of “Wow” moments, coupled with gee-whiz statistics.

All the requisite devices are put to good use, including aerial photography that brings the massive scope of these events into sharp focus, time-lapse imagery, and slow-motion to capture every bared fang. Male hippos fight over harems and dragonflies mate in a bizarrely colorful spectacle.

Even nature documentaries can’t escape politics, and it should be noted that there are several references to climate change endangering species such as polar bears, so global-warming deniers perhaps need not apply. A warning, too, that those with a weak stomach or special fondness for seals might not want to see what they look like when a hungry polar bear gets hold of one.

All told, there are some wonderful elements spread among this documentary’s tableau of life, but also a degree of repetition and been-there, seen-that — the copious list of “television firsts” that the cameras recorded notwithstanding. The weakest hour, for example, “Kalahari Flood,” explores the dry season in the Kalahari Desert, but the wait for water to flood the Okavango Delta finally feels a bit too Disney-fied in the course of this “circle of life”-style journey.

Is “Nature’s Most Amazing Events” the most amazing documentary you’ve seen? Probably not. But for those with an interest in the other beasts occupying planet Earth, it’s just amazing enough.

Nature's Most Amazing Events

Discovery Channel, May 29-31, 8 p.m.

Production: Produced by BBC and Discovery. Executive producers, Brian Leith, Susan Winslow; series producer, Karen Bass; producers, Justin Anderson, Jeff Turner; re-versioning producer/writer, Sandra Gregory.

Crew: Camera, Martyn Colbeck, Warwick Sloss, Turner, Justin Maguire; aerial camera, Simon Werry; editors, Andrew Netley, Tim Coope; music, Barnaby Taylor, Ben Salisbury. RUNNING TIME: 6 HOURS

Cast: Narrator: Hasani Issa.

More TV

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • WELCOME-TO-THE-FAMILY

    Major Spanish Series at Mipcom 2019

    Profiles of major Spanish shows at Mipcom. S: International distribution. 3 CAMINOS (Ficción Producciones, Beta Film) Five friends of different nationalities connect on the St. James Way. An Amazon Prime Vídeo pickup, shooting from February. S: Beta Film CARONTE (Mediaset España, Big Bang Media) Legal procedural from Verónica Fernández, creator of Netflix’s upcoming “Hache,” about [...]

  • Presidential Race Cable News Donald Trump

    CNN Calls on Trump to Denounce Video Showing Violence Against Media

    CNN has called on President Trump to denounce a video that was shown at a pro-Trump conference last week, in which the president is depicted slaughtering figures representing media outlets. The New York Times reported that the video was shown at a conference for Trump supporters held at Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Fla. According [...]

  • RuPaul Variety Vanguard Award

    How RuPaul Paved the Way for the Art of Drag to Be Celebrated by the Masses

    It took years of hustle and hard work in high heels before RuPaul hit it big in TV. But while he was on the road to becoming a household name and multiple Emmy winner, the host and executive producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” never doubted that he was destined for small-screen success. “Everything I know [...]

  • Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Android, 'Doctor Who' Actor, Dies at 81

    Stephen Moore, best known for his roles as the paranoid android Marvin in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio series and the Silurian Eldane in “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 81. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” producer Dirk Maggs confirmed Moore’s death Sturday on Twitter, writing, “Our dear friend Stephen Moore has [...]

  • Baghdad-Central-Image

    Fremantle, Hulu Bringing 'Baghdad Central' to United States

    Fremantle is partnering with Hulu to bring the UK drama “Baghdad Central” to the United States, Fremantle announced Monday. The latest in Hulu’s growing slate of international content, “Baghdad Central” will launch on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and stream on Hulu in 2020. Based on the novel by Elliott Colla, the six-part drama [...]

  • Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet

    Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet on ‘Sing or Spin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global production and distribution giant Endemol Shine is to duet with leading Chinese producer and broadcaster Hunan TV on primetime entertainment format “Sing or Spin,” which has an innovative spin: a revolving stage that lets singers know how well they are scoring. The show has been co-developed by Endemol Shine China and Hunan TV as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content