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Explore the complex relationships of animal families with Sir David.
Autumn’s natural history spectacular is about to burst onto our screens. Dynasties, a new five-parter for BBC One narrated by David Attenborough, offers an in-depth look at the complex social relationships of some of the most charismatic animal families on the planet: chimps, lions, emperor penguins, painted wolves and tigers.
As is the norm for landmark BBC productions, there’s a lavish hardback to accompany the series, each episode of which focuses on an individual leader and the challenges they face to maintain their power and safeguard their territories for future generations. Author Stephen Moss delivers a rich narrative of how each ‘dynasty’ lives, feeds and breeds, introducing the characters from the series and expanding on their stories, skilfully interweaving exciting and intimate observations from the camera teams on the ground. The result is a photographically stunning tome that is at once a natural history reference, compendium of wonderful animal stories and behind-the-scenes tour.
As ever, we can only marvel at the physical and mental exertions demanded of film-making in remote habitats, but what is to be really savoured are the reflections from those with a ringside seat, whose encounters are testament to months and years on location. Observing two penguins attempting to mate is like “watching a surfing lesson, with the male climbing onto the female and losing his balance;” the head of a newborn painted wolf is so large that it “teeters over its front legs like a see-saw”, and when a male chimp comes close, you “genuinely feel the earth move”.
Chimps – specifically a group in Senegal led by an alpha male known as David – star in the new BBC One series Dynasties.