Finally, news of a new TV series written and presented by the world’s most famous natural history broadcaster and UK National Treasure, Sir David Attenborough. Sadly, it’s on a pay-per-view Sky Atlantic digital channel (No. 107) – in glorious HD (that’s High Definition) – and on Sky 217 in 3-D. But whilst it’s not exactly free, it is about plants. In the appropriately entitled ‘Kingdom of Plants’, Sir David ‘explores the fascinating world of plants, from the most bizarre to the most beautiful… using today’s latest technology to reveal a whole new dimension in the lives of plants… and discover a hidden world that only too often we overlook’, and in which ‘we move from our timescale to theirs’. Hmmm… sounds a lot like his previous 1995 six-programme terrestrial BBC TV series, ‘The private life of plants’? Yes, but here’s the twist – this new three-part series was rather intriguingly filmed only over a year on location at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (UK – and in other controlled environments…), using a variety of 3-D filming techniques and computer enhanced imagery, much of which would not have been around in the dark days of the late 20th Century. Hmmm… I’m not so sure about the ‘electrophototrickery’, but if this new series helps to keep spreading the message that plants are important (and really rather interesting…), good luck to it/him! [For a review, visit The Guardian – Ed.]
About the author
Nigel is a botanist and full-time academic at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany he contributes the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that august international botanical organ. His main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way...) about plants and plant-people interactions.