Aired in Britain as South Pacific, Wild Pacific is a 2 DVD, 6 episode set. Part of the BBC Earth documentary series, Wild Pacific features the glorious images nature documentary fans have come to expect from the BBC. The narrative text, however, is a bit below par for this kind of DVD; you quickly get tired of hearing how vast the Pacific ocean is. The structure of the episodes is also repetitive, as is some of the content.
The first episode of Wild Pacific, Ocean of Islands, looks at life on the thousands of islands that dot the Pacific. This includes Macquarie Island where elephant seals and royal penguins cover the island every August, the Galapagos, and other lesser known islands. You get to see some very strange creatures. I especially liked the coconut eating robber crab and the carnivore caterpillars of Hawaii.
Episode 2, Castaways, looks at the fauna of New Guinea, including cool birds of paradise, and how other islands of the Pacific were populated by animals and humans from New Guinea. The Papuan initiation ceremony is gory even if you do not see much.
Endless Blue begins with a look at whaling that serves as a weak narrative thread. Sensitive stomachs should abstain from what I hope is a recreation of a hunting scene at the beginning of this documentary. This episode is pretty but the least informative of the nature documentaries on this DVD. It also repeats the albatross chicks vs sharks footage of episode 1.
Wild Pacific DVD 2 includes the episodes Ocean of Volcanoes, Strange Islands, and Fragile Paradise.
After reminding us once again how big the Pacific ocean is, Ocean of Volcanoes looks at how islands were formed and the flora and fauna in volcanic caves. Quite fascinating is the footage from Kilauea, the rest is simply okay.
Strange Islands looks at the varied and weird creatures that have evolved on islands in the Pacific. This includes the newly discovered (1994) dingiso, a bear-like tree kangaroo from New Guinea.
As the title Fragile Paradise suggests, the last episode in this nature documentary series looks at the threats to the Pacific and its inhabitants and preservation measures. Perhaps the greatest proof of the dangers of global warming are shown here with what is happening to the island country of Tuvalu. It also explains how industrial fishing is sucking the ocean dry.
Wild Pacific is not as good a documentary series as BBC’s Planet Earth series. If you enjoy the genre though, it is a pretty decent series.
BBC documentary DVD you may enjoy. Click to read review
Earth - The Biography