Beautiful! Excellent! Arresting! It's like taking the "Swiss Family Robinson" and reinventing them in the African bush. 5-stars only because 6 isn't an option.
Second marriage of Vet. Danny Trevanion (Stephen Tomkinson) and Sarah (Amanda Holden) also unites their previous-marriage kids. One happy family? Not always. The Dr's girl, Rosie (Lucy-Jo Hudson), missing her deceased real mom, often conflicts with her step-mom. She blends better with Sarah's children brought into the family group, Evan (Luke Ward-Wilkinson) and Olivia (Rafaella Hutchinson). Sweet Olivia is reminiscent of Drew Barrymore's child role in "ET."
The family takes a holiday to South Africa with the purpose of returning a rescued pet vervet monkey, Valentine, to the wild. Danny is offered a veterinarian position on a dilapidated bush farm owned by Anders Du Plessis, Afrikaner (Deon Stewardson). Danny & Sarah make a decision. That's episode one, and it just gets better and better with each episode. Every episode is just shy of 50 minutes.
Throughout the DVD set, you will encounter wild animals and South African vistas that are enchanting. The story is relationship drama with plenty of action and suspense. The visual aspect of the setting is comparable to the best of African bush documentaries. What a fantastic combination, to say nothing of the background African music.
Disney could have done no better.
Episode 2: Wendy, a cheetah with a broken leg, is saved by Evan and then by Danny, followed by Danny saving Olivia's life. The 3 family girls meet Alex Tate (Gary Lawson), a neighbor with a game/resort farm which really does look like a Disneyland in Africa. And you'll meet Miranda, a baby lion.
#3: Sarah's ex-husband Simon (Vincent Regan) visits Africa demanding his children, Evan & Olivia. Ruby Robson (Stacey Roca), young lover causing the divorce, tags along, and all family members deal with past torn-family relationships and face decisions.
#4 Evan & Olivia run away, a semi-drugged lion is on the run, everyone is looking for someone, but who will find what, first? Rosie finds Themba (Siyabonga Shibe), finds him quite nice.
#5 The Trevanion females, elephants, naked massage, zebras, Tate, paying guests, and diesel fuel all become a part of the current problems.
#6 Poachers arrive with other unexplained animal death that threatens all life at Leopard's Den. Is it Anthrax? Malaria?
"No one who is loved, ever really dies."
This DVD set was largely selected by me because the cover photo looked like good family viewing. IT IS THAT! Highly recommended even though it has no subtitles or closed captioning. I rarely needs it. What it offers makes up for any shortcoming--WITH ONE EXCEPTION. This is the first of several years of "Wild at Heart" TV production. Please, please, Acorn Media, give us another Series.
Bonus stuff includes production notes and more fabulous photography in gallery format. The only thing better to do than buying this DVD set is to travel in person to South Africa.