Thursday, 22 June 2017

Zoo Quest in Colour

I wonder how many of you in the UK watched 'Zoo Quest in Colour' on BBC4 recently. The original 1950's David Attenborough programmes were b/w as they were broadcast before the days of colour television and were ground breaking in showing wildlife from many parts of the globe.

Recently the original film stock was found and behold, it was shot on 16mm colour negative film. Quite a bit of that, sometimes alongside the original broadcast b/w, was shown and I must say the quality, sharpness and naturalness of the colour is astounding. If the programme is repeated it is well worth an hour and a half of your life to watch it. Personally I think the colour quality beats much of today's digital offerings. Some fantastic macro shots where the cameraman had to make his own extension tubes as that was a new idea for film making.

The programme is punctuated with interviews with David and Charles Lagus, the cameraman, who explain how they set about the three ventures which made up the Zoo Quest series. A fascinating insight into the making of early wildlife documentaries.

Some info on the BBC site here.  Don't know whether it works for those outside the UK.


  1. No I didn't see it John, but I remember watching the original programmes with my son - wish I had seen these.

  2. Thanks for the link John. I usually enjoy the colour grading of film. Not Kodachrome but the others are usually fine.

  3. So annoyed I missed this - loved the books and tv series when I was little. Do hope they repeat.

  4. I'll keep my eye on the listings and let people know when it gets repeated, which it is bound to be knowing the BBC.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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