The Insect Man
Profiling the life and work of the great French 19th Century entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre, The Insect Man uses an intriguing drama format with actor Ralph Michael portraying the late expert as he ‘talks’ the BBC through his various experiments and findings.
Described by world renowned producer Chris Parsons as “possibly the most adventurous” programme he presented in the World About Us strand, The Insect Man includes a wealth of insect footage mixed with drama re-enactments. Using impressive macro-photography, Gerald Thompson from Oxford Scientific Films (OSF) details various insect behaviours and, using tools from the Fabre museum, recreates many of his intriguing field studies.
Scorpions are shown circling in a mating dance, whilst hunting wasps burrow in the hot sand and processionary caterpillars pursue their leader. Using an engaging mixture of styles, The Insect Man is a fitting tribute to the man who, at a loss as how to determine the hearing capacity of cicadas, hit upon the idea of firing his town’s ceremonial cannon.