Now 81, Sir David Attenborough has spent most of the past 50 years 'getting the behaviour of animals', as they used to call it in the Natural History Unit of the BBC. Here, he looks back at significant moments from more than five decades of definitive natural history programmes, beginning with Zoo Quest in 1954, and ending with his forthcoming series on reptiles, Life in Cold Blood, the final chapter of his overview of life on Earth.Way back in 1957, David visited the Komodo Dragon for his "Zoo Quest For A Dragon" series and things were a lot more primitive back then.
The only way to get to Komodo was by sea; Attenborough and Lagus found a surly-looking captain willing to take them from the port at Maumere in a single-masted prau that was only 20ft long. They came across tidal races that plunged the boat into whirlpools and eddies, and drove them towards reefs that they avoided only by pushing themselves away with bamboo poles. They later found out that the captain was a gun-runner from Java who smuggled arms to rebels.