Well, not all of it. 1979′s Life on Earth, made by the BBC and narrated by the incomparable Sir David Attenborough was a defining moment in nature documentaries and propelling Attenborough to international success; allowing him to build a massive oeuvre, whose most recent offering was Planet Earth a series almost more well known as a way to show off one’s high-definition television than as a documentary. His upcoming series, simply entitled Life, is set to debut on Discovery in March. Like Planet Earth, however, which excised Attenborough’s voice-over, replacing him with Sigourney Weaver, Discovery has this time chosen to showcase the narrative talents of the insufferable Oprah Winfrey. As Americans we are, apparently, incapable of bearing the horror of a British accent.
Back to Life on Earth. If anything, today’s FAM is merely an exercise in entertaining my own nostalgia. When my brother and I were children we watched this series to the point that the two VHS cassettes that comprised the official Time Warner offering were nearly useless, the stunning images smeared as they were with static and lines as the magnetic strips inside struggled to retain some semblance of visual fidelity. It is by now, I’m sure, a shadow of its former self. I can rest comfortably, however, knowing it gave us more hours of entertainment than should have been possible. In this case, it is lucky for me that one cannot wear out the internet.