Sunderland Echo - - Opinion -

oc­u­men­tary pre­sented by Sir David At­ten­bor­ough fol­low­ing en­dan­gered species fight­ing for their sur­vival.

In the first episode, in Sene­gal, West Africa, live a group of chim­panzees led by an al­phamale named David. He has al­ready been al­pha for three years - a time when lead­ers here are usu­ally over­thrown. To make mat­ters worse, David has no al­lies - no-one to help him de­fend his lead­er­ship. As the dry sea­son sets in, the group are forced closer to­gether to sur­vive. But David is now sur­rounded by ri­vals who all want his crown and are pre­pared to kill him for it.

David faces brutal bat­tles, has his world en­gulfed in flames and has to pull off an ex­tra­or­di­nary act of de­cep­tion. In a story of power and pol­i­tics, can David over­come the threats to his lead­er­ship and hold on to the al­pha po­si­tion long enough to sire a pos­si­ble fu­ture heir to his throne?

Michael Gun­ton, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer told us: “At its most ba­sic, Dy­nas­ties is about an­i­mal fam­i­lies, and the unique sit­u­a­tions where the fam­ily has the abil­ity to con­trol and dom­i­nate the land­scape.

“Th­ese an­i­mals live as a pride or a troop or a pack and, if you are the ruler of that fam­ily, you get every­thing. You get all the mat­ing, you get all the food, you are ef­fec­tively the equiv­a­lent of the king.

“So, it’s about the power of fam­ily, but it’s also about the strug­gle to be­come the most pow­er­ful within the fam­ily.

“At its most ex­treme, as with the chim­panzee film, it’s lit­er­ally about other males try­ing to top­ple a king. And, at the other end of the spec­trum, we have em­peror pen­guins, where a colony of fam­i­lies help each other sur­vive to­gether. It’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing ex­plo­ration of the power of fam­ily.”

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