Kingdom of Plants
Sunday, 7.30pm, ABC1 Having done every animal from aardvark to zebra, David Attenborough obviously needed some new subjects. And having appeared in landscapes from pole to pole he is probably sick of all the travel. Which may be why this new three-part documentary eschews animals and is shot entirely in the botanical gardens in Kew. That Kew includes examples of 90 per cent of all plant species on the planet also helps. Given Attenborough’s vast experience in nature documentaries it is no surprise this is lovely to look at, with spectacular digital images to explain the evolution of the plants that have become the monarchs of their kingdom. Attenborough delivers the usual high-standard script, but it is the images that make this show a delight, especially on a big, high-definition screen. Watch some of the scenes with the sound turned down and you will appreciate just how gorgeous it is. It is nearly 20 years since Attenborough’s pathbreaking The Private Life of Plants and this new offering is more lovely than anybody could have imagined back then. Another triumph from the master of nature study. A short ‘‘ making of’’ documentary that follows explains how it was done. machine, which complicates the crime fighting. And there is beautiful if homicidal hacker Root (Amy Acker), perhaps not the best name for the Australian market, who wants to set the computer program free (cue evil but alluring laughter). Oh yes, and there are a couple of cops who do their blundering best to help Reese. Apart from the standard cop show characters, does this remind you of anything? Anything written by Philip K. Dick in particular and filmed with Tom Cruise? The concept is certainly similar to that of the movie Minority Report, in which a police team arrests pre-crims just before they act. It’s not something the stars of this nonsense on stilts do especially well — the graphics of the machine scanning databases and city streets are the best thing about the show. Still, given this is the second series, you don’t need software to predict it will be around for a while.