Sex, murder, unwanted pregnancy: it’s all in a day’s work for the characters at the heart of a gripping new saga premiering this weekend (October 16) on Sky.
Meerkats 3D, made by the same crew behind the Meerkat Manor series, focuses on an entirely different family led by tough matriarch Clinky.
The hour-long docudrama spans a year in the Kalahari and it’s funny, sometimes shocking and genuinely moving – like when the runt of the litter gets abandoned or when Clinky’s daughter, Miss Bean, loses her babies.
At times it’s like an episode of Eastenders or even Macbeth, but Meerkats 3D never loses its overall lightness of touch.
What really makes it stand out is the stunning 3D footage. The desert scenes are so vivid that you could almost sink your bare toes into the sand or feel the rush of a bird soaring towards you.
I had a quick chat with producer Caroline Hawkins about what it was like filming over 70 days in the Kalahari. She said it was an immersive shoot and that the heavy 3D cameras posed a major challenge.
‘We had to turn the 3D camera upside down to capture the meerkats at their level.’
I asked if the filmmakers had formed any attachments to the meerkats but she said not really, as the character and story development mostly happened in post-production. However they did get physically close to their subjects.
‘They would climb up and stick their noses right into the camera lens!’
Don’t miss Meerkats 3D – a fascinating insight into the lives of these cuddly, and often deadly, little creatures.
After a preview screening at the zoo, we had a chance to meet some meerkats in the flesh. Read more about our day out at London Zoo here.
Meerkats 3D will be shown on the Sky 3D channel on Oct 16 (Sunday) at 8pm for more information visit www.sky.com/3D
The 2D version of Meerkats will be simulcast on Oct 16 (Sunday) at 8pm on Nat Geo Wild (Sky channel 528).