Prey VS Predator
Back for another week, David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet returns with another dramatic episode, this time focusing its sights on the bio-diverse continent of Australia. Showcasing breathtaking scenery across Australia, the BBC continue to deliver the goods with this latest episode.
Australia is the land of survivors and it’s also one of the most diverse continents too. We begin in the jungles of Northern Australia – the oldest on our planet. Cassowary rule the forest and having seen these in Prague Zoo up close, they’re very unusual creatures. However, it turns out only half of cassowary actually make it to adulthood thanks to Australia’s deadliest prehistoric predators that feast on the young – including snakes, spiders and other reptiles.
Most of the episode sees this delicate balance between prey and predator brought into full focus. Whether it be the intelligent and ingenious shark herding fish to the shallow waters, or the deadly crocodiles lying in wait for migratory bats to swoop close, there’s a vast array of different camera techniques used to show this in all its glory. Ultimately this forms the crux of the episode too, culminating in an amazing scene late on involving dingoes hunting kangaroos.
Along with these different scenes, Seven Worlds, One Planet continues its crusade of injecting humour into every episode and this week is no exception. The most unlikely creature to be given that honour this week is that of the hunting spider. Here, we see them mating in a bizarre ritual involving paddles and outstretched legs. It’s hilarious stuff and it’s helped by the musical score which is especially excellent during this segment.
As we head further adrift from these lush environments, we see how dry and desolate Australia actually is. Its shocking to see this dusty, alien world from space but here reptiles thrive in this environment. Seeing the clever way reptiles use water leads us on to a final scene involving the Tasmanian devil and the dangers it faces, on the cusp of going extinct.
Inevitably, we finish the episode with the usual on-location segment involving the dingo and how difficult they were to film. Some of this is thanks to the way humans persecuted these creatures over the years so to combat this weariness, the crew decide to use drones and helicopters, helping to capture the hunt in all its glory and pay testament to the ingenuity of the camera crew.
With less of the themes surrounding humanity’s destruction of the environment and instead a more driven episode focusing on Australia’s biodiversity, Seven Worlds, One Planet delivers another visually stunning episode, one focused on the prey VS predator struggle that’s dominated the animal kingdom since life came to be. Seeing these on such a grand scale is amazing to watch and easily the highlight this week. Australia is a beautiful and deadly continent and that is really emphasized here too, thanks to a mix of great camerawork and the usual calming narration from David Attenborough. As we cast our sights on Europe for next week’s episode, BBC’s documentary series bows out with another great hour of natural history.