Premieres Friday, November 25 at 9/8c on Nat Geo WILD
“When we developed the series, we immediately saw the parallels between the battle for power in George R. R. Martin’s fictional world and the vicious fight for survival in the animal kingdom” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo WILD. “We knew that Charles Dance could tell this story the way it needs to be told. His chilling voice captures the essence of this tale of the kings of the savanna fighting for the throne, complete with brutal violence, unexpected deaths, surprising characters and even interfamily romance.”
The royal families in the Savage Kingdom are lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. Each episode is told from one predator’s point of view, resulting in dramatic, character-driven storytelling that seems like scripted drama, but no fiction could do this story justice. Drought is coming, and against an urgent backdrop of decreasing resources the exploits between clans come to a head in rarely seen predator/prey action. There are bold plays for territory, inventive hunting techniques, deaths seen from different animals’ points of view and births of new heirs.
For three weeks this winter, the world will get an unprecedented glimpse into the chaos that ensues when Mother Nature provides water in a bone-dry region then suddenly takes it all away. Shot by Brad Bestelink, an award-winning Botswanan filmmaker, this is not your father’s wildlife special. “Savage Kingdom” is an epic global miniseries event, complete with rivalries, betrayals, battles and triumphs. Unlike many natural history specials, every picture was shot in 4K. The team was in the field for more than a year, waking up with the animals, tracking them all day and sleeping on top of their vehicles at night.
|National Geographic Channels/NHFUB|
“Clash of Queens”
Premieres Fri., Nov. 25, 9/8c (two hours)
The lion Matsumi has ascended the throne to become Queen of the Marsh Pride. An unrivaled hunter, she has yet to prove herself as the leader of the dynasty that controls the beating heart of her Savage Kingdom — the great marsh. Lions can be volatile and brutal bedfellows, and Matsumi’s king and chief protector, Sekekama, gives no second chances to his enemies, not even his own family. King and queen will be tested as their archrivals — leopards, wild dogs and especially hyenas — do everything they can to bring the ruling dynasty to its knees.
Saba the leopard is a killer without rival. She haunts the trees and hills in the heart of the realm. She is solitary, silent and virtually invisible. Saba is the most spectacular and resourceful hunter the Savage Kingdom has seen. Her stronghold, Leopard Rock, sits at the heart of this brutal realm — it is a place where she can vanish into the shadows and avoid running into her rivals. There is no question that Saba can take care of herself, but her strength and resilience will be cruelly tested when she brings two cubs into the realm.
“Army of Darkness”
Premieres Fri., Dec. 2, 9/8c (two hours)
On a forsaken ridge of sand that skirts the edge of the Savage Kingdom, a hyena queen, Zalika, plots her revenge on the Marsh Lions who keep her clan in exile. Zalika is building an army, and when she has the numbers she will confront the Marsh Pride once and for all. No longer will the hyenas eke out an existence in the shadows. But it is a monumental task for a small band of scavengers. Zalika has to find enough food to keep the fast-growing cubs satisfied, and that means confronting the Savage Kingdom’s other clans of predators and stealing their kills.
Not all lions in the Savage Kingdom are born equal — while the Marsh Pride gets the pick of the prey in the Great Marsh and its offspring grow fat on buffalo, the three lionesses of the Northern Pride struggle to find food in the distant forests and hills. Once a great pride in their own right, Satau’s sons were driven out of the kingdom by the Marsh Pride’s brutal males, destroying the family she must now rebuild. In the height of the Savage Kingdom’s harshest season, when the threesome is on its knees, the Marsh Pride moves up to steal the only sanctuary it holds. If Satau cannot lead the pride through the crisis, they face extreme hunger, exile or worse. Is the end coming for the once great Northern Pride?
Premieres Fri, Dec. 9, 9/8c (two hours)
The Savage Kingdom welcomes no one. A small but intensely loyal family of wild dogs is on the run from the barren wasteland, desperately looking for a safe place to raise six tiny puppies, but they don’t know the dangers of the realm ahead. The sanctuary they seek is filled with rivals who stand in their way and predators who want to eat their young. It will take this family of renegades everything they’ve got to survive here when they are so badly outsized and outnumbered.
Rule of the kingdom is reserved for the strong. Five heroes, each with a unique power, head up rival clans struggling for power, clawing their way to the top. Each will kill to protect their dynasty — each would kill to take the throne. The winners are rewarded with the richest hunting grounds in the kingdom, but the fate of the losers is brutal — exile or death. The only way to succeed is to build an army to steal power before the others cut them off at the knees. Fighting to survive, killing to succeed — nothing will stop them from trying to reign supreme over the Savage Kingdom.