Wild China (SD)
An exotic fusion of natural history and Oriental adventure, "Wild China" is a series of journeys through four startlingly different landscapes, each based around the travels of a real historical character. With splendour, scale and romance, Wild China lifts the veil on the world's most enigmatic and magnificent country, delving into its vibrant habitats to reveal a land of unbelievable natural complexity. Journey across China from the glittering peaks of the Himalayas to the barren steppe, the sub-Arctic to the tropical islands, through deserts both searingly hot and mind-numbingly cold and see, in pioneering images, a dazzling array of mysterious, beautiful, wild and rare creatures.
Beautifully filmed and soothingly narrated by Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings
trilogy), Wild China
takes an expansive look at the fourth largest country in the world. Over a period of more than six hours, the miniseries--which was co-produced by the BBC and China's CTV--lets viewers into a world that is straddling the line between modern-day efficiency and old world traditions. Fans accustomed to travelogues with personable hosts such as quirky Anthony Bourdain or perky Samantha Brown leading them through far away places may get a little bored with the hands-off approach here. But the beauty of this production is in the country and the people, and the way the filmmakers present them in crisply edited vignettes. We see the jumping spiders atop Mount Everest, the winding grace of the Great Wall, and of course some shy pandas that many people equate with China. But some of the best moments are the simple ones--children in a classroom, fishermen working the waters, and monks meditating in monasteries. As did the Planet Earth
series, Wild China
makes viewers wish they were there. The film doesn't touch heavily on the politics of China, but it isn't lacking because of the omission. As it is, Wild China
ends all too soon, leaving viewers longing for more for a country that once didn't welcome foreigners in. --Jae-Ha Kim