Last Chance to See (Nonfiction DVD) c. 2010

Summary: In 1989, naturalist Mark Carwardine and author Douglas Adams traveled the world for BBC radio, tracking down species on the edge of extinction. In 2001, shortly before his death, Adams and Carwardine began laying the foundation to revisit the species to see how they were faring. Adams, unfortunately, died suddenly and unexpectedly; it fell to his close friend, comedian and actor Stephen Fry, to accompany Carwardine on his journey. Together, they attempt to track down the Amazonian Manatee, Northern White Rhino, Aye-Aye, Komodo Dragon, Kakapo and Blue Whale.

Review: This series is, quite simply, not to be missed. Visiting the animals on location lends the episodes an immediacy and authenticity often lacking in other environmental documentaries. In addition, as Fry and Carwardine work with scientists striving against all odds to save the animals they are seeking, the series nimbly avoids the trap of bemoaning extinction in a forlorn and depressed manner, taking a far more practical outlook. The footage  is stunning, Carwardine and Fry are excellent company and the human and environmental insights provided are gripping. The only problem is that the series stops at 6 episodes.

View-a-likes: For those seeking similar DVD’s, Planet Earth, An Inconvenient Truth or Encounters at the End of the World might be worth a look. Reader’s might take a look at Michael Pollan’s books, for nonfiction, or My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki for fiction.

Availability: The Lake Bluff Public Library owns this item on DVD. Click here to check on the availability!

Review by Eric.


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