Tonight is the second part of the BBC’s three-part “Wild Arabia” series, which – if you’re in this evening, and up for a cinematographic treat – is our top tip for a Friday night wind-down.
Part 1, entitled Sand, Wind and Stars, was a tantalising portrayal of animal life in one of the harshest terrains on earth – via some of the most spectacular photos you ever did see. The wildly indulgent opening shots of the statuesque Arabian oryx – white and pearl-like in the desert sun, had us hooked from the start. Then there was the part-rat, part-kangaroo jeboa, whose pursuit by a desert fox was framed at close quarters and lit like a movie scene (he got away in the end). And the dhub lizard, which was shown changing colour from from black to yellow as it soaked up some sun.
A word of warning. We’re big on sentimentality, and while the sweepingly grand soundtrack totally did it for us, the slightly old-fashioned tourist-brochure commentary was a bit hard on the nerves. But don’t let that you put off. Everything else works brilliantly.
The first episode of the 3-part series can be viewed on BBC’s Iplayer here. Part 2, The Jewel of Arabia looks at the Dhofar Mountains in Oman, and airs tonight on BBC 2 at 9 pm.
You can also see a quite wonderful slideshow with the producers talking about their experience of making Wild Arabia here.
Photo: BBC NHU/ Susan Gibson