Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero

Watch Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero

  • 2021
  • 1 Season
  • 8.5  (85)

Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero is a two-part documentary series that aired on BBC Two in 2013. The show follows comedian Bill Bailey as he embarks on a journey to learn about the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, a 19th century explorer and naturalist who played a crucial role in the development of the theory of evolution.

The series is presented as a travelogue and combines Bailey's trademark humor with serious scientific inquiry, as he retraces some of Wallace's most notable journeys to the Malay Archipelago, where he made his most important discoveries. Along the way, Bailey encounters a variety of exotic animals and environments, and learns about the impact that Wallace's groundbreaking work had on the scientific community at the time.

The show features prominently the legendary Sir David Attenborough, an old friend of Bailey's and a highly respected naturalist in his own right. Attenborough appears throughout the programme to provide insight into Wallace's life and work, as well as to contextualize some of the places and creatures that Bailey encounters on his travels.

Bailey's journey is not without its challenges, both in terms of the physical demands of traveling in remote and unusual locations, and in terms of the intellectual demands of trying to understand Wallace's complex ideas. At several points in the series, Bailey finds himself struggling to get his head around scientific concepts that are unfamiliar to him, and he frequently seeks out expert help to aid him in his quest.

One of the highlights of the show is the footage of the animals that Bailey encounters along the way. From brightly colored Kingfishers to diminutive Tarsiers, Bailey has the opportunity to observe a wide variety of creatures in their natural habitats, offering viewers a rare glimpse into a world that few of us will ever experience firsthand.

Another standout aspect of the programme is the way it celebrates the life and legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace, a figure whose contributions to science have been overshadowed by those of his contemporary Charles Darwin. Through Bailey's journey, we learn about the remarkable discoveries that Wallace made during his lifetime, and about the challenges he faced in trying to get his ideas accepted by the scientific establishment.

Ultimately, Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero is an engaging and informative exploration of both the natural world and the history of science. It manages to strike a careful balance between humor and seriousness, making it an entertaining watch for audiences of all ages. For fans of both Bill Bailey and David Attenborough, it offers a rare opportunity to see these two beloved personalities collaborating on a shared passion, and for those interested in the history of science, it provides a valuable glimpse into the life and work of a fascinating figure who has too often been overlooked by history.

Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero
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Seasons
Land of the Birds of Paradise
2. Land of the Birds of Paradise
March 15, 2021
Bill meets birds of paradise as he reveals how Charles Darwin's rival Alfred Wallace cracked evolution.
Land of the Orangutan
1. Land of the Orangutan
March 15, 2021
Bill meets orangutans and flying frogs in his journey through Borneo as he finds out more about British explorer Alfred Wallace.
Description
  • Premiere Date
    March 15, 2021
  • IMDB Rating
    8.5  (85)