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The Life of Birds The Mastery of Flight (1998– ) HD online

The Life of Birds The Mastery of Flight (1998– ) HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Episode / Documentary
Original Title: The Mastery of Flight
Director: Joanna Sarsby
Writers: David Attenborough
Released: 1998–
Duration: 50min
Video type: TV Episode
The focus turns to the mastery of flight, from the science of gravity to the ability of birds to cover extremely long distances.
Episode credited cast:
David Attenborough David Attenborough - Himself - Presenter


Reviews: [1]

  • avatar

    Oparae

    Am a big fan of David Attenborough. He is a national treasure, hard not to say that no matter what he thinks of the term, who has contributed significantly to some of the best programmes (of the documentary genre and overall) the BBC has ever aired/produced. When it comes to nature documentaries he is my hero and is hard to beat.

    Picking a favourite of Attenborough's extensive and consistent (in terms of the high quality, have seen nothing bad from him which is incredibly rare) filmography is extremely different, with so many jewels to pick from. 'The Life of Birds' is still by any standards a masterpiece, in terms of documentaries about birds it's ground-breaking and it's a wonderful documentary in its own right. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful and deserves everything great that has been said about it.

    Loved the first episode "To Fly or Not to Fly?" Also loved "The Mastery of Flight", this time dealing with flying mechanics, scientific gravity and travelling distances for the different birds featured.

    First and foremost, it is hard to find fault with "The Mastery of Flight" on a visual level. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a natural and intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the birds), way, never does it feel static. Its remarkably near-cinematic look makes one forget that it is a series. The editing flows smoothly and coherently and the scenery is gorgeous. Animation is also brought into the mix, not only does it hold up well it also is used sensibly, making an impact without being over-used and never jars.

    Music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate or intrusive. The intrusiveness was for some documentaries seen recently an issue, including some of Attenborough's output, but it was not here.

    Again, like the whole of 'The Life of Birds', "The Mastery of Flight" does a wonderful job with entertaining, educational and transfixing. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown, written and presented tactfully. It is all well-researched and backed up, speculation and too much storytelling are not issues here. Likewise with the different animals themselves, most familiar to us (unlike the previous episode there aren't really any rare creatures here) but the information learnt about some of them was illuminating and saw them in a different light. There are memorable scenes like with the barn owl and with the snow goose.

    Attenborough's narration and presenting has always been instrumental to the success of his many gems and it helps to a significant degree here. He clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He is very sincere and enthusiastic in an understated way, never does he preach and he keeps one riveted and wanting to know more.

    The birds themselves are great to watch and have a wide range of traits that makes them rootable without coming over as too humanised, a good thing. A lot of content is here, but remarkably it doesn't feel over-stuffed and rushed, dangers for so much content in a short period of time.

    Never does "The Mastery of Flight" feel like an episodic stringing along of segments, but instead there is a lot of cohesion flowing smoothly and some real emotion. There is also evidence of storytelling without falling too much into the trap of being over-speculative or compromising facts for telling a story with not enough to back things up.

    Overall, wonderful episode again. 10/10 Bethany Cox