Looking at America’s new wild west

editorial image

In the 1950s and 1960s The Wild West was frequently the setting for many TV programmes.

However these tended to be dramas which featured a number of characters battling to survive in what was often a hostile territory.

This Sunday evening at eight o’clock on BBC2 there is a new three part series with the Wild West in its title.

However this programme is a documentary and it is set in the present.

It looks not only at the humans who live there but also the many different creatures who also inhabit this part of the world which includes the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Death Valley.

Just as many westerns featured individuals, groups and families in life and death situations, so too does this documentary series.

This is one of the most difficult parts of the world in which to live.

People and wildlife have to be incredibly tough to survive in this environment and they need to possess unique skills as well. The series is narrated by James Norton who in recent times has become a familiar television face with his work on Happy Valley, Grantchester and War and Peace.

The series took over two years to make and as usual the photography is stunning. The first episode contains a number of interesting sequences and includes scenes set in Nevada, Arizona and California. There is footage of a mustang lizard as he eats his dinner of ants. However he has to be careful as these ants have toxic stings.

Then there is the wild mustang mother who is searching for water.

Can she find it, not only for the good of the rest of the herd, but also to ensure that her young foal, who is struggling, survives?

Ian K