Serengeti: Telling the tale of a harsh but beautiful wildlife

Photo Credit: Discovery Press.
Photo Credit: Discovery Press. /
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In Serengeti, Discovery Channel’s new docuseries about the wildlife of the Serengeti region in Tanzania, life is shown in all its glory and given voice.

Nature documentary series have seen a massive hike in interest over the years, thanks to projects like Planet Earth and its sister Planet series, Life and Our Planet. But it is with newcomer Serengeti where an emotional approach is taken to tell a story wholly original and far more investing.

Episodes are told in a unique way, not as an observer like Planet Earth and shows of this kind usually do; here, it’s told by a narrator, telling the story of the animals over a year in their life. This careful change makes the structure of the show compelling and far more intimate, as you gain more insight into their lives as they try to survive and protect their young.

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You get to know the animals and their families, empathizing with their everyday struggles and difficulties as they attempt to live, migrate, and carry on their legacy. Every episode is a new endeavor to face, from the lions trying to feed their young, to a baboon accepting an orphan in as his own, to a newborn elephant trying to find his legs; they all work together to tell a story of both nature and the beauty of life.

In the British version, the narrator is John Boyega; in North America, it’s Lupita Nyong’o. Both carry immense weight in their voices as they tell these stories, adding great depth to each episode’s driving force. Coupled with the wonderful synth and orchestrated score by Will Gregory that really adds some extra tension and exhilaration, Serengeti sounds wonderful throughout.

But the main draw, apart from the animals themselves, is the near-impossible photography on display. The close-ups, the ability to capture moments that seem like a complete miracle, all add together into something magical.

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Serengeti is alone worth the investment for its storytelling, a new take on nature documentaries that really adds characters to root for and an empathetic approach to observing them trying to keep going in a harsh world. But it’s also in the intimacy of singular moments and the grand scale of others, like the great migration, where Serengeti shows that the big and the small are all connected, and shows something that is must-see television.

Here is the trailer for the show:

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Serengeticompleted its run on BBC and is currently airing Sundays on Discovery Channel in North America.