David Attenborough: Zoo Quest for a Dragon | Seeking the Komodo dragon in Indonesia
CHANNEL | BBC Television Service
FIRST BROADCAST | 05 October 1956
DURATION | 29 minutes 25 seconds
David Attenborough and cameraman Charles Lagus begin their quest in Borneo, the first in the chain of islands they must cross in order to reach Komodo. There they trek through jungle to a village belonging to the Dayak tribe, where they are given a warm welcome. The 'Zoo Quest' team are hoping to find an orangutan and, with guidance from the Dayaks, they discover and film one in the wild. However, it is an orphaned orangutan held captive by a hunter that Attenborough falls for in the end.
Attenborough first developed the idea of filming animals in the wild when he met Jack Lester, a curator at London Zoo. Expeditions to collect creatures were a common way for zoos to acquire exhibits at that time, so they proposed an animal gathering excursion that Attenborough could record on film. For the first two series of 'Zoo Quest', the animals were collected by Jack Lester. When Lester fell ill, Attenborough found himself responsible for the job instead, something with which he was not entirely comfortable.
The first episode of a six-part series in which David Attenborough searches for the Komodo dragon.
David Attenborough's search for rare animals in Borneo continues.
David Attenborough travels through Java on his journey towards Komodo.
David Attenborough's search for rare animals reaches Bali.
The 'Zoo Quest' team wander off the beaten track on the beautiful island of Bali.
David Attenborough arrives on the island of Komodo hoping to discover its secrets.
David Attenborough shares his memories of 'Zoo Quest'.
David Attenborough proposes that the BBC should collaborate with London Zoo to make a natural history series filmed on location.
The costs and expenses of a major TV series in 1956.
David Attenborough's clothing budget on Zoo Quest.
Attenborough shares his frustrations over bureaucratic red tape in Indonesia.
An amused Head of Department replies to Attenborough's recent correspondence.
David Attenborough recounts his experiences so far, including malaria and cracked ribs, in the quest for a dragon.
A letter of thanks from David Attenborough to an associate in Indonesia.
David Attenborough sends a personal letter of thanks.
David Attenborough provides a formal review of the expedition for his boss.
The Monkey House at London Zoo sees an influx of visitors as a result of an episode of 'Zoo Quest'.
A report showing how viewers reacted to the last episode of 'Zoo Quest for a Dragon'.
Correspondence from David Attenborough explaining why he didn't bring back a Komodo dragon.
Photographs of David Attenborough from the 'Zoo Quest' years.
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