The Queen of Trees (BBC 2)
2005 | Deeble and Stone Productions, NHK, Thirteen/WNET New York, Granada International, BBC and ZDF
The complexity and interdependence of the Earth at large is demonstrated in microcosm by this breathtaking nature film, executive produced by Alan Root and, for Nature and Thirteen/WNET, Fred Kaufman. The Queen of Trees profiles a single African tree, a sycamore fig, and its special relationship with its insect partner, the fig wasp, that is one-billionth its size. Using groundbreaking micro and macro photography, producer-director-cinematographers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble (who also wrote the script read with restraint by actor Ian Holm) chronicle the intricate interplay of the wasp and the fig tree and the other life forms—from birds and bees to ants and elephants—that play vivid supporting roles in its cycles of sex, birth, and death. Much of what the filmmakers capture in high-definition is new not only to lay viewers, but to science. Their work and that of associate producer Masaru Ikeo and scientific advisor Stephen Compton is enhanced and complimented by Etienne Oliff’s additional photography, the picture editing of David Dickie, the sound recording of Lucy Bateman, Wounded Buffalo’s sound editing, and the evocative music of Guy Michelmore. For their crafting a story rife with drama and intrigue that reminds us that all the world’s not only a stage but also a tree, a Peabody goes to the makers of The Queen of Trees.