TV tonight: Jane on Nat Geo an amazing film about Jane Goodall

DCs Legends of Tomorrow The roots of rock n roll inform this new episode as the Legends travel to mid-1950s Memphis to try to prevent a tragedy that would change the course of music history. Nick Zano, Tala Ashe and Caity Lotz star. 8 p.m. KTLA

When wildlife film-maker Baron Hugo van Lawick wed pioneering chimpanzee conservationist Jane Goodall, the English rose he discovered in the African jungle, one headline told the tale: Me Hugo, You Jane.

The couple fell in love in the early Sixties, at the chimp observation station she had set up in Gombe, Tanzania.

D.C.s Legends of Tomorrow, 8 p.m. (KSTW): The Legends learn that a mysterious tragedy destroyed the birthplace of rock n roll, and they embark on a mission to save music, leading them to the sixth and final totem.

On location for National Geographic magazine, Hugo shot more than 100 hours of footage, though his lens lingered longest on the girl who captivated him.

The Good Doctor, 10 p.m. (KOMO): The shows renewal for a second season was announced last week; the team treats a patient who has to decide about getting a dangerous surgery that could change his life.

TV Picks for Monday, March 12, include Jane Goodall documentary and Spring Baking Championship

Dame Jane Goodall  (pictured) rewrote the way scientists perceive animals. She proved that wild chimpanzees make and use tools, and provided compelling evidence that their personalities are as diverse, and their emotions as deep

Rediscovered in 2014, a dozen years after Hugos death, that film supplied almost all the material for Jane (National Geographic Channel), a superlative study of the woman herself and her work.

And probably made her a bit more interesting, no?BM: Yeah, absolutely, and now she loves the movie. She’s thrilled with what we were able to do and I really got to know her in a totally different light over the last six months going around promoting the film with her. And, I mean, we’re a bit like Beauty and the Beast. I’m definitely more of the animal kingdom than Jane in that regard and one thing that most people wouldn’t know about her is she’s absolutely hilarious. When the work is done, she really likes to enjoy herself. And doing these press conferences and photo ops can become quite tedious, and Jane has this thing where, if I’m getting my picture taken, she’ll go and start crawling around the ground behind the photographer to get me to laugh. I mean, it’s like, “Oh, look, there’s Jane Goodall crawling between the photographer’s legs,” and she constantly tells me that I act like a little schoolgirl around her because I’m always cracking up, but it’s surreal to have this comedic relationship with Jane Goodall.

Its no exaggeration to say that Dame Jane Goodall rewrote the way scientists perceive animals. She proved that wild chimpanzees make and use tools, and provided compelling evidence that their personalities are as diverse, and their emotions as deep, as our own.

After watching the film, I felt here is a person who understood “the dream” and got it. Some people live their life never getting “the dream.” BM: Oh, Jane has lived one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century. I mean, when we think about Jane’s life, it’s like a dream. When I die, I want to see Jane’s life flash before my eyes. I’ll be thrilled to go out that way. Well, she’s definitely living in a dream and you see that in the film. The way that Gambia is presented is not through my eyes; it’s through her eyes. There’s an element of magical realism that we introduce to the film. It comes in several ways: through the way the film was colorized, we choreographed all of the chimpanzee movements to Philip Glasss music, we pitched the vocalization of Philip’s music. So everything is sort of moving harmoniously, and the idea was to further this idea that Jane is in a dream, and yeah, it’s amazing.

The Science of Compassion in Jane

She supplied the voiceover for the documentary herself, evoking her own innocence when she first arrived in Gombe in 1960 to study chimps, with no degree or formal training, and only her mother for a companion. Suddenly I found I was living my childhood dream, she said, describing how nothing, not even the poisonous snakes, frightened her. I had this probably crazy feeling: nothings going to hurt me, Im meant to be here.

When they finally did begin to accept her presence, she noted that looking back at me were eyes that revealed a thinking, reasoning personality. She gave them names – such as Flo and David Greybeard – to begin building a picture of their behavioural patterns and made some startling breakthroughs, such as witnessing them stripping leaves off twigs to fish for ants down the tunnels of a termite mound. It rewrote the concept that tool-making was a solely human skill. 

Jane was the first naturalist to understand how chimps live in extended hierarchies, and to observe them raising young.

The beautiful, colour-saturated footage was shot on assignment by Dutch wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick, who would later become Goodalls husband. It provided the magical element of Morgens film which, as the story unfolded, brought the chimps to vivid life and showed Goodall becoming a mother herself. There were painful moments, too, as Lawick filmed the destructive polio outbreak among the chimps. 

The animals treated her as part of the group, even playing and letting her groom them. She began to call herself a strange white ape, and gave her friends decidedly Beatrix Potter-type names — David Greybeard, Mr MacGregor, Flo and her babies, Fifi and Flint.

Goodall was the first of three field researchers employed by the Kenyan paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey to study primate behaviour. She began her observations in 1960, and would be followed by Dian Fossey, who began studying mountain gorillas in Rwanda in 1967, and Birutė Galdikas, who went to Borneo to observe orangutans in 1971. 

A battered violin that had survived Auschwitz concentration camp looked beyond saving on The Repair Shop (BBC2). But when it was restored, the tune it played made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Posted in World