Sunday, July 30, 2017

More nature and science at the Primetime Emmy Awards

I thought I was done with Nature and science at the Primetime Emmy Awards by posting Vox on 'Planet Earth II'.  It turns out I was wrong.  There are five more nominations of shows on these topics, three of them for Outstanding Narrator.  One of these shows is also nominated at the News and Documentary Emmys, "Wild New Zealand."

Welcome to a place of fabled landscapes, a land which time forgot. Welcome to the lost world of New Zealand.
The quote at the beginning supports my prediction that so long as anyone survives who remembers the Peter Jackson "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" movies, New Zealand will be associated with Middle-Earth.  The show's original BBC title, "Earth's Mythical Islands: New Zealand," fits right in with this idea.

As I indicated above, this series, or, rather, Sam Neill, the actor who played the paleontologist Alan Grant in the "Jurassic Park" movies, is nominated for Outstanding Narrator at the Primetime Emmys.  In the News and Documentary Emmys, the show is nominated for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary along with four other nature shows, "David Attenborough's Light on Earth," "Desert Warriors: Lions of the Namib," "Forces of Nature," and "Nature: Super Hummingbirds."  I watched the last one at my mom's house in Utah immediately after I watched the Nova episode " Treasures of the Earth: Power."  It deserves its nomination.  As for "Wild New Zealand," its nominations prove it was well-narrated and well-photographed.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the science and nature shows being featured today.

Like Sam Neill of "Wild New Zealand," Ewan McGregor of "Wild Scotland" is also nominated for Outstanding Narrator.  Also like Neill, McGregor is best known for his role in a trilogy of science fiction movies, Episodes I-III of "Star Wars."  Here he is narrating Hungry, Hungry Otters.

A busy mother otter provides a meal for her cubs all the while fending them off from her meal.
Like "Wild New Zealand," "Wild Scotland" originally had another title on BBC, "Scotland's Wild Heart."  My guess both were retitled to fit the Nat Geo Wild branding.

The third and final nominee for Outstanding Narrator I'm featuring today is Lawrence Fishburne, best known as Morpheus in the "Matrix movies, who narrated "Year Million."  If Neill is from New Zealand and McGregor is from Scotland, then I suppose Fishburne is from the future.  That certainly comes through in the following clip from "CBS This Morning," New series "Year Million" aims to predict the future of humanity.

National Geographic is bringing together the brightest minds in science, technology and science fiction for a glimpse into what awaits humanity in the years to come. The predictions are showcased in a new six-part series "Year Million." Executive producer David O'Connor and CBS News science contributor Dr. Michio Kaku join "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to discuss some of the series' jaw-dropping projections.
Now, that's the kind of future I'm hoping for and trying to work towards, not the future of decline and collapse that I fear, even as I examine it in entertainment.

As for which of the three narrators I'd root for, I'm predisposed to support Fishburne, but Neill gave the best performance in the clips above.  That written, I don't think any of them will win.  Instead, I expect it will be Meryl Streep, who narrated "Five Came Back," an episode of "The Price of Victory."  It's about Hollywood directors who served in World War II.  As I wrote in The Academy Awards recognize quality and diversity at the movies in 2016, "it' example of a movie about Hollywood that Hollywood will vote for," which is why I thought "La La Land" would win Best Picture at the Oscars and why almost everyone accepted that it had when it was announced by mistake.

Both Bill Nye and Michio Kaku have showed up, so this post would be incomplete without Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Fortunately, it's not, as his show “StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson” was nominated for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.  Here he is, discussing The Science of Alien Sightings.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and SETI Astronomer, Seth Shotsak, talk about alien sightings and how aliens are portrayed in the media.
I'm inclined to root for Tyson and his approach to science, but I'm not optimistic.  “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” has won this category every year since 2013, so it's the favorite, having beaten "Startalk" twice.  It has also split the award twice, once each with "Inside the Actors Studio" and "Vice," so those shows would be my picks for an upset.  Sorry, Dr. Tyson, just be happy to be nominated.

All of the above nominees are National Geographic productions, at least in the U.S.  The final nominee featured today, “Mission: ISS,” is from Oculus, a streaming program from a virtual reality company.  Here is its 2D trailer promoting a 3D experience, 'Mission:ISS' from Oculus, Available Now!

We’re excited to share that Mission: ISS is available now on the Oculus Store! Created in collaboration with NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, this true-to-life simulation lets you explore space and experience the sensation of microgravity in VR.

Based on NASA models as well as direct input and feedback from multiple astronauts and the NASA VR Lab in Houston, Mission: ISS recreates the International Space Station in painstaking detail. While many of us dream of becoming astronauts, only about 500 people have ever been to space. Thanks to Mission: ISS and Oculus Touch, you can use your own hands as you dock incoming cargo capsules, conduct spacewalks, and perform mission-critical tasks. Now anyone, anywhere, can experience the breathtaking view of Earth from orbit.
Wow!  Even in 2D, I can see how this show was nominated for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, a new category.  Welcome to the Television Academy adapting to the 21st Century.

I'll have more to say about the rest of the nominees in the final category in a future entry, as two of them are nonfiction political shows.  Until then, stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment