Next time you visit the fridge, spare a thought for the polar bear. With the northern ice cap approaching meltdown, polar bears are having to traverse waterlogged ice flows in search of seals. Apart from the distressing sight of one male trying futilely to secure a meal from a herd of thick-skinned walruses, this majestic BBC film – a big-screen offshoot of the ‘Planet Earth’ television series with Patrick Stewart narrating – is vaguely optimistic in its depiction of our fellow species and their habitats. Yet it’s a stark reminder that much of what we take for granted may soon be gone.
As you might expect of the BBC’s Naural History Unit, the high-definition imagery is simply matchless. Whether it’s a crisp aerial shot of a wolf taking down a caribou, night footage of lions tackling an elephant, or slow-mo film of a great white shark leaping out of the water, there isn’t a moment that doesn’t fill one with awe. True, the structure is a mite disorderly and George Fenton’s score is overbearing, but these are mere incidentals to what is essentially a splendid portfolio of the planet as we know it.