Back with Will Smith (“Fresh Prince”, “Seven Pounds”), and director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “The Wrestler”) for their series, Welcome To Earth, and this time it’s speed.
Why then, is Will with Albert Lin, sitting on the sand of the Namib desert in Namibia, with a camera pointing at the desert? The pair looking intense, well, Albert looking intense at least. All will be revealed in due time.
Firstly we speed over to the English Channel as a diver points her camera at some sea anemone, clinging to the side of a rock, seemingly motionless.
I say seemingly, because when the footage that has been captured is sped up, we see a whole other world spring to life. The anemone eat, reproduce and even move, albeit just really, really, really slowly.
Back in the desert and we go from the slow to the fast, the really fast, one of the fastest movements in the animal kingdom in fact, that of a chameleon going for its prey with its super-quick tongue.
Will is in charge of the camera, which is always rolling, but he needs to press a trigger to start recording. He has to almost predict when the chameleon will strike, it’s that quick, luckily he gets it, a tongue that can go 0-60mph in hundredths of a second.
We head over to Norway with Dwayne Fields as he paddles in the freezing water along with some Orca and a huge shoal of Heron. Now, Orca are big, very big and therefore slow, whilst Heron are small and, fast.
In order to catch their pray, the Orca have come up with an ingenious plan. They dive down, near the Heron shoal, and then stun them by flapping their tail, the resulting shock wave can hit a thousand miles per hour. Then the Orca simply hoover up the stunned Heron, delicious!
Back with Will and Albert and they film a waterfall in super slow-mo, showing each and every droplet that makes it up, and then show the same waterfall in quick time lapse, the water appearing as one.
Then the pair drop into a cave, which is home to one of the largest lakes in the world at 600 feet deep. Despite Will’s aversion to water they go scuba diving to take a look at one of the slowest growing things on the planet, Stalactites.
These things grow an entire inch, every 1,000 years! They grow that slow that they become time capsules for what’s happening on our planet. Each bit of Stalactite it’s very own insight.
Back to the start and Albert finally reveals to Will what they’ve been filming, the sand. Specifically they’ve been filming the sand grains as they bounce and move along. The whole desert is moving, that’s the very thing that keeps it a desert in the first place.
We are back on good form with episode four of Welcome To Earth, with amazing camera work and fascinating insight. Will looking nervous at times, when he has to scuba and when he has to cross a river using climbing ropes.
8th December 2021
THE QUICK SELL
Will Smith explores the Namibia Desert, where both the landscape and time seem to have stood still for over 50 million years. With the help of Albert Lin’s incredible technology, Will finds everything is on the move: life, the earth and even the cosmos.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM