The cornucopia of images and lush cinematography, a mix of time-lapse photography and live action, that is Frozen Planet has finally arrived on our side of the Pond.
This collaboration between the Discovery Channel and the BBC flashes back and forth between the North and South poles, treating us to visions of killer whales knocking seals off ice floes, frolicking penguins and chatty narwhals, among other wondrous phenomena.
What is missing, at least in the first episode, is people. While Antarctica did not have an indigenous population when it was discovered by Europeans, the Circumpolar Region, as the territory surrounding the North Pole is known, has been peopled by the Inuit for thousands of years. Nevertheless they do not make an appearance until the April 15 episode, the seventh and last in the series.
However, when they do, the Inuit will be shown in rare form, as Huffington Post reported in its British edition in December. "Life in the Freezer" travels from the Siberian coast and walrus hunting, to the Inuit of Northeastern Canada as they forage for mussels beneath the sea ice at low tide.
"On the Siberian coast, traditional Arctic residents continue to risk life and limb to hunt walruses, while the Inuits of Northeast Canada take advantage of extreme tides to access mussels beneath the sea ice," Discovery's description says.
The series premiered in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel on March 18 and will run throughout March and April. More information on the series, including air dates and times, plus a chronology of the four years that it took to make the epic, is at the Frozen Planet website.
Below are two trailers, one from the U.S. airing with the voiceover of Alec Baldwin, and the next with the dulcet British tones of Sir Richard Attenborough, who narrated the BBC version.
And here is a trailer for the one that aired in the U.K. late last year, narrated by Attenborough.