Do wildlife documentaries gloss over the important, if somewhat negative, messages about the environment?


After enjoying Planet Earth 2 in the run up to Christmas you can imagine the smile that spread across my face when I unwrapped the DVD for the series at New Year when visiting my sister in Scotland.

Using the latest technology, the footage created by the Planet Earth 2 team was truly mesmerizing and that's with me reserving a healthy dose of skepticism as to wondering how some of the shots were obtained without using captive or habituated subjects. Only after watching the entire series and then having the thought prompted by an article in the New Year's Day Guardian did I realise that each time I watched an episode, I left the logical part of my brain behind and allowed myself to indulge in a natural fantasy.

I'm no longer at the sharp end of conservation compared to where I was 6 years ago but even my own rough knowledge of the impact humans have on the planet makes me question whether the programme should be doing more to highlight some of the ongoing conservation issues of our generation rather than creating what Martin Hughes-Games calls 'an escapist wildlife fantasy'.

Of course, doling out an hour's worth of negativity is surely not going to get ratings anywhere close to the millions that tuned in throughout Planet Earth 2 but perhaps next time we could squeeze in 10 or 15 minutes of information about some of the many projects in being run throughout the world that help some of the species living on the edge?