It doesn’t take lengthy to determine the principle drawback with Our Altering Planet (BBC One), the most recent sequence from the BBC’s Pure Historical past Unit.
It begins within the fallacious place. The programme desires to indicate us how local weather change and human behaviour are having a disastrous impact on the planet, in a undertaking lasting seven years. But it surely begins in 12 months one. We’re launched to the problems – dying coral reefs within the Maldives, retreating glaciers in Iceland, industrialisation in Cambodia – and instructed that the presenters will probably be offering us with updates over the subsequent seven years.
But when the concept was to jolt us into altering our behaviour, and to current us with the horrors of environmental harm, wouldn’t it have been higher to chart the decline over the previous seven years and present us the horrible outcomes, in order that we act now?
Tv documentaries of this sort are powered by putting imagery. Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II introduced consideration to plastic air pollution by displaying us surprising footage of its results on wildlife.
Our Altering Planet, regardless of the most effective of intentions, merely doesn’t seize this. Chris Packham, one of many presenters, inadvertently nailed it with a comment made whereas he stood beneath a melting glacier in Iceland. “We learn quite a bit concerning the impacts of local weather change however it’s solely whenever you stand right here, dripping moist, listening to that cascading water, that it actually hits dwelling how pressing the problem is,” he mentioned. However no matter he was experiencing whereas standing there wasn’t conveyed by the display.
The BBC calls this “essentially the most bold environmental sequence” it has ever commissioned, although I’m undecided concerning the foundation for that declare. It definitely has essentially the most presenters: Packham is joined by Steve Backshall within the Maldives (good work if you will get it, and so on), Liz Bonnin in California, Ade Adepitan in Kenya, Gordon Buchanan in Brazil and Ella Al-Shamahi in Cambodia.
Packham brings a seriousness to proceedings, however Backshall – though I’m positive he’s solely dedicated to the present’s environmental function, and I’m an enormous fan of his Lethal 60 present for teenagers – has a pure enthusiasm which suggests he can’t assist behaving as if he’s on a very nice vacation.
The present is informative. I realized concerning the feeding and reproductive habits of manta rays, the size of poaching within the Cambodian rainforest, and the modifications that hydroelectric dams are wreaking on the Mekong River. However the sense of urgency was lacking.