Third Episode’s A Charm
With less than 20,000 lions left in Africa, these incredible big cats could soon be extinct. It’s something that almost seems unfathomable to say out loud. This week on Dynasties we follow these magnificent endangered species, and in particular one lioness pride. Led by sisters Sienna and Charm, the fate of the pride rests on their shoulders as they try to preserve the livelihood of their family.
After the episode on Emperor Penguins last week, Dynasties returns to its focused narrative seen in the first episode for another emotionally exhausting, tumultuous episode. During the run time we follow the trials and tribulations the pride faces as well as the harsh, brutal reality of life in the lion hierarchy. If there’s one thing this season has managed to nail it’s the emotional impact of the animals and this week is no exception.
Without giving too much away, this episode manages to become the most emotionally draining of all three thus far. While last week’s Penguins had its moments and David’s power struggles provided a lot of drama, this week is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. The high stakes are established early on and from that moment, the episode is absolutely relentless as we see the pride pushed to the limit. All of this builds to a bittersweet ending before the inclusion of the “On Location” segment.
Last week’s intervention from the camera team to save trapped penguins led many to question whether they should have interfered with nature. This week sees something similar but with a very different purpose. A human created issue spells disaster for one lion and it’s at this point where the message is really made clear at how endangered this species really is. Given how prolific these creatures have become over the years (especially with the recent Lion King trailer), hearing they could soon be extinct is pretty shocking and something I’m ashamed to say I had no knowledge of.
Once again the series shows off its technical prowess with another very well shot episode, making the most of the gorgeous backdrop of the African Savannah for this tale to play out. After last week’s episode, Lions delivers an emotionally charged, beautifully told tale of loss, love and family. The direct narratives this time around makes Dynasties a very personal and distinctly different series to other Attenborough shows. It works perfectly though and once again shows just why the BBC are the leading creator of nature documentaries.