“There was plenty to astonish us in this opening programme”

Secret World of Sound

“It must be ever harder for wildlife filmmakers to come up with a fresh angle, so congratulations to the team behind Secret World of Sound with David Attenborough. The noises that creatures make, from buzzing bees to roaring lions, might seem better suited to radio. But this three-part series, with its cutting-edge audio technology, managed to use sound to enhance some familiar visuals. There was plenty to astonish us in this opening programme.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“This three-part series is as impressive as any of Sir David’s work for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. At 97, strolling through a garden of foxgloves to show us bumblebees buzzing ‘like living tuning forks’ to gather pollen, he appears as sharp and energetic as ever, and still utterly rapt in nature’s wonders.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Just as impressive as the owls, lions, dolphins, elephants and the cute kangaroo rat, which looks like a rat that has undergone a Disney glow-up, is the greater chino-ed Attenborough, 98 this year, his narrations still music to the ear. That’s another sound that will be hard to reproduce.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“In between Attenborough’s words, we are invited to listen more closely than we have before, and with the benefit of better sound equipment than has previously existed, to the roars, buzzes, clicks and paw-steps that sharp-eared animals use to find their way and to stay alive. This intriguing idea is, more often than not, successfully executed in an opening episode that concentrates on foraging and hunting – although the task of packaging up some of the world’s most obscure noises and delivering them to us sometimes proves impossible.”
Jack Seale, The Guardian

“Mostly, Secret World of Sound was overwhelming, rather than just lightly whelming or dubiously overegged. The gulls stomping on the ground to trick the earthworms into thinking it was raining confirmed a lifelong suspicion of gulls. The elephants sensing far-off storms through their big, flared feet were wondrous. I suspect that arguments about the use of Foley in natural-history films have set back our response to aural natural history a good few years. This series goes some way to redressing the balance.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

Prisoner, BBC4

“Prisoner throws you right into the melee from the very start and barely pauses to surface for air. There is no slow buildup to the action here, only a practice prison riot and a sense that all is not as it appears to be. It treats its viewers as intelligent and capable, throwing character after character on to the screen, while drip-feeding the plot in small and tantalising portions. The reward is a mature, gripping drama about the complexities of the modern-day prison system in Denmark.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“If the materials of Prisoner are commonplace then here they are crafted into something that is not. Superbly shot and with sensational performances throughout, Prisoner is gut-punch drama. The only thing that might stop you from blasting through the whole six hours in a sitting will be the fact that it is utterly unrelenting – but then you don’t head to chokey for oranges and sunshine.”
Benji Wilson, The Telegraph

“The first double bill of episodes crammed in one too many subplots. But if you enjoyed recent depictions of life behind bars such as Time on BBC1 and C4’s Screw, don’t miss this — it’s far better.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail