Earthflight (2010, John Downer (producer))
Earthflight is an innovative and stunningly realised nature documentary from the BBC. Following the path of a variety of birds across several continents, Earthflight promises to unlock the secrets of the skies, showing the world a new and inspiring vision of our feathered friends.
Created using cutting edge tactics, the footage here really is stunning, with cameras attached to the back of many different birds, thus showing a literal birds-eye view for the first time in television at this quality. David Tennant’s soothing narration works well, and in High Definition the visuals are spectacular. Highlights of the series include the swarming of thousands of starlings, and slow-motion eagle attacks across a river full of salmon. The BBC always bring professionalism and talent to their major documentary programs, and Earthflight is no different.
Nothing major, but it boils down to it simply not being David Attenborough. There isn’t any of the warmth and wit the octogenarian brings to his projects, and you do miss it. Also the programs are sorted into separate continental stories, with the final episode concerned with the methodology behind the camerawork and the film crew. This would be better as a short section at the end of each documentary, which results in the episodes all feeling slightly long. But these are small quibbles, as this is a fine series.