The Wild One
A 12-part documentary soap by Heinz Leger
There are plenty of zoos around, but none is quite like Schönbrunn. An imperial palace and park add royal flavour to the world's oldest zoo and provide it with one of the most scenic backdrops available in Austria. But that is only half the truth. The zoo of Schönbrunn is also one of the world's most modern facilities, designed to make even the most exotic wildlife feel at home. The programme is fast-paced, doing without long-winded introductions, jumping right into the middle of things. Split screens demonstrate the simultaneousness of events and provide rapid cuts between locations. Commentary, sparingly used, is succinct, helping viewers to understand changes of location and time. Each episode stands on its own, yet leaves some teasers to make viewers tune in next time.
Typical examples would be: Will they catch the absconding coatis? Can they nurse the injured Barbary sheep baby back to health? The busy yet action-packed routine at the zoo offers surprises at every turn and imposes a rapid rhythm on the programme. Each episode develops emotional high spots that make it easier to identify with the hopes and fears of its protagonists.