Customer Review

139 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Update To A Natural History Modern Classic, 23 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Planet Earth - Special Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I've recently purchased a Blu Ray player and as soon as I had handed over my cash for that I knew that I wanted to watch Planet Earth on it - the idea of seeing those amazing images in crystal clear high def just seemed to be perfectly suited for the world of HD home entertainment.

I'd already owned a copy of Planet Earth on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it. It simply provided everything that the original broadcast on BBC provided with a couple of extra bonus features thrown in. Although very good I really wanted to upgrade to the Blu Ray edition to make the most of the increased image qualities.

I had a look at the product description for the standard original Blu Ray edition and although it certainly sounded like the increase in picture quality I was seeking would be well provided for I noticed that it said that the Planet Earth Diaries features, behind the scenes 10 minute shorts that accompanied each episode, were nowhere to be found and for some reason they weren't included with the Blu Ray release. This made me feel a little cheated that my several year old DVD set was more complete and definitive than the more expensive Blu Ray edition. As a result instead of charging into buying a product that I longed for I "umm"ed and "ahh"ed and ultimately put off buying it for a wee while. I was glad I did.

I ended up seeing the Special Edition Blu Ray listed on Amazon and after finding out it had everything the DVD version did and more I went and bought it straight away.

Firstly if you're unaware of the show in the first place it is truly awe inspiring. It is as if there is an Intergalactic Tourist Board and this is their advertisement for aliens to come and visit Earth. It shows off the most wondrous of things that exist on this hunk of rock, including plants, geology and most prominently animal life, many of which I had no idea even existed before seeing them up close in this example of perfect TV.

The picture and sound quality are superb throughout. The images were all filmed on the most cutting edge HD cameras of the time and look sensational on this transfer. They are sensationally complimented by the score of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and, of course, Sir David Attenborough's legendary narration. Sir David brings such gravitas to any production and the respect he clearly has for the topics being shown is infectious.

The Blu Ray contains all the Planet Earth Diaries for the entire series. They're not shown straight away after each relevant episode - as they were shown when first broadcasted and on the DVD - but must be accessed from the Special Features menu. This isn't a hassle at all though so it doesn't spoil anything and indeed it's nice to have the option of just watching them when the mood suits.

All in all this is a sensational release. I am racking my brains to think of a better example of what TV can be when dedicated people put their minds to it but I truly can't think of anything that surpasses Planet Earth in terms of quality and the impact it has on the viewer. On top of one of the greatest shows of our time the updated, and indeed greatly improved, release has now made this natural history essential even more essential.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2010 20:05:16 GMT
GabeLogan says:
Thanks for your detailed review, I have both the DVD and the older version Bluray which did not include the "the making" extras.. I'll definitely get this new one.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2010 10:47:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Nov 2010 10:47:26 GMT
Tom Antram says:
Happy to help! I kinda went a little overboard with the words but I'm glad they were of some use. Enjoy the new release.

Posted on 16 Mar 2011 21:26:03 GMT
Harish Patel says:
Many thanks for the detailed summary. I have just gone"blu ray" and so keen to see the benefits of hi-def. Look forward to buying the special edition.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2011 19:59:56 BDT
SpaceAce says:
An excellent, and very thorough review, thanks. Looks like a no-brainer, but just for my own piece of mind, can you confirm that this is included (and please accept my apologies for having copy/pasted it from someone's review of the standard Bluray release, in which they are discussing the absence of "The Future" from the original release, despite it being on the dvd.)

However, the disc 5 extra included with the standard DVD version of 'Planet Earth' is entitled 'The Future', and this contains three excellent documentaries. These three documentaries (namely; ' Saving Species'; 'Into The Wilderness' and 'Living Together')

Many thanks for your advice.

Best wishes!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Oct 2011 10:45:13 BDT
Tom Antram says:
Hello D. Starck, apologies for not replying sooner.

I'm afraid that the blu ray Special Edition does not contain "The Future" disc that was within the dvd release.
What the blu ray Special Edition does contain though are four other documentaries spread out across two discs which I believe have been shown on BBC previously. These are:
Natural World: Desert Lions
Natural World: Snow Leopards
Natural World: Secrets of the Maya Underworld, and
Great Planet Earth Moments

As you can guess from the titles the Natural World documentaries all specialise on one very specific topic and look at it in some depth, the Great Planet Earth Moments is sort of a "best of" compilation. The Desert Lions and Snow Leopards episodes are both in HD whereas the other two are only in SD (standard definition).

Personally I'm of the opinion that neither the bonus documentaries on the DVD or Blu Ray Special Edition really fit in with the Planet Earth series, the DVD ones being a tiny bit preachy instead of letting the viewer form their own conclusions and the Blu Ray just having a different feel and style of execution.

Although all of them are perfectly good in their own right they are simply tacked on bonus features to give you a bit more value for money. I wouldn't base my choice of release (DVD, original Blu Ray or Special Edition Blu Ray) around them.

Sorry for going on a bit but I hope this helps you out! And if you've already bought the series I hope you've enjoyed it!
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