Otters Wild


Otters

Nature documentary. Cameraman Charlie Hamilton James takes his seven-year-old son on the hunt for otters on the Isle of Skye.


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Transcript


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Otters have an undeniable appeal.

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But for cameraman Charlie Hamilton James,

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they are an obsession.

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To Charlie's delight, his son, Fred, is developing the same obsession.

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It's an otter.

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Charlie's decided it's finally time to introduce Fred

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to his most treasured otter-watching spot,

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on the wild and windswept Isle of Skye,

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far away from the mayhem of modern life.

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We're gonna go and spend the week in that little cottage over there

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which has got no road going to it.

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And it's got no electricity, has it, Fred?

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So we're not gonna have any phones or computers or anything to distract us.

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And we're gonna see what life's like living like that for a week.

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Come on, let's go and get there.

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This cottage is where Charlie cut his teeth as a wildlife cameraman.

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It's truly remote - just getting there is quite an adventure.

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How are you doing, Fred?

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Good.

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-Look at me!

-Ahhh!

-Ha-ha-ha!

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-Come on, then, pull it out!

-I can't!

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Arrgh! Ha-ha-ha!

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-Winter is the best season to see otters here.

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But that does mean that the weather is...

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well, challenging.

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Fred must be wondering what he's let himself in for!

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Oh, God!

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Daddy, it's freezing cold!

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It's too cold!

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Come on, Fred.

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-Ahh!

-What are you doing, man? You dropped the camera!

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And the weather's not really improving!

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Well, I haven't even finished unpacking the car yet.

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No.

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And there's a massive hailstorm.

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Not quite the week of winter sun Fred had imagined.

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But as night falls,

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spirits are raised with some old-fashioned entertainment.

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A JIG PLAYS AND FRED LAUGHS

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Now you dance.

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Oh, Fred. You can have some crazy times

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without modern technology, can't you!

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-Hmm.

-Hmm!

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As the days pass and the weather improves,

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they start to see some wildlife.

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Those red-breasted mergansers again, over there.

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-They're lovely.

-Nice, aren't they?

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Can you see the male and the female?

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Yeah, they really are nice.

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It's a chance for Charlie to pass on some of his hard-earned wisdom.

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Do the zoom.

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This is the zoom control.

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What sort of diver is it?

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-A White-throated?

-I think it's a Great Northern.

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-I think it's a White-throated.

-You might be right.

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Oh, he's right in front of the boat, look.

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Can you find him?

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-Yeah, I've got him.

-Get it!

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-Oh, he's gone.

-He's gone?

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-I did press record, so I did... I did get him.

-Good.

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Well done.

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Fred's getting a taste for camerawork.

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And undeterred by the lack of otters,

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he finds a different subject to film that night.

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Fred, what are we gonna do?

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Film mice!

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We're going to, um, put some cheese...

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um, and some chicken pie by the mouse's hole,

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and then we're going to put a camera there.

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And then we're going to leave it and come back later

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and see if the camera's filmed the mouse.

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-WHISPERS:

-He's out again, I think!

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Go on, then. Open the door.

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-Yeah!

-Ha-ha-ha!

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Father and son are beginning to follow different obsessions.

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Fred's in the cottage making plans for his mice,

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leaving Charlie to roam alone in search of his beloved otters.

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Otters need lots of energy to keep warm in this cold weather.

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And, with food scarce in winter,

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they spend more time hunting - making them easier to see.

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But even Charlie is surprised quite how close they're getting.

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That was fantastic!

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Ooh...

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Blimey, he's coming round to look at me!

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God, he's amazing.

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He's coming round to see what I am.

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Right there.

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That's incredible.

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This otter's obviously not seen many people in its life.

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It's amazing. Look, there he is.

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Look at that! He knows I'm here, he's just seen me,

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he's heard me, and now he's coming for a closer look!

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Look at that!

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He's 20 feet away!

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He's actually... He's not frightened of me.

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He's coming to see what I am!

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God. You cocky bloke! I've never met an otter like that!

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That's not your average otter,

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but he's saying, "Look, I'm a big boy, this is my turf, pal."

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That's fantastic.

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This magical moment is just what Charlie was hoping

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to share with Fred.

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But Fred is too busy planning his own pet project.

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So, after talking to Fred and finding out what he needs,

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-it turns out we need a...

-A mouse.

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-Plank of wood, a Ferrari...

-A mouse.

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-A piece of cheese...

-And a mouse!

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-And, erm...

-A mouse!

-A mouse!

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This is film-making at its most...

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inventive?!

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So, there's the Ferarri.

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-Full of cheese.

-Ready to make his maiden mouse voyage!

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No luck first time.

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Wildlife film-makers must learn perseverance.

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Wait for it!

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Here we go!

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FRED GIGGLES

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Fred's captured a wildlife film-making first.

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But it's not what he and his dad came here for.

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OK, what's going on, Fred?

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-WHISPERS:

-There's an otter!

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-He's coming ashore!

-Oh, look, look, you can see him, just down there.

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-Oh, yeah!

-Where is he? There he is.

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There he is!

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There he is!

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Gone.

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He's right there.

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Better than a PlayStation?

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Fred's smile says it all.

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Hey-hey!

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Whether it's otters, or just mice,

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watching the wild is a reminder

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that life's greatest rewards often come from its simplest pleasures.

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A penguin! We've got more chance of filming a penguin than a kingfisher!

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-And...

-That's cos we've run out of coal, isn't it?

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-Say goodbye.

-Bye!

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