Customer Reviews


33 Reviews
5 star:
 (24)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid short popular science series
Big, big fan of Dr Alice and her work, and so thoroughly enjoyed this short series of three programmes which explore how human evolution is reflected in the form and function of our bodies today. Learned quite a few new things and admired the clever use of animations to make clear some tricky concepts. However, it's not entirely perfect...

Each one-hour...
Published on 2 Nov 2011 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good dvd
This made very good viewing. The only negative was the introduction at the beginning of each chapter. I would recommend it ...
Published 16 months ago by Martin


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid short popular science series, 2 Nov 2011
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
Big, big fan of Dr Alice and her work, and so thoroughly enjoyed this short series of three programmes which explore how human evolution is reflected in the form and function of our bodies today. Learned quite a few new things and admired the clever use of animations to make clear some tricky concepts. However, it's not entirely perfect...

Each one-hour programme traces the development of modern humans (Homo Sapiens) back to ancestors we share with apes and monkeys, some six million years or more. On the way, we examine how significant features were changed over generations by the environment, or allowed us to adapt when other proto-human species died out. The programmes are themed around digestion, skeletons and brains. We look at how, for example, experts can tell from fossilised skulls when humans first learned to stand upright on two legs (it's to do with the angle where the spinal column enters the skull), or why we have (should have!) slender, elongated waists - that is to stop us falling flat on our faces when we run.
The series shows how important cooking was to human survival - you can eat twice as much in half the time and get more energy from food if it's cooked. It reveals how our brains have doubled in size and suggests reasons why, and also points out that our `savage' Neanderthal relatives had brains which were pretty much the same size as ours... so they weren't the dumb cavemen of lore.

The downside to following this kind of narrative thread in separate programmes is that there's a fair amount of repetition, a lot of trotting back and forth on the family tree. The series uses a lovely set of drawings of early humans and ancestors - Australopithecus, heidelbergensis, erectus, habilus and so on, to show the external differences between us.
But this segment is repeated several times in each episode - watch all three in quick succession and you'll feel a little jaded.
Similarly, and as with most modern documentaries, there's significant proportion of programme time devoted to Dr Alice wistfully wandering on the savannah in soft focus. Never quite sure why producers / presenters choose to waste valuable screen time and helicopter shots on this kind of thing; they do it for men as much as women, and if I was Prof Cox, Dr Roberts or Neil Oliver I would want to be a little less windswept and cram in rather more information.

Those are not major complaints, however, and overall this is a very informative series which provided a new viewpoint to a (very) old subject. Dr Alice's explanation, complete with an infant skull and female pelvis, of why childbirth can be both painful and dangerous, was at once blindingly simple and utterly comprehensible. The news that we're currently comparing the human and Neanderthal genomes was another eye-opener. Comparing tape worms (yuk) to show that we've eaten the same food as lions for millennia was interesting - as was the revelation that some human divers have learned to control their pupil activity, and so see clearly under water. Cool.

Overall, there are more than enough `blimey!' moments in this series to make up for the less interesting segments. It's not a comprehensive guide to human evolution by any means, but a collection of intriguing illustrations, designed to get you interested in the subject, I suspect. Dr Roberts is an excellent presenter, too; clear, concise, and at times never afraid to look just a touch ridiculous or burst into giggles at her own situation.
8/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting film about the Primitive Predecessors of us Modern Humans, 25 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this was one of the better BBC-films I've seen in a long time. The DVD consists of three parts, where each part lasts approximately an hour. Alice Roberts visits several places in Africa, where remains of primitive humans have been found, some of them going as far back as 7 million years. She carries with her an array of primitive skulls, the last one in the series being a copy of her own, so that the evolutionary process becomes elucidated in a very concrete way. But we do not learn how it is possible to create an exact copy of the skull of a person who is still alive. (Though I suspect it is done by CT-scanning, and a subsequent 3-D printout).

The film teaches us what anatomical changes took place in order to create modern humans from tree-climbing apes, millions of years ago. Alice starts with the feet, and shows the skeletal changes that took place in order to create a foot suited for walking long distances, from the foot of an ape that is mostly adapted to the climbing of trees. From there she proceeds to explain the changes that were necessary for the rest of the skeleton, including legs, hips, spinal column, hands, teeth and skull. It is also very interesting to see her visit with African hunter-gatherers, who exemplify primitive man's way of life. The program ends with Alice's visit to the caves of Gibraltar, where the last remains of the Neanderthals were found. Professor Clay Finlayson, author of "The Humans Who Went Extinct", is her guide here, and shows us the many signs of Neanderthal presence, and what conclusion the archaeologists have drawn from these.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting series and a rapid transfer to DVD, 27 Nov 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) has written a good review of this series and DVD, with which I agree. It was a very interesting series researching into how our evolutionary processes are evident in our bodies.
Camera work was good, CGI helped to make concepts clearer and the script was well thought out. I am sure that most people will learn a great deal from this and having the DVD makes the re-caps much easier. It is at a good price too and would make an excellent Christmas stocking filler.

Recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 22 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a delight. I had a great time watching it. It's very informative and well explained. Alice Roberts is great at presenting...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the beginnings of us, 1 Aug 2013
By 
Rev. R. Gurling "Bishop Roger" (Dartford Kent U.K) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
We see our species as the evolved from our common ancestor shared with the great apes and hopefully learn to value all life
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good watch, 27 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
a good watch that will give you a good insight into how we ended up were we are today, amazing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series!, 6 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
Fantastic series that I bought purely because of my interest in this subject matter. Dr Alice Roberts is a brilliant presenter and it's a thoroughly enjoyable series :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!!, 30 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
Dr Alice Roberts takes us through an amazing journey, learning about how the modern human has evolved from monkeys in trees to us now. Very interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 3 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
I thought there was something for the whole family. I had studied the subject at university and I learned something new plus it has been enjoyed by the whole family. A poorly taught subject in our schools
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD and very informative/put together, 31 Jan 2013
By 
Wayne Price "Wayne" (Coventry UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Origins of Us [DVD] (DVD)
I fully recommend this DVD, it is really informative and interesting if you want learn to how our species are thought to have evolved. Dr Alice Roberts is an excellent presenter who you can tell is very knowledgeable in her field and passionate about it also which shows throughout. Definitely one for your collection if you are interested in human origin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Origins of Us [DVD]
Origins of Us [DVD] by David Stewart (DVD - 2011)
£6.20
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews