A series of nature and science documentaries by the BBC and Dorling Kindersley between 1994 and 1998, based on the books of the same name. The series attempts to capture the minimalistic, hyperrealistic essence of the books through the use of a plain white background
, the "Eyewitness Museum"
, created using computer animation combined with stock footage, filmed sets, and live animals; in the series itself occasionally uses realistic elaborate sets, live (and animated) and stock footage of relevant content shown as windows and depressions in the wall.
The series was hosted by Andrew Sachs in the UK release; the US dub was hosted by Martin Sheen for the first two seasons. The video releases include a "The Making of Eyewitness" which show how the series was created.
This series contains examples of:
- Art Shift: The series' intro (along with the main room emphasized in the episode) changes with as the series progresses.
- Bizarrchitecture: The museum itself. The first theme has levels transitioning laterally, which is kind of trippy, if the intro is to be believed.
- Conspicuous CGI: Its CGI was fair for its day, but rather limiting.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Usually, but like the books, the content extends to related subjects; Ape, for instance, also tackles monkeys and other primates. Human Machine, however, takes it to a ludicrous extreme with a mime acting like a robot throughout the episode.
- Leit Motif: A snippet of the main theme is remixed within every episode to match the soundtrack, which usually reflects the culture associated with the subject. For instance, "Jungle" has a soundtrack based on Latin music, "Cat" has one based on scat and jazz, etc.
- The Hero: Every episode seems to have animal or object in focus, which is constantly referred to. With few exceptions, most of them are what the episode is about.
- Mammal focused on the development of 6 mammalian embryos: baby mice, kittens, a baby girl, a kangaroo joey, a baby elephant, and a dolphin.
- Dinosaur had a claymation T. rex.
- Prehistoric Life had a cockroach.
- Weather has a weathervane chicken.
- Human Machine had a robotic mime.
- Pond and River had a paper boat that was floating downstream.
- "Seashore" had a crab.
- Mishmash Museum: The museum where the series takes place. Not only does it have animals running around it, but it also has paintings that show stock footage. As shown by the intro sequence, it also has an airplane, car, prism, and a pool with a little island in it, among others.
- Signature Style: It utilizes white to help the material (plants, props, artifacts, live animals and actors) stand out; occasionally, the series does occasionally use an elaborate, realistic set from time, sometimes with the white still present in the background.
- Stock Footage: The series utilizes footage from documentaries, old movies, and cartoons.