Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

SOME­WHERE in a deep, dark re­cess of the BBC, there is a com­mit­tee, I suspect, that meets, per­haps weekly, with a spe­cial role to play in our lives.

It is their job, I be­lieve, to come up with ideas for pro­grams that will as­ton­ish, baf­fle and oc­ca­sion­ally frighten the liv­ing day­lights out of us.

And this se­ries — which ex­am­ines the im­pact of hu- mans on the planet and the ad­just­ments we make to al­low us to live on it — is a proud prod­uct of that com­mit­tee. Any­way, that’s my the­ory. And as you soak up tonight’s episode, in which the ways we live with the world’s might­i­est rivers are ex­plored, think about it.

Rivers keep us alive, pro­vid­ing wa­ter, food and nat­u­ral trans­port links. With the as­sis­tance of rivers, there are few places on earth to which man has been un­able to ad­just.

We open with Sam­ni­ang, a Lao­tian fish­er­man who crosses the rag­ing Mekong River on a cou­ple of wire ropes he has rigged. He does this to catch a cou­ple of large fish — he can only carry two — to feed his fam­ily. And he does this day in, day out.

We also join a Ti­betan fa­ther on his haz­ardous, six-day trek down a frozen river which he

Gone fish­ing: Sam­ni­ang

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