Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cruel Beauty of Raw Nature; TONIGHT'S TELEVISION

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cruel Beauty of Raw Nature; TONIGHT'S TELEVISION

Article excerpt



9pm, BBC2


WHAT a visual treat this nature series has been over the past three weeks.

Okay, so it lacks the authority of Attenborough and perhaps even the enthusiasm of Oddie, but the stunning filming has more than made up for that.

Mind you, even though it looks beautiful, don't think we haven't spotted that many of the more striking sequences have been repeated from week to week.) This final instalment examines the forces of change that have affected the Galapagos islands.

One of these is volcanoes the Galapagos being a volcanically active area.

Pregnant land iguanas like to lay their eggs on warm volcanic ash. The expectant reptiles, whose skin looks like a pair of big leathery pyjamas, climb all the way up to the perilous rims of possibly active volcanoes and have to haul themselves even further if they get turfed off a good spot by a rival.

Even the simple act of night falling can impact on nature.

In one exquisite scene, as it gets dark, we see amazing fluorescent creatures such glasslike slipper lobsters rising up through the ocean.

Of course, human intervention has also forced change, bringing non-native plants and animals into the environment. Witnessing a group of goats strip native plants - thereby denying food to a giant tortoise is particularly sad spectacle.

But man isn't the only instigator of destruction.

Birds called Nazca boobies hatch two chicks - the stronger one bullies the weaker until it leaves the nest and starves to death.

Not nice.

Johnny Kingdom: A Year On Exmoor

7.30pm, BBC2

We live a very sheltered life here in the capital when it comes to regional telly. We usually get programmes about recycling, city farms or old pubs (Suggs optional), but less urban parts of Britain get green fields and Dibnah-style eccentrics - such as Johnny Kingdom, the ITV West wildlife show presenter who is now the star of his own BBC2 series.

Kingdom is endearingly bonkers and you have to admire a devotion to local wildlife that includes a rescued, three-legged deer living in his back garden.

This series follows him for 12 months; in part one, he builds a hide for filming badgers (and explains to "townies", as he calls us) what a badger sett is. …

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