Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

Earth at Night in Color

Genre documentary series
Creator Alex Williamson
Host Tom Hiddleston
Apple TV+ channel
Release year 2020
Series 6
Site IMDb

Unfortunately, the British production company Offspring Films, which produced the series Earth at Night in Color, does not reveal any details about the technique that made such shooting possible. It is only known that they used optics that are usually used for astronomical observations, but even so, the shooting time was limited to only a few bright nights per month – the full moon. That is why the work on six short, 25-minute episodes, part of the timekeeping of which is taken by inserts telling about the shooting itself, took as much as 30 months, 18 of which were spent on work “in the field”. Footage shot in visible and infrared light was processed by NULIGHT Studios, a film restoration company, to achieve true-to-life colours. And the result of the work of filmmakers and digital restoration specialists is really impressive.

Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

The cameramen of Offspring Films managed to capture truly unique footage, including animal behavior that has not yet been recorded by zoologists. The fact is that most of the animals of the Earth are predominantly nocturnal, and the equipment and technologies of Offspring Films and NULIGHT Studios allow us to observe animals hiding in the darkness of the night as if it were just not a very sunny day outside. The detail work and the naturalness of the colors are simply amazing. Like other wildlife films, Earth at Night in Color is worth watching on the biggest screen you can get and in the highest quality.

Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

Each of the episodes tells about the life of an individual animal or family, and in each of these stories there is an element of drama. In the first episode, Lion Grasslands, we will follow a lioness who spends several days looking for her lost cubs while hunting. The second episode, Tarsier Forest, is about the incredibly cute, tiny, fluffy golum-like tarsiers that leave their young to go hunting. The third episode, Jaguar Jungle is the story of a jaguar wounded in battle with a rival and unable to hunt. In the fourth episode, Bear Woodlands, we will spend the summer season with a young brown bear. The fifth episode, Wild Cities, is different from the rest, it tells about the life of wild animals in the city and how they adapt to bright night lighting and the proximity of people. In the sixth episode, Cheetah Plains, the filmmakers captured the unusual nocturnal behavior of the cheetahs, which typically hunt in broad daylight.

Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

The last 3-5 minutes of each episode are devoted to how the shooting took place in a particular location, or some stories related to the shooting. For example, in Wild Cities we will be told about the problem of migratory birds and glass skyscrapers in the USA, and in Bear Woodlands about how the aurora was filmed.

Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

As with their previous series, Tiny World / “Tiny World”, Apple picked up a very good presenter. The events of Earth at Night in Color are commented on by actor Tom Hiddleston, whose well-trained voice makes it possible to do without subtitles at all. However, the English text here is really not very complicated.

Perhaps the only thing that can be counted among the shortcomings of Earth at Night in Color is a somewhat intrusive self-promotion. In each of the episodes, we will be reminded 3-4 times that such shooting is possible thanks to the use of unique light-sensitive cameras. By the fifth episode, this refrain begins to cause nervous laughter.

Review of the documentary series Earth at Night in Color

Interestingly, Apple and Netflix release similar wildlife series almost simultaneously, with the majority of such shows filmed by British companies collaborating with one streaming giant or another. This was the case with Tiny World on Apple TV+ and Tiny Creatures on Netflix. The same story is repeated with Earth at Night in Color and Night on Earth, released on Netflix. Well, the competition between digital content distribution services is intensifying, but we, as viewers, are not at all against such a confrontation.

Conclusion:

An excellent documentary series showing how modern technology helps unravel the mysteries of wildlife

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