Monday, February 04, 2008

Waxy Monkey Tree Frog

It's been a while since I've watched a David Attenborough wildlife show on the beeb (I didn't see any of Planet Earth and only caught a bit of Blue Planet - the last thing I remember watching properly watched was Life in the Freezer [I remember those evil, wickedly smiling, Leopard seals eating the lovely penguins - bastards!], which was apparently aired back in 1993!), so this evening I decided I get back into a bit of natural history by watching his new show Life in Cold Blood. As the name suggests this is all about your cold blooded beasties - the reptiles and amphibians. I enjoyed the show, which essentially follows the general BBC natural history format of showing lots of weird and wonderful animals doing their thing with Attenborough occasionally saying hello to them (all animals love Attenborough - it's programmed into their genes), watching them court each other and then copulating. There was real science content in the program, with the odd smattering of CGI animals internal organs, but I was mainly absorbing these facts without really knowing it - there was however a slightly shoehorned in bit about dinosaurs. It never tried to go into too much detail, with the main point being to show that the animals are pretty cool (excuse the pun.) I particularly liked the Waxy Monkey Tree Frog (in part for it's name, but also because it secreted it's own sun tan lotion/wax), the tortoise trying to right itself after losing a fight, the lizard that curled into a ball by biting it's own tail, and the really, really, really tiny Pygmy Chameleon. That said I wasn't as impressed by the program as I've been by, the admittedly viewed long ago, other series'. Maybe it's just that cold blooded creatures aren't as cute as birds and mammals, or there weren't any big action set pieces - watching two tree frogs fight isn't quite the same as a pride of lioness's taking down an elephant - or maybe I now need a higher level of science content from my natural history programming. But I'll see how the series pans out as Attenborough's looking pretty old now (although still spritely) and he may no be doing too many more.