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Wild China [DVD]

263 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Wild China
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Jun. 2008
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010SFSYE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,084 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

With splendour, scale and romance, Wild China lifts the veil on the world's most enigmatic and magnificent country, delving into its vibrant habitats to reveal a land of unbelievable natural complexity. Journey across China from the glittering peaks of the Himalayas to the barren steppe, the sub-Arctic to the tropical islands, through deserts both searingly hot and mind-numbingly cold and see, in pioneering images, a dazzling array of mysterious, beautiful, wild and rare creatures.

Contains the following episodes:

Heart of the Dragon
The improbable egg-carton hills of Southern China seem to float in a sea of glistening rice paddies. This is a landscape full of surprises. Next to peasants ploughing with buffaloes are rivers concealing dwarf alligators and giant salamanders, trained cormorants that catch fish for their masters, bats with unusual tastes and monkeys that hide in caves.
But this isn't a nature park. Almost 300 million people live here, with a tradition of eating wildlife. So what forces have shaped this remarkable landscape and how do farmers and wild creatures manage to coexist among the rocks and the rice fields?

Programme 2: Shangri-La
Hidden beneath billowing clouds, in China's remote south west, are perhaps the richest natural treasures in all China. Immense rivers carve their way south below towering peaks. The wind-swept slopes are home to the highest-living primates in the world and hidden in the valleys below are jungles with a diversity of wildlife comparable to those around the Amazon.
Jewel-coloured birds and ancient tribes share forests where wild elephants still roam. The mystery is that Yunnan's remote forests stretch into northern territories where deserts would normally be found. How can these northern forests exist? The rugged landscape holds the key.

Programme 3: Tibet
The Tibetan plateau covers a quarter of China – an area the size of Western Europe. This vast, windswept wilderness is one of the world's most remote places, defined by the glacier-strewn Himalayas. It's also home to some incredible wildlife such as the rare chiru, brown bears, wild yaks and the highest-living predators on Earth. There are more large creatures here than anywhere else in China.
Defined by over a thousand years of Buddhism, Tibet has a unique culture that has nurtured remarkable beliefs. The programme discovers why this landscape and ancient culture is the life support system for much of the planet.

Beyond the Great Wall
China's emperors built the Great Wall to keep their kingdom safe from the hostile barbarians to the north. This is a land of warrior tribes, bizarre wildlife and extreme weather, but also of vast and breathtaking evergreen forests, grassy plains and sweeping desert dunes, rich with history.
The legendary Silk Road drew traders and their camels across the deserts in search of fabulous wealth, and fierce Mongolian horsemen conquered the known world. Today, nomadic tribesmen still race horses and hunt with golden eagles, while tiny hamsters and Asia's last wild horses struggle to survive in the world's most northerly desert.

Land of the Panda
China's heartland with its Han people is the centre of a 5,000-year-old civilization. This land contains the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and Beijing's Olympic Stadium and is home to some of China's most charismatic creatures such as the giant panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, and golden takin.
China has undergone significant development in the past 50 years, bringing many environmental problems. The programme explores the deep, complex and often extraordinary relationship between the Chinese peoples, their environment and its creatures, and finds out what it means for the future of China.

Programme 6: Tides of Change
From the eastern end of the Great Wall, China's coast spans 14,500km and more than 5,000 years of history. This is a place of huge contrasts: futuristic modern cities jostling with traditional seaweed-thatched villages, ancient tea terraces and wild wetlands where rare animals still survive.
Here Chinese white dolphins, red-crowned cranes, deadly vipers, giant sturgeon and sabre-wielding monkeys struggle to eke out a living faced by competition from 700 million people, widespread pollution and over-fishing. How China is managing such conflicting pressures has lessons for us all.


Beautifully filmed and soothingly narrated by Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Wild China takes an expansive look at the fourth largest country in the world. Over a period of more than six hours, the miniseries--which was co-produced by the BBC and China's CTV--lets viewers into a world that is straddling the line between modern-day efficiency and old world traditions. Fans accustomed to travelogues with personable hosts such as quirky Anthony Bourdain or perky Samantha Brown leading them through far away places may get a little bored with the hands-off approach here. But the beauty of this production is in the country and the people, and the way the filmmakers present them in crisply edited vignettes. We see the jumping spiders atop Mount Everest, the winding grace of the Great Wall, and of course some shy pandas that many people equate with China. But some of the best moments are the simple ones--children in a classroom, fishermen working the waters, and monks meditating in monasteries. As did the Planet Earth series, Wild China makes viewers wish they were there. The film doesn't touch heavily on the politics of China, but it isn't lacking because of the omission. As it is, Wild China ends all too soon, leaving viewers longing for more for a country that once didn't welcome foreigners in. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Well Read VINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
The BBC has produced an oustanding focus on China. A China you would never see on a regular tour. Magnificent diverse landscapes, the enormous contrasts of the plants and animals, the ingenuity of China's ethnic groups. Water buffalo on mountain paddy fields. Paddy fields with golden carp. Clever! I was completely captivated. The photography is superb. This will make you want to visit China. After enjoying the DVD immensely, the book was a must buy.
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130 of 133 people found the following review helpful By T. R. Alexander TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 July 2008
Format: DVD
I am not generally a great fan of nature documentaries but I am a great fan of China so I watched this series when it was on the TV and it was so good that I just had to get it on DVD. The series consists of six hour long episodes, each of which focuses on a specific region of China and details not only the wide variety of wildlife in the area but also information on the culture and history of China itself.

This series has been brilliantly made with some excellent photography and seems very well researched. Each episode is never anything less than fascinating and easily understandable even if you don't have much prior knowledge of the subjects covered. This DVD also includes an interested making of documentary but it is the series itself that truly impresses. Anyone who likes nature documentaries should love this series but even if your interests lay in China in general you should also greatly enjoy this show.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Forest on 7 July 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the best made documentary I've ever seen. It's not just about the extremely beautiful country, but the lovely people and the way they get along with nature. The music is wonderful. I really, really enjoy watching it. Definitely an item for collection. In fact, I'm going to buy some as a gift for my Chinese friends. They would have the chance to watch it but do not necessarily without TV commercials, which would ruin it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By xm4s on 8 Jun. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I wasn't going to do a review on this disc but thought the criticism in the other reviews is too harsh and many may miss out seeing some stunning images of China if they take note of the poor reviews. Documentaries for me are about facts than entertainment but I found it interesting and entertaining. Most of the images are way above DVD quality there are some lapses in low light conditions but that's more about the photographic conditions than the transfer. I viewed on 50' Panasonic Plasma with BD played on Playstation 3. The commentary is absolutely fine too and no female commentary on my disc.
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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By J. White on 5 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
I have not purchased this DVD however I have watched almost all of the series on BBC2 and it is one of the best, if not THE best BBC documentaries i have seen in recent years. If you are remotely interested in this country, you have to buy this DVD. The photography is mindblowing and the beauty of this huge country is portrayed brilliantly by the makers of this series.
The defining brilliance of this series is that it doesn't just cover the nature of china, it covers some of the amazing peoples that live there, the countless ethnic groups and their lifestyles. There are many brilliant moments in this series, some of which nearly brought me to tears.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Lanham on 10 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
I don't have the DVD yet,but having watched the series on BBC2 will certainly be getting a copy. The programme demonstrates all that is the best in documentary making. The photography is amazing and the narration by Bernard Hill is just perfect,as is the musical accompaniment. For anyone who is remotely interested in China and it's varied content, this is for you. You would never see as much even if you were to visit the country.I would recommend this to everyone.

Jan 2010. I now have the DVD and having watched it again can only echo my previous comments.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Asia enthusiast on 17 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had watched the original TV series, then the repeat. I had enjoyed the programmes as much the 2nd time as the first, so decided to buy the DVD.
As with any BBC documentary the photography was stunning (and I find it very interesting to watch the 'behind the scenes' footage and marvel at the lengths the cameramen go to, to get their film).
I found it a perfect balance of people, wildlife and scenery. Narration by Bernard Hill ? - he's just perfect - I could listen to him anytime.
I know that I shall watch this DVD many times and highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D Howard on 4 Feb. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I think the content of this film has been covered enough so I will concentrate on the Blu-Ray presentation itself. When I watched the series originally on my HD tv the picture quality was amazing but for some reason this has not transferred to the Blu-Ray. The picture quality is good, but falls way short of all my other BBC Blue-Rays and indeed, the original HD TV broadcast, definitely not HD. Why is this?
I have no technical knowledge to help me understand but I note that on the back of the case it says the video format is 59.94/16:9 whatever that means, rather than the usual 1080/16:9.
If you want real HD quality I would advise you to record it next time it is on your Sky HD box. Still good value at £6.99 but disappointing.
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