Media > Film > The Living River

iThe Living River

TV documentary commissioned by BBC-tv and the BP Film Unit, 1972, as part of the co-production series, Web of Life.
First broadcast on BBC Two at 7:35pm, 4th January 1973.

Duration: 30¾ minutes

Music duration: 14 minutes
Music by Carey Blyton
Scoring: Piccolo/Flute/Alto Flute, Horn, Harp, Violoncello
Performance: Harold Clarke (Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute), Ifor James (Horn), Ossian Ellis (Harp) and Denis Vigay (Cello)

Script by Desmond Hawkins
Narrated by Gary Watson

Edited by John Merritt
Produced and Directed by Richard Brock,
BBC Bristol/BP Film Unit

This film won three awards:

  • Gold Camera Award for 1st Place, U.S. Industrial Film Festival, 1973
  • Certificate of Merit from the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1973
  • Gold Award for joint 1st Place in Category F, British Sponsored Film Festival, 1973
  • Permission has been sought to host this video

    The Living River

    (BP/BBC Web of Life series)

    Filmed mainly on the River Test, in the Whitchurch area, and on the River Bourne, The Living River features a wide variety of river life, birds and plants. The film shows how the seasons, the weather and the flora and fauna in this part of Hampshire are all integrated and woven together into a ‘web of life’. The film focuses on the migration of eels from the land into the river, on water rodents and on riverside vegetation. In considering the diverse animal life in the river, the film shows how the river serves as a source of food for these animals and also reveals how man can alter this situation through pollution.

    The Living River was the first of a series of seven films sponsored by BP under the title Web of Life, each of which examined the ecology of a different habitat. All of the films were shown on the BBC in 1973 with the single exception of The Living Woodland. The Web of Life series comprised the following titles (the date shown is that of first broadcast on BBC Two):

    Please note that the original soundtrack of The Living River is available on the CD Carey Blyton: Film & Television Music (3/4), which may be purchased from this site.

    Sections of the film presented here have had judicious image stabilisation applied to them, as the video retrieved from VHS cassette was extremely unstable and somewhat nauseating to watch. The stabilisation process accounts for occasional minor artefacts at the top and bottom of the picture.