My love letter to the makers of Frozen Planet

By Ed Yong | October 28, 2011 7:46 am

The first episode of Frozen Planet – the BBC’s new mega-series on life at the poles, fronted by the peerless David Attenborough – aired on Wednesday. It exceeded my already lofty expectations, and I’ve written a comment piece for the Guardian that’s a bit of a love letter to the makers of the show, the BBC’s Natural History Unit, and the BBC’s attitude to science programmes more generally. Extract below; go read the whole thing.

Giant unicorn-whales with tusks? That’s why I pay my licence fee

Here is what I do when I’m feeling down about the country: I load up the Wikipedia page for the BBC Natural History Unit and click on the “In Production” link. Happy sighs ensue.

The unit’s latest product, aired on Wednesdays, is Frozen Planet, a majestic tour of Arctic and Antarctic wildlife ably narrated by Sir David Attenborough, an 85-year-old man who insists on travelling to the south pole while people many decades his junior make a small noise whenever we sit down.

On the screen, polar bears mate and fight, wolves run down herds of bison and lunging whales create concentric ripples of fleeing fish. It would take several thousands of pounds to see these sights in person, but for £145.50 a year, I can recline on my sofa and watch the world’s jammiest penguin escape from the world’s most incompetent sea lion. From the screen, that velvety voice: “Never have the roles of hunter and hunted been played with so little skill.” Fortunately, the same can’t be said for the people behind the cameras.

Photo via BBC NHU

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments are closed.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Dive into the awe-inspiring, beautiful and quirky world of science news with award-winning writer Ed Yong. No previous experience required.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+