‘Lost’ boy realizes a lifelong dream on BBC America

Dominic Monaghan has become a global star via his roles as hobbit Merry Brandybuck in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and as screw-up-turned-hero Charlie Pace in ABC’s Lost, but Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan – an instantly engaging new unscripted series premiering tonight on BBC America – gives the actor a chance to make a lifelong dream come true: getting up-close and personal with creatures that are … OK, let’s go with “exotic,” as opposed to “the kind of critters who would make most of us shriek like a 5-year-old girl.”
Tonight’s premiere of the eight-part series sends the Berlin-born, British-raised actor to Vietnam in search of the giant water bug, whose unintimidating name belies a venom that can turn its small aquatic prey’s innards to jelly and produce fiery pain in a full-grown human. Monaghan starts his quest in the Mekong River Basin, which proves sadly deficient in giant water bugs, but allows our host to scramble up a tree to cuddle with a giant reticulated python and, later, dance with a monacled cobra, a snake whose bite will kill anyone who can’t make it to a hospital within the next half-hour or so.
It’s about this point in the first episode where I started wondering whether Monaghan is aware of how things ultimately played out for the late, great “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, whose boyish bliss Monaghan seems to be channeling in this show.
That nervousness only intensified later in the episode when Monaghan and his guide headed to Cat Tien National Park (motto: “Don’t Forget Your Leech Socks!”) in the central highlands of Vietnam, where the actor hopes to find his quarry in a place called Crocodile Lake, which, I am sad to note, is neither crocodile-shaped nor named after someone called Murray Crocodile. I won’t give up any spoilers of what happens in that smallish lake teeming with more than 100 crocodiles, apart from noting that, as I mentioned earlier, there are seven more episodes to follow.
That’s a huge relief, because Monaghan is simply a natural in this new venue, a citizen of the world who seems at ease in virtually any environment and is fairly bursting with enthusiasm for the subject at hand. His off-the-cuff riffs on both the creatures and their environment suggests that he’s seriously done his homework, and he leaves us eager to follow him, if not into Mordor, at least anywhere this new BBC America gig takes him. Very highly recommended.

2 thoughts on “‘Lost’ boy realizes a lifelong dream on BBC America

  1. chan1001 Post author

    Belated thanks for your very kind words. The graphics on the page were designed by a good friend of mine who has helped me with the technical aspects of this new venture. I believe he was working from a Word Press template. I wish I could offer more specifics.


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