David Attenborough’s Dynasties – Episode 5 Impressions

A Sombre End To A Stunning Series

Regarded as one of the most majestic and well loved of the big cats, Tigers are also one of the most endangered species in the world. Dynasties’ final episode follows these creatures and in particular, mother Raj Bhera, as she tries to steer her newborn cubs through the trials and tribulations of the natural world. While the episode lacks the action and excitement previous episodes managed to conjure, the final episode of Dynasties is a timeless reminder of how precious our world is and the very real danger that species like this could soon be extinct.

The episode itself plays out much the same way as the other 4 episodes in the series. We follow Raj Bhera as she juggles the impossible task of raising her cubs to adulthood, marking her territory and hunting prey to feed her young. Of course, with any animal there are obstacles and in the case of Raj Bhera, this comes in the form of rival tigers intent on stealing her land. Although we don’t see any fighting between these animals, tensions do mount as tigers go face to face and appear to challenge her lucrative plot of land.

While the other episodes this year have had a fair share of action and fighting, Tigers is a much more sombre, reflective episode. Perhaps in some way this mirrors the demeanour of tigers themselves although given the spoils we’ve experienced this year in the show, it does feel a little underwhelming. Still, seeing these tiger cubs grow into adults is something rarely captured on screen and the BBC nature crew do an amazing job shooting these big cats in their natural habitat.

While last week’s episode felt more like a film with its wild establishing shots and slick cinematography, Tigers gets back to basics and shoots a much more straight forward episode. The camera work is still impressive but given the hands-off method of shooting, there’s a lot more static shots and long stretches of silence this time around. This distinctly familiar format works well, helping us bask in the majesty of these creatures going about their lives without the need for flashy camera work.

The “On Location” segment confirms as much, guiding us through the difficult task of finding tigers and the innovative techniques the crew used to shoot them in their natural habitat. All of this narrated to perfection by David Attenborough who adds an elegance and gentle touch to every beautiful scene he speaks over.

As the episode ends, we’re left with one final message – a plea to us as human beings. Protect these animals or face the very real possibility that creatures like this could end up extinct. Although Dynasties lacks the globe-spanning range other documentaries have achieved in the past, this is a much more intimate series than we’ve seen before but the message is more hard-hitting than ever before.


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