Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Incredible Journeys: On the Trail of Caribou

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Presented by: Steve Leonard
On BBC1 TONIGHT at 8.00pm

Steve Leonard struggles with the extreme winter of the Yukon as he attempts to migrate across Canada with "Claudia" a heavily pregnant caribou. Hounded by wolves, chased by bears and enduring appalling weather, can Claudia make it to Alaska to deliver her calf?

Natural World- Saving Our Seabirds

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Britain’s seabirds are in crisis; catastrophic breeding failures have swept along our shores, hitting many of our colonies of puffins, arctic terns, guillemots and skuas. Roy Dennis, former warden of the seabird island of Fair Isle, is desperate to understand what’s happening. During the summer of 2006 Roy visited many of Britain’s most spectacular colonies in search of answers, from the Welsh island of Skomer to the outer reaches of the Shetland Isles. What if anything can be done to help and what does the future hold for the amazing seabirds of Britain.


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Friday 18th May, 20.00 C5
1.5 Million, 7.2% Audience Share

From RadioTimes:
Fearless Shaun Ellis has been living with wolves for years; he feeds, sleeps and even thinks like them. Using behaviour learned from his pack, he now rehabilitates orphaned pups and enables them to live in the wild. But can Shaun's unique knowledge be used to save a group of Polish sheep-poaching wolves from the farmer's wrath?


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Wednesday 9pm BBC 2
1.6 million, 6.7% Audience Share

For thousands of years dogs have been much more important as working partners than pets, whether it was for hunting, guarding, herding or retrieving. And it’s these finely tuned instincts that often turn dogs into problem pets. This film follows two dogs from working breeds, a bloodhound called Holly and a bearded collie called Herbie, both languishing in rescue homes because of their uncontrollable behaviour and facing uncertain futures. In a unique experiment we take on both dogs and see if professional trainers can put them back to work in the jobs for which they were bred - sniffing out criminals and herding sheep, and in doing so give both animals the second chance they deserve.
Holly & Herbie… Take it away!!….

From RadioTimes: Aw, tonight's edition, The Bloodhound and the Beardie, is such a sweet film, it's guaranteed to warm your cockles and bring a soppy smile to your face. The bloodhound and the beardie (bearded collie) of the title are Holly and Herbie, two problem dogs who've both been left at rescue shelters: Holly because she's destructive and chews everything, and Herbie because he's a sheepdog who terrorises sheep. In an effort to bring them into line with a few firm rules of good behaviour and some brisk job coaching, two kindly but no-nonsense trainers take them on. Holly heads to Larry in West Virginia, while Herbie is off to Barbara on her North Yorkshire farm. Yes, you're right, this is another TV dog-training show, but at least this pair are being taught to do useful jobs - particularly Holly, who has the potential to be a valuable scent-dog for the US police, if only she can conquer her fear of loud noises. There's no point being a top-notch tracker dog if she leaps in fear at the sound of a gun. As for the endearingly barmy Herbie, he gets a haircut but remains, in his heart, a rebel. RT reviewer - Alison Graham

Monday, 14 May 2007

Sky Monsters

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C5, Friday 11th May, 19.30 - 21.00
0.5 Million, 1.4% Audience Share

Radio Times:
Documentary that follows scientists' attempts to construct a mechanical replica of the awesome flying pterosaur, a winged dinosaur that soared in the skies between 65 million and 200 million years ago. A team of engineers attempt to construct a model pterosaur capable of flying to find out how a creature of that size was able to get airborne.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Natural World: Invasion of the Crocodiles

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BBC2, Wednesday 9th May, 21.00 - 21.50
1.9 Million, 7.6% Audience Share

Radio Times:
Biologist Adam Britton is no Steve Irwin but, in his own low-key way, he's just as passionate about crocodiles. So he's quite excited about the vast numbers of saltwater crocs that have spread through the billabongs, rivers and beaches of northern Australia, killing cattle and taking lumps out of humans. Three hundred deadly crocodiles had to be removed from Darwin's harbour last year, so the local residents are a bit agitated, too. But Britton is more interested in finding out why the crocs are moving about so much than simply removing them. So, with the aid of satellite transmitters (that look like a beat-up beret plonked on the croc's back), he monitors them. It turns out these creatures can swim long distances surprisingly quickly - and can get snappy if you mess with them.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Natural World: Moose on the Loose

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Wednesday, 9pm
1.9 million, 8.3% Audience Share

From the episode title - Moose on the Loose - this looks like a film about moose but it isn't, quite. Don't worry, though: there's everything from gangly legged calves to great big horny bulls, filmed wandering about and getting into scrapes in the suburbs of Anchorage, Alaska's capital. And that's the real story: in Anchorage, there's an experiment going on to see if people and wildlife can coexist. The city's rubbish bins and trees attract not just moose but any number of black and brown bears. Affable biologists Rick Sinnott and Jessy Coltrane do their best to keep the wandering wildlife from killing itself or humans - not an easy task. Watching them trying to manhandle panicky moose has an enjoyably slapstick feel.

There's more incidental comedy, too, including one moose caught up in a necklace of Christmas fairy lights and another whose amorous impulses are hopelessly misdirected. And there's clever use of music throughout: who'd have thought 70s funksters like Maceo and the Macks would work so well on a natural-history film? RT reviewer - David Butcher

Lie of the Land

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C4, Thurs 3rd May, 21.00 - 22.30
1.5 Million, 6.8% Audience Share

Radio Times:
Molly Dineen's sad, passionate film feels like an elegy for a way of life that's dying.

Demands for cheap food and cheaper imports have all but destroyed British meat production, leaving farmers struggling to survive. Our way into the story is through Ian and his "flesh runs" through rural Cornwall collecting animal carcasses. Since BSE, the disposing of dead animals has become so costly and complicated that farmers give them to local hunts for the dogs. But there's another aspect to these grim little journeys. Ian routinely kills perfectly healthy calves that farmers cannot afford to keep. Dineen's camera, rightly, doesn't spare any of the details.

The Lie of the Land is filled with people raging against the mighty supermarkets and a Government they feel doesn't care about food production. In the Cotswolds, farmer Glynn takes Dineen on a dismal tour of farms that have been forced out of business. It's a sobering trip, which might make you look more closely at that "country of origin" label on your next Cellophane-wrapped package of supermarket meat.

Natural World: Hawaii - Message in the Waves

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BBC 2, Weds 2nd May, 21.00
1.6 million, 6.9% Audience Share

Radio Times: "Nature documentary featuring the wildlife of Hawaii's famous surf zone and the surfers and scientists who are fighting to protect it. Turtles, dolphins, monk seals and albatrosses all have to cope with the growing number of people using the island beaches, but now animals face a new threat from washed-up plastic. A varied bunch of island characters, including born-and-bred Hawaiian musician Jack Johnson, make it clear that these beautiful islands have a powerful message for us all."

Human Footprint

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C4, Thurs 26th April, 21.00
1.7 million, 8.4% Audience Share

"The implication was clear: we're a lazy, wasteful lot. This may well be true, but since we'd just seen a lifetime's worth of eggs (13,345) being smashed up in front of two surprised-looking children, it seemed a bit rich to bang on about waste."
The Telegraph

"Both arty and farty, this was a wonderfully lyrical film from producer-director Nick Watts."
The Observer

"The Art Department visibly enjoyed themselves, releasing rubber ducks on a lake (we take 7,163 baths), building sand castles (we take 59 foreign holidays) and hanging balloons full of tears on a weeping willow (we weep 61.5l)."
The Guardian