Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Life In Color With David Attenborough’ On Netflix, An Exploration Of How Wildlife Communicates Using Colors

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Life In Color With David Attenborough’ On Netflix, An Exploration Of How Wildlife Communicates Using Colors

Life In Color With David Attenborough is a 3-part docuseries the place Attenborough describes how the animal kingdom not solely talk and survive by using shade, however how some species see shade in a manner that people can’t. With new digital camera applied sciences, a few of which have been developed for the collection, we get a take a look at how sure animals see colours in several methods, both through ultraviolet filters or by a polarizing filter.

Opening Shot: David Attenborough walks alongside a tropical seashore, then spies one thing by binoculars. “The natural world is full of colors,” he says in voice over.

The Gist: The primary episode spans places from Australia to Costa Rica to South America to the Southeastern U.S. Attenborough explains that the primary species that appeared on this planet a whole lot of tens of millions of years in the past didn’t have a terrific capacity to see shade, which is why ancestors of these species are usually black, white, brown or some mixture of the three. However ones which have advanced to be significantly delicate of shade not solely use it to feed but in addition mate and hold others away.

Among the species the collection’ varied nature photographers seize are ones that use shade in methods we’ve seen earlier than, just like the peacock strutting his stuff with a view to discover a mate. Male mandrills acquire shade on their noses and their rear ends after they mature into adults with a view to warn off decrease members of their troupe to not invade their territory. Flamingos acquire their pink shade from the meals they eat, and a feminine who has needed to look after a newly-hatched baby over the previous yr turns white once more as a result of she has to make use of the additional meals for her hatchling. A male Costa’s hummingbird within the Southwest U.S. desert are uninteresting at first look, however are brightly coloured when the solar hits their feathers excellent; they use it to discover a mate.

Among the species the episode reveals utilizing different strategies of seeing colours embody the blue moon butterfly in Australia; not solely does the butterfly see hidden markings on flowers we solely see by an ultraviolet filter, however the markings on the male’s wings solely come alive to different butterflies’ ultraviolet imaginative and prescient. Fiddler crabs that stay in mud flats in Australia see polarized gentle, with a view to see different crabs in distinction to their setting.

Life In Color With David Attenborough
Picture: Netflix

What Reveals Will It Remind You Of? Let’s imagine that this reminds us of the numerous Attenborough-hosted nature docuseries he’s completed for the BBC and Netflix, however the way in which this content material is parsed out reminds us of some extra technologically-forward nature collection like Netflix’s Tiny Creatures or Apple’s Earth At Night In Color.

Our Take: Like a lot of the nature specials produced by the BBC, lots of which Attenborough hosts, Life In Color is rife with spectacular images, whether or not it’s in macro — like an overhead view of flamingoes’ mating ritual — or in micro, like scenes of butterflies mating. The colours offered actually pop, and so they appear to be a great take a look at of whether or not your TV is as much as snuff or wants some recalibration (it appears that evidently our 13-year-old Vizio is doing simply nice in that regard).

Attenborough is his common enthusiastic however professorial self, expressing the surprise he’s seeing although the tone of his voice. The place Life In Color shines to us is the expertise used to seize what some species see that we are able to’t with our bare eyes. He explains a number of the expertise that’s getting used, like a two-camera setup with a UV filter that filters out every thing however UV to 1 digital camera whereas concurrently reflecting seen gentle to the opposite. However the expertise isn’t defined all that a lot within the first episode, particularly the one which reveals the polarized view that the fiddler crab sees.

The third episode, although, ought to go about explaining how the character photographers arrange these new rigs, and that makes gearheads like us pleased.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: There’s some mating scenes, however a lot of the “action” remains to be off-camera.

Parting Shot: Scenes of tiny, brightly-colored frogs. “To them, life is color,” says Attenborough.

Sleeper Star: As at all times, it’s the photographers that whose credit flash by on the finish of the episode. They’re placing in dozens of hours of time to meticulously scout places, observe, wait, and shoot. All for a couple of minutes of footage. It’s not a job we’d ever have the endurance to do.

Most Pilot-y Line: None.

Our Name: STREAM IT. Life In Color With David Attenborough is informative and visually beautiful, in fact, however the expertise behind a few of its extra attention-grabbing scenes is what makes us need to hold watching.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Occasions, Slate, Salon,,, Quick Firm and elsewhere.

Stream Life In Color With David Attenborough On Netflix

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