National Geographic

Savage  Kingdom

Format: Website c.2016
Fig 637a. National Geographic
Savage Kingdom

Tooth and claw rend flesh from bone in a land where humans hold little sway. Predatory dynasties rise and fall under nature’s dispassionate gaze, while their travails become the stuff of legend via this digital recreation of a truly Savage  Kingdom.

Watch a nature show featuring large predators, and you are quickly reminded that many wild animals live short, brutal lives. Nat Geo WILD’s Savage Kingdom, an unflinching season-long study of five animal clans struggling to survive in the wilds of Botswana, honors this visceral tradition of bloody theater, but it goes further than typical nature fare. These real life-and-death rivalries between species are ancient, and the series uses them to deftly weave layered, emotional narratives filled with heroes, villains, and victims. As in life, however, the inherent virtue of an action—an intimidation, a battle, a kill—is often a matter of perspective, and the series explores nature’s profound ambivalence by presenting encounters from both sides of a confrontation in multiple episodes. With a strong cast of clan leaders, multiple locations, and numerous hunts, conflicts, and battles, this visually stunning series entices viewers to engage in deeper exploration.

Those who find the Circle of Life intriguing can enjoy their own private safaris without fearing for their lives through lush, detailed 3D recreations of the lands and denizens of the Savage Kingdom. Featuring all-new narration by veteran actor Charles Dance, the voice of the television series, the site reinforces the epic feel of each episode with beautiful aesthetics and additional content that appeals to narrative-driven “page-turners” and knowledge-seeking “fact finders” alike. A god’s-eye view of the kingdom enables visitors to swoop down from the clouds to review territories, clans, and encounters with the speed of a hungry bird of prey. Clan leaders reveal their traits through biographies and unique shields that represent their kind, later becoming chess pieces moved by the unseen hand of nature as they square off in deadly confrontations. Viewers can relive the kingdom’s struggles through action-packed summaries, photo galleries, and grim scoreboards. Only the strong will live to see another day…

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