The Shape of Life

The National Geographic and PBS documentary series The Shape of Life sets off on an ambitious task: to trace back the origins of animals to the very beginnings of life on earth, and to follow the earliest animals step by step as they evolve into new and different forms and, ultimately, into the incredible diversity of organisms present on the earth today. Each of the eight episodes of the documentary focuses on both a theme (such as "The First Hunter") and an animal group that represents that theme (such as flatworms).

The Shape of Life is a gigantic missed opportunity: it has a great outline and an ambitious plan, but it falls well short of the mark by its utterly lightweight content. It does offer some interesting material, so it might make adequate rainy-day viewing for a family. I'd strongly suggest you watch Blue Planet instead for a much better handling of similar material.

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