The rarest animals on Earth, seen through the eyes of Stephen Fry (& Douglas Adams)!
In 1990, author Douglas Adams (HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY) wrote a book about his travels with zoologist Mark Cawardine, looking for some of the rarest animals on Earth. Of course, this was written with as much humor and sheer charm as a plea to save endangered species can possibly be written with, and Stephen Fry's 2010 documentary follow-up is just as disarming.
You may recognize British comedian Stephen Fry from JEEVES & WOOSTER, but he was also a good friend of the late Adams, so 20 years after the publishing of LAST CHANCE TO SEE, he and Cawardine set out to check up on the current state of the animals Adams wrote about. Fry just might be the perfect person for this journey, almost always ready for a clever remark, except in the moments when he is completely unguarded and just as awe-struck and teary-eyed as the viewer. To hear one of England's most beloved comedy actors say, after releasing a baby sea turtle into the ocean, "This is one of the greatest moments of my life," is more moving than one would imagine. But of course it's the animals that steal the show. The fat, flightless kakopo parrot of New Zealand is charismatic even when trying to mate with Cawardine's head, and the shaggy aye-aye of Madagascar is surprisingly adorable for an animal rumored to be such an ill omen that entire villages are moved to avoid them.
Most importantly, the series does not paint a rosy picture but it does offer some hope and inspiration. A young Amazonian manatee saved by a teenage girl is used to teach the children of her village about conservation of this highly endangered species. And in one of the most moving scenes of the series, a young chimpanzee who has spent most of its life immobile in a tiny cage is set free in a nature preserve, where it is immediately welcomed and cuddled in the arms of older chimps on the property. For lovers of nature shows and/or British humor, I recommend this to infinity. -Aimee