Speed of Life
Employing the latest innovations in
high-speed photography, this 3-part Discovery Channel series aims to
capture the functions of nature that occur outside the range of normal
human perception. The lightning-fast attacks of predators and the
frantic scurrying of their prey are herein rendered with equal aplomb,
as is the ceaseless struggle for life which occurs as a matter of course
all throughout nature.
Spanning species and continents, much of
the footage is breathtaking and the majesty of the natural world is
rendered in spectacularly lush HD. Particular standouts include
close-ups of a hunting bald eagle in flight, a tussle between a praying
mantis and his feisty love rival and a super slow-motion rendering of
the culinary habits of a chameleon, all rendered at several thousand
frames per second.
The narration does tend to err on the side
of the overtly melodramatic. ‘The hawk is hungry, and is craving some
fresh meat,’ we are informed in Episode One, whilst in Episode Three the
voiceover artist introduces one snake as ‘so deadly it has a bomb named
after it, the sinister phantom of the dunes, the hellish killer known as
- the sidewinder.’ But a series like this is all about the visuals, and
in this regard Speed of Life doesn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray and
DVD editions are bare bones - a Making Of documentary would have been
particularly interesting - but highly recommended for fans of David
Attenborough’s Life series and for nature doco buffs in general.