Dynasties puts a cinematic twist on the nature documentary

The David Attenborough-narrated series focuses on a particular family of an endangered species in each episode and gives their struggle for survival a cinematic treatment
Dynasties puts a cinematic twist on the nature documentary

Yesterday, a theatrical screening of the new BBC nature documentary series, Dynasties, was organised in Chennai by Sony, which will be presenting the show on television in India. Two episodes of the five-episode series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough and focusing on one particular family of an endangered species each episode, were shown on the big screen. The Painted Wolf episode shows the conflict between two packs of the matriarchal animals, which happen to be led by a mother and daughter, respectively. The daughter has her own pack but is forced into conflict with that of her mother's due to scarcity of resources brought on by a drought and human encroachment into the wilderness. The second episode screened, the Lion episode, again focuses on a mother, this time a lioness fighting to protect her pride.

In just about an hour, the show takes us on quite a journey: drama, action, romance, comedy, and even horror. As Attenborough puts it, "This is a family drama," and it puts most of our films that claim the tag to shame. From the score to the storytelling to the stunning cinematography, this series is clearly meant to be cinematic, and it largely succeeds too. 

The On Location segment aired after each main episode throws light on the work that went into tracking and filming these animals and it is eye-opening in its own right. While the main episode sticks to the animals, and more particularly the family that's the centre of each, the On Location segment shows us the people who helped create it and the emotions and struggles they went through to make it. This segment also gives due credit to the conservationists and local guides who helped the team, as well as highlights how people are precipitating the threat to these endangered species. 

Dynasties premieres tomorrow on Sony BBC Earth and runs from Monday to Friday at 9 pm.

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