Dynasties: Season 1 (2018)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Dynasties delivers all the Attenborough goods - stunning visuals, captivating voiceover, and apt anthropomorphism.



Critic Ratings: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 38

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Air date: Jan 19, 2019

This episode features one of the most famous lion prides in Africa - the Marsh Pride of Kenya's Masai Mara. As the story begins, the Marsh Pride is in a unique situation in their history. They have been abandoned by all of the adult males who - until now - defended the pride. Just two adult females are left to feed and protect their eight youngsters.

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Air date: Jan 26, 2019

This edition follows David, a chimpanzee alpha in Senegal, west Africa, as the dry season sets in, forcing the group closer together and leaving David to overcome threats to his leadership from murderous rivals.

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Air date: Feb 2, 2019

This episode features a tigress named Raj Bhera who lives in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in India and holds the perfect tiger territory,with dense jungle, spring-fed ponds and rich grasslands teeming with prey. And now, she has four tiny newborn cubs to care for.

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Air date: Feb 9, 2019

This episode features a painted wolf named Tait, matriarch of one of the last great families of this endangered animal. She has ruled her dynasty for many years on the banks of Zambezi river in Zimbabwe, keeping the peace within her sprawling family. But tensions are rising as Tait is growing old and her power is waning.

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Air date: Feb 16, 2019

This edition follows a colony of emperor penguins in Atka Bay, on the coast of Antarctica, as they try to keep themselves and their chicks alive through the coming winter.

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Critic Reviews for Dynasties Season 1

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

A series that dumbs down both animal society and our own. Animal stories are at their best when they reveal our shared emotional experience, but they must also touch on the ways those emotions are manipulated

Nov 15, 2018 | Full Review…

It's as dramatic as anything you'll see in the scripted world, except that it's real and that makes it more heartbreaking, thrilling and astonishing as it unfolds.

Jan 22, 2019 | Full Review…

There were heavenly bits too. Charm, the absolute legend of a wise, can-do lioness, kept her pride together brilliantly (mostly) and gave birth to two miaowing cubs that were cuteness itself.

Nov 26, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

I miss being visually dazzled, but fireworks don't throw off the kind of heat and warmth that radiates from within Dynasties.

Feb 19, 2020 | Full Review…

This story of the embattled Emperor penguins had more treacherous cliffhangers than a Game of Thrones White Walkers' march to the Wall.

Mar 8, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Visually stunning docu about struggling animal families.

Feb 13, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The BBC's newest docuseries, the five-episode Dynasties, is yet another beautiful addition to an already extensive library, but it's also another species of nature documentary.

Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 90/100 | Full Review…

Cleverly focusing on the ruling family unit as it exists in nature, the show's twist on the natural history genre makes Dynasties as gripping as any human royal drama, fictional or otherwise.

Jan 17, 2019 | Full Review…

Wavering is the ability of several species to survive, as the perpetually passionate David Attenborough hosted Dynasties makes very clear in its five-part series.

Jan 16, 2019 | Full Review…

Dynasties just goes on impressing until the world runs out of adjectives. The emperor penguin show was elegiac, majestic and tragic in equal measure.

Nov 27, 2018 | Full Review…

Anyone still needing to amplify their sense of an uncaring universe should have checked in with Dynasties.

Nov 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Dynasties (BBC1) did something different: it made us forget we were watching animals at all.

Nov 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dynasties: Season 1

  • Feb 18, 2019
    My opinion was that it was okay. Not terrific. I really enjoyed the Lion, Painted Wolf, and Penguin episodes. But I was disappointed with the Chimpanzee episode and felt like they should of cast a different species of animal because Chimpanzees aren't that interesting. Another big disappointment was that now I guess it's not socially acceptable to show the more violent fighting scenes. In past Planet Earth and other popular shows, you always got to see the more unpleasant fighting scenes. It seems like they completely cut those out with this series. So if that is where your interest lies, you might want to skip this series. One thing that I did appreciate, was that they did air all of the episodes on other networks so a larger audience could view the series. I have an expensive cable package but for some reason it doesn't include BBC, so this was a nice bonus for people who don't have the network. I would love to see a follow up to the Lion story!
  • Feb 03, 2019
    This show is greatly overrated. Planet Earth was excellent, Planet Earth II was very good but this series is very average in my opinion. The stories are not very exciting and the footage is nothing mind blowing like the other two shows I listed that Dynasties is being compared.

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