This enthralling BBC series examines "the lengths living beings go to to stay alive," in the words of Sir David Attenborough. Aided by breathtaking high-definition cinematography, the makers of Planet Earth
explore the more colourful strategies the world's creatures employ to procreate, evade predators, and obtain nourishment. Cameras travel though the air, under the water, and right into the faces of insects, like the alien visage of the stalk-eyed fly. Except for "Challenges of Life" and "Hunters and Hunted," each episode covers a different category, such as mammals and birds. Among the more memorable images: three cheetahs move with the relentless rhythm of mobsters, a school of flying fish glides through the air with the grace of ballerinas, and a Jesus Christ lizard skips across the water, like, well, you know. The strangest sights range from a pebble toad bouncing away from a spider like a rubber ball and brown-tufted capuchin monkeys pounding palm nuts with stone tools like the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey
Witty writing and skilful editing, which distils thousands of hours of footage, make the learning go down easy (at one point, Sir David references Jurassic Park
, which featured his brother, Richard). If the sound effects seem overamped, George Fenton's score is always on the money, adding humour and suspense at crucial moments (martial drums for the mud skippers, woozy brass for the Darwin's beetle). Nonetheless, delicate sensibilities may find some sequences disturbing, as when Komodo dragons feed on a water buffalo or when a leopard seal dines on a penguin (according to Attenborough, the Komodo siege caused the camera operators "emotional turmoil"). More often, the filmmakers capture the moment of impact before moving on. --Kathleen C. Fennessy, Amazon.com
Discover the glorious variety of life on Earth and the innovative, intelligent and sometimes bizarre tactics animals andplants employ in order to survive. More than four years in the making, taking full advantage of the latest advances in filming technology, this breathtaking ten-part blockbuster reveals the natural world’s most remarkable behaviour in unprecedented depth and detail.
Full of amazing filming ‘firsts’ on every continent and in every habitat – from 250 six foot Humboldt squid hunting as a pack to Komodo dragons (the world’s largest venomous animal) stalking buffalo and cheetahs (notorious lone hunters) working cooperatively to hunt prey twice their size – this is evolution in front of your eyes. Yet this astonishing series is not simply about revelation, it is also about entertainment. With sequences that inspire awe, wonder, sadness and humour, Life allows us to truly relate to the animals and their endeavours, and to understand and appreciate them as never before.
Special Features: Life Diaries