NATURE to Celebrate David Attenborough with Miniseries ATTENBOROUGH'S LIFE STORIES, Beg. 1/23
Following up on his boyhood fascination with a book illustration showing a bird of paradise being hunted by native tribes, Attenborough ventures to New Guinea in search of the elusive bird and is charged by a group of armed tribesmen until he offers a handshake signaling his peaceful intent. Eventually his cameraman filmed a plumed male and unplumed female, possibly the first film ever taken of a bird of paradise displaying in the wild, but Attenborough returned 40 years later with better cameras and the ability to shoot high up in the trees. Among other topics featured are DNA fingerprinting, chimpanzee behavior and Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.
Episode three: Attenborough's Life Stories: Our Fragile Planet
Attenborough reflects on the dramatic impact that we have had on the natural world during his lifetime, such as the disappearing rain forests and coral reefs, endangered species such as the blue whale, manatees, sea otters, chimpanzees, and orangutans. He notes how the vulnerable Panamanian golden frog is now quarantined for safety so it doesn't succumb to a highly infectious fungus which has already made the Monteverde Toad from Costa Rica extinct.
He tells surprising, entertaining and deeply personal stories of the changes he has seen, from his early travels with the London Zoo collecting animals; showing viewers the world's rarest living animal, the giant Galapagos tortoise, Lonesome George; to covering the work of Dian Fossey, whose life's mission to study and protect the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda inspired him to become a conservationist.
But Attenborough also reviews the revolution in attitudes towards nature that has taken place around the globe. He cites the creation in 1961 of the World Wildlife Fund, the first international organization to spend money on conservation projects around the globe, and protections put into place in Borneo and Malaysia to protect birds and turtles.
He concludes with a warning about the consequences of sea ice melt: exposing the dark sea water that doesn't reflect the sun's heat to keep earth cool. Unlike ice and snow, it absorbs the sun's heat, raising the sea temperature and its level. Climate change, he says, is already affecting the lives of not only wild animals, but ourselves.
Attenborough's Life Stories is a co-production of THIRTEEN and BBC in association with WNET. Alastair Fothergill is executive producer. David Attenborough is presenter. For Nature, FrEd Kaufman is executive producer.
Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers. The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.
Nature has won almost 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities, and environmental organizations, including 11 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. The series received two of the wildlife film industry's highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Recently, Nature's executive producer, FrEd Kaufman, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Media by the 2012 International Wildlife Film Festival
PBS.org/nature is the award-winning web companion to Nature featuring streaming episodes, filmmaker interviews, teacher's guides, and more.
Major corporate support for the original public television broadcast of this Nature program was provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc. Additional support was provided by the Arnhold Family in honor of Clarisse Arnhold, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation, Susan Malloy and the Sun Hill Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation's public television stations.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York's flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah!and Cyberchaseand provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Todayand MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.
Photo © Adam Scott 2011