PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming. Is it getting redundant yet? No? Ok. What is one of television’s best networks if not the single best network on television today, it has continued to live up to its reputation time and again throughout the first half of 2015. Its release this past March of Nature: Owl Power is just one of so many examples of how it has maintained that reputation. Nature: Owl Power is just one of so many wonderful episodes of the hit series made available to audiences so far this year. The central aspect of its enjoyment lies in the fact that it isn’t just another wildlife documentary. It focuses on owls, yes. But that focus is centered on a pair of individuals that have established a sanctuary for the purpose of raising owls and helping those that might need special assistance. It is through their story that audiences are presented with the “powers” of the different owl breeds. That dual presentation is but one part of what audiences will appreciate in this episode of Nature. As with so many episodes of Nature, the cinematography stands out once again in this episode. It will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least noting of this episode is the use of graphic illustrations to better explain the “powers” that owls utilize in order to survive on a daily basis. The graphic illustrations make clearer why their “powers” are so extraordinary. Together with the work of the episode’s cinematogaphy and its central premise, Nature: Owl Power in whole proves to be an episode of Nature that *ahem* soars. Yes, that bad pun was fully intended. It is one more episode that proves why Nature is the best wildlife program on television today and in larger part why PBS again remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.
When one sees the title of the Nature episode Owl Power, one can’t help but think of something used by the Kratt brothers in the hit PBS Kids’ series Wild Kratts. Ironically enough, in doing so one isn’t that far off. That is because in the high flying episode released on DVD and Blue-ray late this past March, audiences learn that the adaptations utilized by the different breeds of owls could in fact be considered powers of sorts just as much as adaptations. Audiences will learn that owls’ faces aren’t flat to just be flat. That design actually serves a certain functionality. Just as intriguing to learn is that some breeds of owls actually have ear holes at different spots on their heads. Again, this is not some genetic abnormality. Even this serves a purpose for owls. The purpose in question is one centered on owls’ ability to hunt their prey. Even the design of owls’ wings serves a purpose, as audiences will learn. Their design allows in many cases for near silent flight. There are also some breeds whose wings allow virtually silent flight, increasing their hunting ability dramatically. These are just some of the “powers” that audiences will learn owls use every day (and night) in their daily survival. They really are intriguing “powers.” Those that have always had an interest in owls but never known that much about them will agree with that sentiment. Of course they are just part of the central premise of Nature: Owl Power that makes this episode so enjoyable. The discussions on owls’ “powers” comes as the program focuses on a pair of “bird parents” that have established a sanctuary for them.
The adaptations of owls put on display in Nature: Owl Powers give viewers plenty of reason to watch the program. They are just one reason that audiences will enjoy it. The discussion on the various “powers” used by owls on a daily basis comes as the program focuses on a pair of individuals that have established a sanctuary for owls. The sanctuary was established for the purposes of raising owls and helping heal those owls that need the assistance. Audiences will be interested to see that not only does the pair raise owls and help heal them but it also goes out into the community and educates people about owls and their “powers.” In other words, they aren’t just a couple of people working in some facility. Rather they are giving back to the communities that have helped keep their facility running. Viewers will thoroughly enjoy seeing the true love that the pair has for its fine-feathered friends and its dedication to getting them to the point of living on their own in the wild. Especially moving is the revelation of one of the owls that the pair raised having grown up and flown off on its own. The pair shows the same emotion for that bird as a parent of a child would when said parent moves out and takes on the world for the first time. It is a touching moment and one of the best of the program. It is also one more example of why the central story presented in Nature: Owl Power is such a solid point in the overall scheme of this episode.
The story at the center of Nature: Owl Power and the “powers” themselves that are displayed throughout the course of the episode’s roughly fifty-three minute run time make for plenty of reason for viewers to watch this episode of Nature. Collectively though, they make up just one reason that it proves itself worth the watch. The cinematography used throughout the course of the episode is just as worth noting in the show’s enjoyment and success. Specifically speaking, the cinematography used in this episode allows audiences to see owls in action both at regular speed and slowed down. The slow motion presentation of the owls in flight is the real star of the program’s cinematography. The slow motion used throughout the program allows viewers to see just what makes owls’ wings and their sharp talons such impressive adaptations as well as the rest of their adaptations. What is most impressive about the use of the slow motion photography is the fact that it is used so sparingly across the program. It would have been so simple for those behind the cameras to be less than sparing with this element. But thankfully they didn’t go that route. The end result is an element that becomes just as integral to the program as the rest of the program’s camera work. The natural backdrops that are used in the regular speed flight scenes are just as impressive as the footage shown in the slow motion footage. The backdrops in question are typically countryside backdrops. There is something about the juxtaposition of the owls in flight to their natural habitats that audiences will truly enjoy. Whether for that element of its cinematography or for the slow motion footage, the cinematography in whole that is presented in Nature: Owl Power proves even more why this episode of Nature is well worth the watch and another impressive piece proving once more why Nature remains today the leading series of its kind on television.
The cinematography incorporated into Nature: Owl Power and the episode’s central story work together to make this episode another impressive episode of television’s top wildlife series. They still are not the do all end all for this episode. The graphic illustrations that are incorporated into the episode, alongside its cinematography round out the elements that make this episode worth the watch. The illustrations in question clearly outline why the makeup of the different own breeds’ bodies make them “super-beings” of sorts of the animal world. Audiences will see clearly how the “imbalance” of some owls’ ear holes actually turns their hearing into virtual radar and how the flat makeup of their faces actually heightens the effect of their hearing. Viewers will also get to see how owls’ eyes give them “super-sight” so to speak. It’s just one more of so many graphic illustrations used throughout the program that make it an interesting watch that is well worth viewers’ time. Together with the episode’s cinematography and the two-part main presentation it rounds out the reasons that Owl Power proves to be so worth the watch. All three elements together prove this episode to be one that “soars” above so many other aviary-based wildlife programs out there today.
Nature: Owl Power is a soaring hit of a documentary and another impressive episode of Nature. Whether through its central story, its cinematography, or its graphic illustrations, it shows in more than one way why it is such an impressive presentation. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=owl%20power&origkw=owl+power&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:
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