The Future Is Wild


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

CGI has been all the rage on film for the last few years, but ever since some boff at the BBC saw Jurassic Park and thought, "Hey! We could make this educational," it has been proliferating on the small screen, too.

So the formula is set. Take one well known thesp for voice-over purposes, mix with a clutch of scientists and a few techno-wizards and voila! Educational family entertainment.

The Future is Wild is the Discovery Channel's answer to Walking With Dinosaurs, with the central twist being that instead of looking back in time to try and discern what animals used to be, they look ahead and try to divine what the future holds for life on our planet.

As a starting point, this requires a bigger leap of faith than the dino programmes. You have to accept the premise of what the scientists predict, although, despite the science, you can't help but feel that they could predict virtually anything and get away with it.

The believability issue aside, however, this series of three programmes - set 5 million, 200 million and 500 million in the future - are quite entertaining and pretty educational. Once presented with the futuristic animal, scientists explain how and why they believe it will evolve in that manner and the creatures presented are a suitably weird and wonderful collection of plants, birds and fish - though mammals, including man, theoretically become extinct. The names are obviously aimed to appeal to children - no nasty Latin nonsense here - but that isn't a bad thing.

While some of the science and the sub-BBC CGI quality may leave adults somewhat sceptical, as a piece of educational family entertainment it shapes up well.

Reviewed on: 03 Aug 2003
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The Future Is Wild packshot
How the planet might evolve.
Amazon link

Director: John Adams (exec producer)

Writer: Victoria Coules

Year: 2002

Runtime: 330 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US/UK/Germany


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