TV Highlights

What was on Tuesday 18th November

Lions and Giants

Animal Planet - 9pm

Who's in it?

Some of Africa's most majestic creatures did battle in what amounted to a real-life Clash of the Titans (only without the dodgy CGI and old British actors with too much facial hair).

In a nutshell

While sadly lacking in actual, literal giants, this documentary gave us the next most awesome thing: the vast, powerful elephants of Botswana, whose slow-moving grace and wise, sad eyes make the average human forget just how formidable and ferocious they can be. Few other animals would dare to take the elephants of Chobe National Park on – even the lions. But things came to a head in this film, which chronicled the fierce rivalry triggered by a mutual desperation to survive.

It should really have been called Lions VERSUS Giants, because this was a full on face off between the lionesses and the elephants. Both species were trekking towards life-giving water, but one lioness Seeva had some elephant calves in her sights. This put viewers – us hapless emotional humans – into the queasy position of having to pick sides. But ultimately we had to remind ourselves that Nature isn't about who’s the cutest or cuddliest, or the most cunning and villainous, no matter what the movies say. Gruelling to watch at times, this was also pure animal magic.

What's the verdict?

A tale of endurance and grit, this was gripping stuff no matter whose side you were on. The Lion King's got nothing on this.

Star rating: 4/5

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07-07-2011