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Customer Review

197 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir David Attenborough- The BBCs greatest asset, 29 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Life [DVD] (DVD)
You sometimes despair of the BBC under current management with their huge salaries and 70p car parking claims! That said I can forgive Mark Thompson almost anything when it comes to squeezing every last drop of wisdom and learning from one of the greatest Britons of this century Sir David Attenborough. The words "national treasure" is overused but what we are witnessing is the development of the most remarkable "database" of natural history which will last through the ages but which also comes with a serious warning about our impact on the climate. Sir David and his partners the brilliant BBC natural history unit based at Bristol have generated one of the great bodies of research work of the past hundred years and a miraculous advert for intelligent television and quality programming.

You also sometime recoil when you consider what a wasted medium television has become. Bruce Springsteen once sung of "57 channels and nothing on" and surf that remote on any day and you sometimes long for the days of 4 firecely competitive channels who had to major on quality and not the lowest denominator. Quite how we have managed to debase the genre in this way is worrying and astounding. Yet before we lose faith there is always oasis of quality and in the case of Attenborough's programmes the standard never dips.

In this current programme "Life" there is so many highlights it is difficult to single them out. But one thinks of the filming of the tense and pitiful portrayal of the first footage of Komodo dragons hunting a water buffalo and stalking the animal for weeks as the poison they have injected through bites disable the creature. The tricks of Dolphins to catch mullets by stirring up ocean mud and the killer whales coming to shore to catch seals are equally memorable. Although the series ultimate stars are the three Kenyan cheetahs.

Another review on this page suggests that "Life" has a quality of De ja vu and has been done better in the series "Blue Planet" or "Planet Earth". A churlish argument in my view since much of Attenborough's work is complimentary and while I accept that the two aforementioned series are magisterial, "Life" stands in its own right as a thrilling addition to his oeuvre. This is the only programme that my children will actively leave various X Boxes and Play stations to sit down and watch. They will also not complain if it clashes with some celebrity nonsense or trivia on another channel. Attenborough's programmes challenge, stimulate, provoke and most importantly make you think. They are also populist, intelligent, hugely watchable and thus viewed by millions across the the world. He has done broadcasting a massive service and we all owe him the most profound debt.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Dec 2009 14:27:01 GMT
L. M. Womack says:
Couldn't agree more or have expressed it better myself. Len Womack

Posted on 11 Dec 2009 17:14:36 GMT
This review is absolutely "spot on". Life shows what quality can be achieved while so much other television shows how little actually is.

Posted on 12 Dec 2009 15:08:16 GMT
J. Bryce says:
Well said!!! An excellent review.

Posted on 13 Dec 2009 22:19:21 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 23 Mar 2010 11:07:49 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2009 20:51:19 GMT
Red on Black says:
Thank you Mr Bennett for pointing out the error of my ways with your pithy wit. How I look forward to reading one of your reviews ....when you get around to writing one.

Many thanks in addition to Messrs Womack, Bryce and Heath for your kind remarks

Posted on 17 Dec 2009 19:46:11 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 29 Dec 2009 21:55:20 GMT
K. Hales says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 30 Dec 2009 16:00:03 GMT
D.C says:
Please, if you write a review, don't spend the first two, rather large paragraphs talking about stuff rather irrelivent to the program. While yes, made by the BBC and narated by Attenborough, we all know who he is and what the BBC are like. I got quite bored before you even started talking about the actual program and skipped to someone elses review. In future, I would suggest that you write about the program in hand and then side track into bits outside of the product.

Also lines like "Although the stars series are the three Kenyan cheetahs" should be discussed in a way that says it is either an opinion, or a part the program focuses on. I am not a great fan of cheetahs and I do not know if this is just your opinion or a major part to the program (like following them through it or something)

Thank you for finding the time to write out that review but please do try to focus on the program rather than the things around it, or decide what only seems to be for us (the viewer) the star of the series or telling us that we all owe him a debt. Just constructive critism and bad spelling on my part.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2009 18:33:32 GMT
Red on Black says:
Dear Mr Chappell
Thank you indeed for your constructive "critism". As of today 73 out of 78 people appear to have found this review helpful, you alternatively didn't like it. I will therefore have to live with the enduring shame of this but will try to get on with the rest of my life without boring you further. My only hope is that perhaps you give poor cheetahs a second chance. Have a great (and non pedantic) new year

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2010 11:02:44 GMT
Mr. P. James says:
There is a an uncertain majesty to critique for many writers and readers, almost dictatorial and dictated to, as if the dictation of individual opinion or point of view has to be challenged just because it exists. Critiques of critues often display this, as do critiues of critques that have critisised.
I guess that the only answer is to value all opinions for what they are at the outset, and to allow that like most things, they can change grow and develop.
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