WARNING: HEAVY SWEARING WITH A CHANCE OF VULGARITY
Here’s the second part of the Mockumentaries series, and man, fuck these two. Fuck them to the hellish depths of the abyss. Their concept is dumb and their execution is worse. I don’t know if Alien Planet (2005) had some pretense of being taken seriously and having a scientific foundation (I think it had, given all the retarded interviews with people like Michio Kaku, the living parody of a scientist, and Stephen Hawking, who is clearly a biologist); what I know is that if you want to make up a fictional planet and all the organisms living on it, what comes out can’t be realistic in any way. Biological evolution always defies our imagination, it doesn’t matter how plausible or fantastic your fictional creatures look and behave, we have the capacity to foresee certain patterns of adapatation to certain environments, but said capacity is, as for now, quite limited. The entire show is even more sterile since not only they’re making up the organisms, they’re making up their whole fucking world. It’s not more science-based than Avatar, it’s just much less good-looking and exciting. In fact, the little “it’s a real documentary!” gimmick gets boring pretty fast, and the CGI looks like shit. It looked like shit in 2005, it looks like shit today. Oh, and since you are going to make up a bunch of aliens, one would think you would put some effort into making them look interesting, but nooooo, their design is absolute crap too. So, in the end, we’ve got zero science education and zero entertainment. Congratulation, Alien Planet, you’re a real winner.
The Future is Wild (2002), on the other hand, is a series about the possible future evolution of animal life on Earth after the hypothtical extinction of Homo sapiens, and it is inspired by the works of that weirdo that is Dougal Dixon. To their credit, at least they have a little more solid premises than Alien Planet: we can predict some of the future geological and climate changes, and we know modern terrestrial animals from which the creatures of this series would “evolve”. This, however, doesn’t make The Future is Wild (or the works of Dougal Dixon, for that matter) any more educative or exciting. Trying to predict the evolution of large animals, even very loosely, can’t be taken too seriously, and these people don’t even seem to apply themselves to the task: their idea of evolution is quite childish. They basically take an ecological niche, and a taxon that nowadays doesn’t fill that niche, and mix them toghether. “Wouldn’t it be cool if fish could fly in the forests and giant squids could walk the earth?”- it seems something that a kid would say, and instead it was said by a grown man, maybe even one of the scientists who helped in creating this silliness. Chances are that most taxa (at least the invertebrates) will retain more or less the same niches, although with new forms, and the taxa that will conquer new niches will do it in such a surprising way that it’s impossible to guess it. In addition, as it has always happened, entire biological groups will disappear, while new groups will appear; the series, instead, mainly focus on new “super” future versions of modern animals, disregarding the inevitable appearence of new taxa and reinforcing the wrong idea that evolution is kind of a “chain”, in which a species slowly morphs into a single other species which in turn slowly morphs into a single other species etc… Evolution is not a chain, it’s a tree, a cladogram, in which different biological groups share common ancestors. This could have been one of the few real things this silly series could have explained to the general public, but they decided to reinforce the common misconception of the”great chain of evolution” instead. Bravo. At least not all of the creatures are as ugly and silly looking as the ones from Alien Planet: the bizarre and even morbidly creepy look of some of the animals is basically the only thing that makes Dixon’s books vaguely interesting, after all. The beasts in the series, however, are not all as inspired as the beasts from the book, and many of them are just horribly designed. The effects are not as crappy as in Alien Planet, but they’re still pretty crappy too.
So, in conclusion, these two pieces of fuck are basically just a horrendous waste of time which pretend to be science-based while they’re simply science-fiction, and they’re not even as fun as most science-fiction movies are. Peace out.