Inside Nature’s Giants
When the idea was first suggested that we might dissect some of the world’s most iconic animals on prime time TV, few people took us seriously. But, we were. And, so were Channel 4 and National Geographic when they commissioned us to make the first four films.
The premise was this. Conventional wildlife programmes show you what animals do. But how do their bodies work to do the things they do? That’s what has always interested me. As a science, it’s called ‘functional anatomy’. And, it is utterly fascinating.
And so this series proved to be. Lots of you seemed to enjoy it, even though many of you, I suspect, felt a tad squeamish at times. The reaction within the world of TV was pretty universal – everyone either wished they had thought of it, or commissioned it. We won a stack of major awards including a BAFTA for best specialist factual programme in 2010. BAFTAs are beautiful things but they also make great door stops. They are really heavy.
Of all the TV I have done over the years – and it’s now well over 1000 programmes – this series stands out for lots of reasons, not least because it took so long to get the smell of dead carcass from under my finger nails. In all, over three years, we travelled the world to dissect 17 animals, including an elephant, two types of whale, a great white shark, a giraffe, a hippopotamus and a giant squid. We took them to pieces, showed how their bodies work and told their incredible evolutionary stories.
If you haven’t seen it, a DVD of the first four films is available. I promise you this. You’ll never look at an elephant in the same way again once you’ve seen one inside out.