Wild Arabia (2013– )
7.8/10
35
1 user 1 critic

Shifting Sands 

Since the discovery of its fossil fuel wealth, the Arabian peninsula has rapidly developed in many ways. That includes the now many rich Arabs' rapport to wildlife as well as domesticated ... See full summary »

Director:

Anuschka Schofield
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Alexander Siddig ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steffen Bach Steffen Bach ... Himself - Qatar Whale Shark Research Project
David Robinson David Robinson ... Himself - Qatar Whale Shark Research Project
Elizabeth White Elizabeth White ... Herself - making of Director
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Storyline

Since the discovery of its fossil fuel wealth, the Arabian peninsula has rapidly developed in many ways. That includes the now many rich Arabs' rapport to wildlife as well as domesticated animals, such as camel races with robot jockeys and falcon's hunting training with remote-control airplane)drawn lures. Marine wildlife is exceptionally rich, despite Saddam's Gulf war petrol well arson. Despite clever technology use and respect for nature, population growth, energy and water use well above world average constitute major ecological dangers. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

fire | diving | See All (2) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Release Date:

8 March 2013 (UK) See more »

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Runtime:

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Connections

Featured in Terra Mater: Wildes Arabien - Die Zukunft (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rich technological growth
28 July 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Am a big fan of nature documentaries, especially the work of David Attenborough. Having been recommended 'Wild Arabia' through Amazon and here, it was instantly put down on my list as a must see. Also heard nothing but praise for it, which has nearly always been a good sign, so that further sparked interest.

'Wild Arabia' is as good as others on Amazon have said and there is not much to add, actually feeling much more than just a documentary. Throughout it's an awe-inspiring, utterly transfixing experience where one forgets they're watching a documentary and instead feeling like they're watching art. This may sound like extreme hyperbole, but to me 'Wild Arabia' is completely deserving of its praise and even deserving of more, should have lasted longer than the mere three episodes it lasted.

Its final episode "Shifting Sands" may not be quite as perfect as the previous two episodes with more of an emphasis on humanity and technology (though wildlife does feature heavily too) but is still wondrous in its own right.

It is hard knowing when to start with the praise. "Shifting Sands" for starters looks amazing, reasons enough to make book a trip to see the more naturalistic parts of Arabia. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals and humans), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The scenery and habitats are some of the most breath-taking personally seen anywhere, whether in visual media and real life. The rich colours just leap out and the scenery from this part of the world has rarely looked more beautiful. The music here is a remarkably good fit, throughout it not only complements the visuals but enhances them and there is an authentic flavour to it.

What of the narrative and information aspects? Can't fault "Shifting Sands" in this aspect either. The narration has a great well-balanced mix of facts that will be familiar to the viewer and others that will induce the right amount of surprise. In short, it's just fascinating, informative and thoughtful with lots of insight, a tremendous respect for the subject and an intimate approach that works just right.

From start to finish, "Shifting Sands" managed to intrigue and illuminate, and there is a freshness to the material, not feeling derivative of anything. The narration is delivered articulately, there's an enthusiasm and precision about the delivery and it never feels preachy and always lets the scenery and such speak for itself.

The wildlife themselves are a wonderful mix of the adorable and the dangerous, and one actually finds they're rooting for them in exactly the same way they would a human character. Not just that we also see how humans, also relatable and realistically so, interact and adapt which was just as great and interesting to watch and the two aspects are balanced beautifully. The technological aspect in protecting nature also fascinates. There is a good deal of suspense and emotional impact. There are some scenes where one is amazed that they managed to be filmed in the first place.

"Shifting Sands" feels much more than a series and it doesn't feel episodic or repetitive. It feels like its own story, without being too reliant on that approach, with real, complex emotions and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.

Overall, wondrous in every regard. Not to be missed. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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