Greetings and welcome to Thursdays television review and this week as I announced yesterday to readers of the journal post I have a most wondrous show for you this week from the BBC called “Japan: Earth’s enchanted islands”. When it comes to natural history documentaries no one does it like the BBC with such legendary shows as ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Blue Planet’ the team had a lot to live up to and they more than pulled it off with this excellent work. The first episode was based around the Island of Honshu Japan’s largest and main island. This isalnd is home to a plethora of diverse and interesting animals from the black bear to the Japanese macaque’s all crammed in with humans in a mountainous yet beautiful landscape. Now in previous posts I have held up the drone shot cutaway as an exemplar of low standard TV production but for natural history shows the drone shot is a legitimate technique allowing for some really unique and impressive views. As we are taken around Honshu and introduced to the varied animals from the hot spring macaque’s to the deer that walk right through town to a temple in Nara has to be seen to be believed.
The program makers weave an fascinating tale of how one of the worlds most technologically advanced societies mixes with the natural world and the impact on both that such close proximity to each other has, like with the story of the fruit and veg stealing macaque’s or the work of a Japanese professor who is capturing and returning to the wild black bears, normally from the back his car! as we travel around the island we are treated to one off events like the village where the firefly’s come out and mate providing a spectacular light show and a glimpse at the famous Cherry Blossom festival, plus some of the natural wonders of Japan like the amazing beautiful Nachi falls, all incredibly well shot in HD by the crew. Natural history shows like to add a ‘Diaries’ section at the end showing some of the out takes and filming process normally the biggest bore-fest providing little insight, but in this instance a truly fascinating insight into the production.
In conclusion this is another legendary BBC natural history documentary I hope it covers more than just the four main islands as it is televisual gold that frankly covers the license fee for me I’ll pay the £145.50 if we can get shows like this made and frankly who else can do this kind of thing? certainly not the commercial channels it would be sponsored by ‘pets at home’ or some other company devaluing the educational and quality of the show. I’ll leave you with the thought that given you watch only 3 shows a year on the BBC your paying £48.50 per show a bargain by anyone’s standards.