Shot in one of the most beautiful but remote locations on the planet, this series from Britain's best-loved naturalist examines the amazing diversity of the archipelago where Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Galapagos with David Attenborough - Life on Earth (TV series) - Netflix
Life on Earth: A Natural History by David Attenborough is a British television natural history series made by the BBC in association with Warner Bros. and Reiner Moritz Productions Productions. It was transmitted in the UK from 16 January 1979. During the course of the series presenter David Attenborough, following the format established by Kenneth Clark's Civilisation and Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man (both series which he designed and produced as director of BBC2), travels the globe in order to trace the story of the evolution of life on the planet. Like the earlier series, it was divided into 13 programmes (each of around 55 minutes' duration). The executive producer was Christopher Parsons and the music was composed by Edward Williams. Highly acclaimed, it is the first in Attenborough's 'Life' series of programmes and was followed by The Living Planet (1984). It established Attenborough as not only the foremost television naturalist, but also an iconic figure in British cultural life.
Galapagos with David Attenborough - Gorilla encounter - Netflix
When Attenborough returned to the site the next day, the female and two young gorillas began to groom and play with him. In his memoirs, Attenborough describes this as “one of the most exciting encounters of my life”. He subsequently discovered, to his chagrin, that only a few seconds had been recorded: the cameraman was running low on film and wanted to save it for the planned description of the opposable thumb. In 1999 viewers of Channel 4 voting for the 100 Greatest TV Moments placed the gorilla sequence at number 12—ranking it ahead of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and the wedding of Charles and Diana.
The best remembered sequence occurs in the twelfth episode, when Attenborough encounters a group of mountain gorillas in Dian Fossey's sanctuary in Rwanda. The primates had become used to humans through years of being studied by researchers. Attenborough originally intended merely to get close enough to narrate a piece about the apes' use of the opposable thumb, but as he advanced on all fours toward the area where they were feeding, he suddenly found himself face to face with an adult female. Discarding his scripted speech, he turned to camera and delivered a whispered ad lib:
There is more meaning and mutual understanding in exchanging a glance with a gorilla than with any other animal I know. Their sight, their hearing, their sense of smell are so similar to ours that they see the world in much the same way as we do. We live in the same sort of social groups with largely permanent family relationships. They walk around on the ground as we do, though they are immensely more powerful than we are. So if there were ever a possibility of escaping the human condition and living imaginatively in another creature's world, it must be with the gorilla. The male is an enormously powerful creature but he only uses his strength when he is protecting his family and it is very rare that there is violence within the group. So it seems really very unfair that man should have chosen the gorilla to symbolise everything that is aggressive and violent, when that is the one thing that the gorilla is not—and that we are.
Galapagos with David Attenborough - References - Netflix