A Beautiful & Varied World
Back for another week, Seven Worlds, One Planet returns for an hour of jaw-dropping visuals in David Attenborough’s latest BBC series. This week we’re in South America, a continent rich with wildlife. With more insight into the deforestation issue in the region and plenty of tonal shifts throughout, this nature documentary continues to deliver the goods with some truly awe-inspiring shots of the continent.
We begin with puma in the stunning backdrop of the mountainous Andes. Here we’re introduced to a mother struggling to feed her young and after several difficult attempts at catching prey whilst grappling unpredictable weather, she gets her reward but this just goes to show how hard work this actually is. After a brief history lesson on volcanoes in the region, on the coast of Peru the tone shifts to a much more humorous one as we see sea birds using droppings – over a meter thick – to make their nests. What ensues from here is a comedic segment that sees these penguins forced to crowd-surf a group of angry sea lions. It’s a nice change of pace and one that actually does well to brace for what’s to come later on.
From here we’re graced with Cloud Forest, home to some bizarre creatures including the Pinocchio lizard and the Andean bear. Along with this high-altitude forest, Venezuela also boasts a wholly alien landscape too, including the beautifully surreal flat-topped mountains. As the helicopter sweeps across this gorgeous land, the visuals are absolutely breathtaking, as rainbows across Angel Falls give the region a glossy, almost animated, feel to proceedings. It’s so beautiful, it’s hard to believe places like this exist on our planet.
Unfortunately South America is changing and areas like this may not be around forever. Thanks to deforestation and time lapse technology, we see just how devastating farming has been for the species living in this area. Many are critically endangered and with billions of people on the planet, combined with our insatiable appetite, we’re reaching a tipping point that spells cataclysmic consequences for our planet.
In the Amazon Rainforest we see some of the wonderful creatures that live here though, including poison dart frogs and scarlet macaws. This leads on nicely to wildlife slightly further south from the rainforest, as we see a delicate balance between fish, monkeys and boa constrictor – the circle of life in full force – all over the ensuing struggle to eat low-hanging fruit.
Despite South America’s growing stance on using renewable hydro-electric energy, unfortunately for the birds that live at Iguazu Falls, this has caused a whole host of problems to surface during water surges. The birds survive though, against all odds, but it also just goes to show that renewable energy still has its challenges. We then end with an on-location segment, as per usual, this time depicting the pumas and the struggles the camera crew had with the family they followed during this time.
Much like the previous episodes, Seven Worlds, One Planet does well to blend incredible visuals and tonal shifts with the educational history of the continent. All of this builds into the current environmental issues with climate change. The inclusion of the hydroelectric energy at the end is a nice touch too, especially with its natural consequences on the birds living in the area which is something I had no idea was an issue. All in all though, Seven Worlds, One Planet delivers another visually stunning episode here and while it may not have tugged at the heartstrings quite so much as last week, there’s enough here to make for another beautifully constructed episode nonetheless.