20 November 2018 - David Attenborough's BBC Crew Breaks 'Never Interfere' Rule to Rescue Penguins
David Attenborough’s Dynasties crew break rules as viewers left in tears over dying penguins
Safeeyah Kazi (Evening Standard, 19/11/2018)
The crew of David Attenborough’s Dynasties broke the rule of never interfering with animals in their natural habitats after witnessing a group of struggling penguins.
In an unprecedented move, the camera crew for the BBC show discovered a group with chicks who had become separated from the rest of their colony in a gully.
One cameraman was close to tears as he watched them battling the elements as they struggled to haul themselves out. “I know it's natural, but it's bloody hard to watch,” he said.
Dynasties: 'Attenborough would have rescued penguins'
Sir David Attenborough would have rescued the penguins at the centre of Sunday's episode of Dynasties, the show's executive producer says.
The latest BBC nature series, fronted by the broadcaster, saw the crew step in to help a number of trapped birds.
Mike Gunton, the series executive producer, told the BBC: "I was speaking to David about it yesterday and he said he would have done the same too."
Top film-makers back penguin intervention on Attenborough show
Aamna Mohdin (The Guardian, 19/11/2018)
Leading wildlife camera operators and film-makers have defended the film crew on David Attenborough’s latest BBC series over their decision to break with convention and intervene to save a group of penguins that had become trapped in a ravine.
Nature film-makers are discouraged from intervening in the events they are attempting to capture on film. While the general principle is to avoid interfering with the natural course of events, the crew on the Dynasties series stepped in when they saw the birds’ predicament.
The penguins at the centre of Sunday’s episode of Dynasties had either blown or tumbled into a gully in a storm and were unable to to get out. In what BBC Earth described as an “unprecedented move”, the crew dug a shallow ramp so some of the penguins would be able to use it to save themselves.
Dynasties, BBC review: David Attenborough series is an immaculate, direct assault on the heartstrings
Ed Cumming (The Independent, 11/11/2018)
Oh good, another David Attenborough series. The critic’s nemesis. If you are reading this in expectation of the longed-for hot Dave takedown, you will be disappointed. It is hard to imagine the DA + BBC formula, which has worked so well for so long, delivering a dud, but it is not impossible. Sadly this new five-parter, Dynasties (BBC1), is not it.
It focuses on families, which is another way of saying that Attenborough & co are no longer even pretending not to be launching a direct assault on the heartstrings. The animal footage in these programmes has always been a distraction, but it’s a sumptuously shot high definition red herring. (Has Attenborough ever done something on red herring? Maybe one for the next series.) Human emotions are the reason we come back, and on the first episode alone it is as enjoyable as anything he has done.
It looks at a troop of chimpanzees living in west Senegal. Hot and dry, it is the limit of their habitable range. Despite having lived alongside humans for millennia, chimpanzees here are now critically endangered, their habitat destroyed by gold miners. Aside from the two years of filming, we learn at the end the troop has been studied for 20 years by Dr Jill Pruetz, who has a tattoo of a chimp on her arm, in case anyone doubted the sincerity of her PhD. Until then, we wonder ever so slightly if the head chimp has been named David purely for its resonance with our narrator.