How did our ancestors come to invent language, to shape the world with tools, to create art, and to imagine the future? The award-winning team behind Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts brings you this missing link in the story of life on our planet.
Breaking the mold of previous "Walking with" offerings, the BBC's Walking with Cavemen
sees Professor Robert Winston follow in the footsteps of ancient man in a series that traces the history of humanity from bipedal ape-men (Australopithecus Aphaeresis) to the awakening of the human mind's potential with Homo Erectus. Over four fascinating half-hour installments, Wilson presents an accessible and populist, but still suitably anthropological study on how apes became human and the traits that we inherited from our earliest ancestors.
Unlike Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Beasts, Cavemen combines CGI with actors to portray the characters in the story of man. Initially this seems to make it far less technically impressive than the earlier programs--memories of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 are inevitable--but fortunately the acting is superb and the viewer soon forgets that these are people in monkey suits. The series also makes use of a special effect called "deep time-lapse", which shows in a matter of dramatic seconds the thousands of years of geological changes that sped up our ancestors' evolution. Wilson himself takes part in the action as if he is a modern-day naturalist following lions across the Serengeti rather than creatures long extinct. This approach makes for a more immediate as well as poignant interpretation of history: the result is an enlightening and moving tribute to the human journey. --Kristen Bowditch