I was spellbound, along with half the population, watching The Frozen Planet: an amazing study of life triumphing against the odds in landscapes of unimaginable sculptural beauty and strangeness. Its successors suffer by comparison. This week, we have seen the start of two new, potentially extraordinary series, Monty Hall’s exploration of The Great Barrier Reef, which looks amazing and has got content, though it takes a while for it to appear and Earthflight, in which David Tennant voices over a bird’s eye view of the world.
What both of these series have in common is that they appear to be wildlife for stoners where coherent narrative is of secondary importance to the wow! Visuals. It is nature for the ADHD afflicted. The narrative of Earthflight has a banality that Mr Tennant’s engaging Scottish brogue does little to diminish its Transatlantic origins. It is not enough to revoice it in English – sorry, British when the text is as fatuous in Anglo Saxon as it is in North American.
While we are on the subject of narration, More 4’s The Story of Film: an Odyssey is a brilliant piece of work, wisely framed, perceptively analytical and with an exquisite choice of clips but Oh Mark! The voiceover!! You really should have left it to a friendly thesp to inflect with plumby tones rather than alienate the audience with an eccentric and frankly infuriating North Hibernian offbeat psalmody.
Can do better. Must try harder.