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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked masterpiece, 2 May 2011
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This review is from: David Attenborough - Life in the Freezer [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
This little gem has tended to be overlooked between the much lauded "early" masterpieces like "Life on Earth" and David Attenborough's more recent "Life of..." series. The latter have been magnificently packaged together as "Life on Land" and this is the cheapest and most satisfying package if you want these David Attenborough's Life On Land - A DVD Encyclopaedia. In general, the filming of the later series are stunningly good but the actual content of the early series are much more gripping from a scientific point of view; with compelling themes on which to hang the marvellous pictures.
Life in the Freezer has the best of both worlds, being very well filmed in 1993 (but obviously not in the HD class of the ludicrously-overblown "Life") while also telling a compelling story across the six episodes. The series has the unusual format of six 30 minute episodes, rather than the 50+10 minute format that has become ubiquitous since. The shorter episodes are actually superior in terms of pacing and keeping the viewer engaged throughout (and you can fit them all on a single disc!). For example, why would you labour through the ghastly anthropomorphised narration of "March of the Penguins" when you can experience the concise, powerful telling of the same story in a third of the time here? The final episode is unusual in looking at the human involvement in Antarctica; visiting (for example) Scott's hut and exploring the human legacy of exploration in the Heroic Age. I thought that the move away from the wildlife might be an irritation but, in fact, it adds another dimension to the series and ends the six episodes in a very satisfying way. I find this small masterpiece one of the absolute jewels of Attenborough's marvellous career and urge you to buy it.
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