BBC America renews 'Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan' for second season
BBC America's original adventure-nature series 'Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan' was renewed for a second season earlier today. In case you haven't been lucky enough to catch an episode of the series, it features Monaghan, Charlie from 'LOST,' as he travels to the far reaches of the globe in order to come face to face with some of the strangest, largest, deadliest things in the animal kingdom. Presumably they included 'with Dominic Monaghan' in the official series title so that viewers wouldn't confuse the show with the Denise Richards film from the 1990s when they came across it in the guide; after all, Spike shows the feature about once a year, don't they?
Beyond his fan-favorite role on 'LOST,' Monaghan starred in the series 'Flash Forward' as well as 'Goodnight Burbank' and 'The Unknown.' Many fans recognize him as Meriadoc Brandybuck (or Merry) from the award-winning 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy of feature films from Peter Jackson.
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Monaghan moved to England with his family at age twelve. The actor certainly isn't afraid to get up close and personal with the critters he encounters on 'Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan,' as this teaser video shows:
Monaghan also acts as executive producer on the series, where he puts himself in the sort of danger that most actors are protected from by their over-bearing producers. Monaghan is a nature lover, and has been active in the planting of trees, cacti and the pod-seeds of mature hedge-row bushes. He owns a small forest in India, and has also worked with the animal rights group PETA. He keeps several insects as beloved pets; 'Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan' is his series about sharing his love for the stranger animals that share our planet with BBC America's viewing audience.
The second season of 'Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan' will debut in 2014.
One of my all-time favorite shows! I remember Dominic from The Lord of the Rings, of course, but also as the kid who went to work for British detective Hetty Wainthrop, a great PBS Mystery series before The Lord of the Rings.
Here, Dominic proves he is much more than a good actor--he has the knowledge base of a PhD in biology, the hands-on experience with animals in front of the camera of a Jack Hanna, and the trekking expertise of an experienced survivalist. He takes off down a jungle path in the middle of the night, stopping only to show us a venomous snake or beautiful but poison frog. Or a creepy poisonous spider (he keeps Black Widows as pets, he says)...a weird ant colony in rolled-up leaves or a spider that just looks so much like the ants that it fools even the ants (his favorites). His love for each of these critters is so apparant--he grabs his snake stick as he leaps from his car cruising a foreign highway in Africa, South America, Australia, or maybe just the Southwest U.S. just to show us another animal he cannot resist picking up and lovingly displaying its every idiosyncrisy for those of us back home munching popcorn on our couches. My favorite was the little dragon lizard who kept puffing up its "mane" (I am clearly not a biologist) to look as large and fearsome as possible.
Dominic shows us animals we'd never see, ones we might never believe exist without his show (those colorful South American tree frogs and the red and black bug in tonight's show from Thailand are examples), as well as the common creepy crawlies like spiders. He shows us a sweet side to even dangerous animals, explaining why they can be dangerous or are a bit strange. And he mentions how they are threatened by humanity, deforestation, illegal trade, etc. So much info in an easy-going show with humor (did Frank buy him some new jeans without the hole in the butt?), excitement (swimming with crocodiles...expert handling a wild black widow spider or a myriad of venomous snakes from rattlers to cobras to rarer vipers...), and a touching love for these animals that can only come from a lifetime of treasuring contact with them, respecting their lives and diversity and learning everything he could about them.