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110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational series
I remember watching this series back in 1987 in my gap year between school and university. It proved inspirational. Within a few weeks I decided to retrace Attenborough's steps by going to Egypt, marvelling at a fair number of the sites he visited. There is much beautiful film from many interesting locations around the Mediterranean. The series is much more...
Published on 5 Sept. 2007 by Crocus

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bugged?
David Attenborough's work is incomprehensible due to an inaudible sound track and desintegrating images- Not the kind of quality to be expected from the BBC.!
Published on 9 Feb. 2013 by john smith


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110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational series, 5 Sept. 2007
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I remember watching this series back in 1987 in my gap year between school and university. It proved inspirational. Within a few weeks I decided to retrace Attenborough's steps by going to Egypt, marvelling at a fair number of the sites he visited. There is much beautiful film from many interesting locations around the Mediterranean. The series is much more anthropological than most of his others which could put some off but for me was one of the principal points of interest. The final episode about the despoilation of the Med is predictably dispiriting.

Overall a truly inspirational series which encouraged my fascination with the Mediterranean. The book of the series is also worth having and contains a great bibliography of related subject matter. Also worth reading is Eric Newby's brilliant 'On the shores of the Mediterranean'. The Mediteranean - truly the First Eden.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - an old gem, 9 July 2007
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M. Pope "Natural Philosopher" (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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I have been waiting for this series to be released for years, having the original hardback & paperback books. As well as an interesting biogeographical history of the Mediterranean, this series is a foray for Attenborough into anthropology, examining cave art and the changing role of animals in human society, from gods and spirits to objects of domestication.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First and best Eden, 9 April 2010
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Derek Niemann (Sandy, England) - See all my reviews
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Despite its age, this series still entrances because of a compelling narrative that slips easily between ancient culture and wildlife. David Attenborough entertains and informs - as only he can - and the viewer feels better for the experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eden Despoiled, 5 July 2014
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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am not that big an Attenborough fan, but in this series from 1987 he does more than remark on natural history, but expands his insight and commentary to include man. There are four 55-minute episodes presented in their original 4:3 ratio.

It is a shame that only five minutes is spent of the opening episode in explaining the geological creation of the Mediterranean. But Attenborough’s coverage of its flora and fauna covers virtually every part: from Morocco in the west to Turkey in the east; from Egypt in the south to France in the north; and many of the islands inbetween. All countries with a shoreline feature except three: Algeria, Lebanon, and Albania.

Mammals, reptiles, birds, fish (indigenous and migratory) all feature, along with many examples of the Mediterranean’s flora. Each is of interest in their own right, but there is often a lack of cohesion as we move from one to another, especially in the opening episode, ‘The Making of the Garden’.

Early man appears on the scene towards the end of this first episode. In episode two – ‘The Gods Enslaved’ – Attenborough muses on man’s husbanding of animal resources ten thousand years ago along with the subsequent rise of the first civilisations and their worship of the tamed bull. The cultivation of olives and wine and the harvesting of fish are also featured, but it is the cult of the bull that is predominant, remaining a feature of human life up to and beyond the arrival of Christianity. But where nature was once seen as divine, now it is man; and the natural world suffered.

If the bull dominates episode two, it is the horse in the next, titled ‘The Wastes of War’, when the Mediterranean almost became an Islamic lake. This was a time when horsemanship was supreme, peacocks paraded in gardens, and pigeons were bred for food. But the wastes of war also witnessed the denudation of forests and woods by man in order to construct navies.

The final episode is depressing. ‘Strangers in the Garden’ at first looks at new species introduced to the sea and its littoral, but the real pest is man. Not just the depredations of modern tourism – and Attenborough is here rightly scathing of the ludicrous forms modern tourism takes – but also the problems of overfishing, and of the pollution in myriad forms. Have things got better over the last twenty to thirty years? Alas, there are no extras on this DVD set to tell us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous programme, 28 May 2013
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W. Hutchinson "whutchin2" (Perth, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Eden (Repackaged) [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this some time ago and for some reason did not watch it until today. Made in 1987, I think this is one of his best series. It is real natural history showing the effect of humans on the Mediterranean area. Beautiful photography and interesting dialogue. I am glad that I found this gem again. The message is still pertinent today - probably more so.
The presentation is marvellous and not plagued by an over-bearing musical and sound effects score. One criticism - why do underwater scenes always have to have those bubbling noises - quite ridiculous especially as they were faded out when David actually did talk whilst using diving equipment.
A marvellous and educational show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 30 Mar. 2013
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Attenborough does it again. This is totally biased, as I am a great fan of his. This series was unknown to me, having never seen it in America. I found the relationships between the natural world and the ancient civilizations quite interesting. It really educated me on the evolution of the Mediterranean, and in a very entertaining way. Some beautiful photography and the usual superlative narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 28 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: First Eden (Repackaged) [DVD] (DVD)
Anybody who is interested in both History and Nature will find this series a gem! it is an old production, but that doesn't make it any less interesting to me. Subtitles are very welcome. An extremely interesting narrative, on the Med in particular. Attenborough has habit of making things interesting, and he doesn't talk down to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir David Attenborough, the king of natural history, 28 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: First Eden (Repackaged) [DVD] (DVD)
Need I say any more than Attenborough? Have been a fan of his Natural History programmes since I was a small boy and his latest work just gets better and better. For delivery, enthusiasm and his keenness to inform and entertain the viewer there is simply nobody better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 Aug. 2013
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Visually beautiful and fascinatingly interesting. Documentaries don't come much better than this. Maybe one of David Attenborough's lesser series but none the worse for that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars David Attenborough - simply the best, 7 Feb. 2013
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I awarded this vidoe five stars because David Attenborough has that wonderfull skill of communicating his feelings and knowlege. being very educated in your chosen subject is one thing, being able to put that over to others is another. David Attenborough has that ability.
Although this series goes back a little, it is still a wonderfull insight into the the Mediterranean world, the people that lived and moved around it, and how the sea and the land around it, effected their lives.
A very interesting and educational video.
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First Eden (Repackaged) [DVD]
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