Great Migrations

National Geographic has an impeccable record at documenting wildlife.

With its newest television series, Great Migrations, it has excelled.

Sit back and prepare to be spellbound by the images, drama and production values of this four hour series.

Two years in the making, this transports the viewer to landscapes alive with some of the planet’s most extraordinary species. There are aerial shots set to a symphony of music, minute close ups of insects and battlefields where elephant seals fight bloody battles.

Unifying the stories is the theme of migrations. Herds, schools and flocks must all move to survive. As the planet summons them in seasons they undertake life-threatening journeys. The alternative, to stand still, would mean certain death.

The strong will survive. The weak succumb. Together with the arduous lengths of their annual treks, such drama makes for engrossing storytelling.

Each episode of Great Migrations features a number of different animal species from across the planet.

In the first episode we meet a documentary favourite, the wildebeest. No matter how many times you’ve watched these creatures try to cross crocodile-infested rivers, it is mesmerising television.

There are the dinner-plate size red crabs of Christmas Island, that march in their millions to the ocean to breed, including facing a foe in the form of ferocious crazy yellow ants.

Butterflies from Mexico travel across North America, a journey that takes four generations to complete. Majestic sperm whales cross oceans to survive.

In the second episode there are flying foxes in Queensland, army ants in Costa Rica, rock island penguins in the Falklands, and the white-eared kob of the Sudan. There is mating, birth and death in this epic circle of life.

The access to creatures is remarkable. Filmed in glorious HD detail, the cinematography transports you to sights we should never see. Whether high atop a rocky perch, in treetops, ice-floes, underwater or planted on African plains, nothing has been spared in order to document amazing natural dramas. At some points you feel like you are flying with butterflies, or marching across the earth with ants.

Accompanying the visuals are an orchestral score by composer Anton Sanko (Big Love) and narration by Alec Baldwin. His script juxtaposes information and drama, at times poetic in its observations.

This series never has to manufacture its drama. The harsh reality of survival, painstakingly captured by cameras, is a powerful storyteller in itself.

Great Migrations will rightfully take its place alongside other epic wildlife television including the work of David Attenborough, Jacques Cousteau, Planet Earth, Life.

In keeping with its mammoth scale, this will have a global launch this weekend. Don’t miss it.

Great Migrations airs 7:30pm Sunday on National Geographic.

10 Comments:

  1. was a major botch by nat geo hd airing the premiere of the pilot without any commentary for the first 20 minutes.

    great documentary series though, and it did look stunning in hd.

    those that are with austar, you can see it in hd on nat geo wild hd which is free and unencrypted on asiasat 2 if u really wanna watch it.

    obviously you will need a seperate (ie not the austar box) high-def satellite stb (dvb-s2) in order to receive it.

  2. As a Austar Mystar HD subscriber i totally agree with how pathetic Austar are at providing an equivalent service to Foxtel….”touch wood” i haven’t had any problem with my Mystar Hd PVR so far.
    However i will also wait for this on Blu-Ray – true 1080p video and hopefully dtsHD audio

  3. @Knowfirst – I’m not missing the point, I agree Austar customers should have access to the same HD channels as Foxtel does for the same cost. I’m just saying that I’m not willing to pay the extra $$ for Mystar HD.

  4. Craig mate you’re missing the point – I don’t want the bloody Bluray I want to be able to watch the damn thing as it airs on Nat Geo HD like the metropolitan audience that has Foxtel can.

    It’s as simple as that.

    I pay $150 for the damn thing a month and I want to be able to see what my friends see for roughly the same price.

  5. I don’t care if it’s HD or now as I only have the SD decorder. I refuse to pay extra each month for MyStar HD, which on all accounts is not a very good PVR.

    If you want HD then just get the BluRay when it comes out, as for FTA unless it airs on one of the HD channels (7MATE or GEM) then the whole country is stuck watching it in SD.

  6. Austar are getting so many abusive posts on Facebook they are now begging people to stop LOL

    Good luck with that… the answer is simple – you add the channels when Foxtel does, you use your left hand to talk to your right hand, it’s not rocket science. Communicate!

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