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Life on Earth [Blu-ray]

4.8 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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£13.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Life on Earth [Blu-ray]
  • +
  • Trials of Life [Blu-ray]
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  • Planet Earth: Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray]
Total price: £37.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Sir David Attenborough
  • Producers: Richard Brock, John Sparks
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov. 2012
  • Run Time: 701 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008RA57W6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,706 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Available on blu-ray for the first time ever, Life on Earth, the first of David Attenborough’s great surveys of life on the planet has been re-mastered to HD quality – sharper and clearer than it has ever been seen before. The landmark 1979 series tells the story of the development of life on Earth; from the first single-cell organism that appeared in the seas about 3,500 million years ago, to the millions of diverse and complex animals and plants that share the world with us today. It features breathtaking photography and unforgettable footage – including David Attenborough’s legendary encounter with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, remarkable film of a live ceolacanth (long believed extinct), a tiny tadpole ejected from the mouth of a Darwin frog and the amazing interior of a cave full of bats.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'm not going into the details of the content of this fabulous series that has first been broadcast in 1979 and represents the first of several series in David Attenborough's "Life" programmes - this has been sufficiently covered elsewhere. Suffice to say that even more than 30 years after its creation, it remains absolutely fascinating and instructive without being overbearing. Scientific facts are well explained, animal behaviour is analysed and presented with passion by D.A. and a considerable entertainment factor.

The question that most of you are probably asking themselves: How's the picture quality on Blu Ray as compared to the DVD release?

Well, I have both of these, having bought the DVD a few years ago and acquired the new Blu Ray release just last week. The remastered Blu Ray release is without any shred of doubt far, far superior to the initial DVD release. With the latter, I had the impression of a VHS transfer and although I loved the series, the fascination came more from its content than from the picture quality. The picture quality of the new Blu Ray has been improved to an extent that - taking into account the considerable age of the source material - it seems incredible to say the least. Contrasts are far better, colours more intense, the picture is sharper in general and many deficiencies that were visible before have been cleaned up. If you didn't know it, you would never believe that this series is almost 35 years old. Obviously, you cannot compare it to recent documentaries such as "Frozen Planet" or "Life" which have been entirely filmed with HD cameras and in a 16:9 format, but it now has a clean, vibrant and very sharp look to it that makes the various episodes also much more visually fascinating than before.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
As others have stated: this is magnificent and what a real upgrade compared to my DVDs. It also contains the only obvious booboo I have ever come across in a David Attenborough series: In disc 3 he talks about the penguins on the Antarctic mainland and clearly means the Emperors. However the film illustrating this is of King penguins on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia! Bloody cold too but never -40 and anyway Kings like warmer climes such as the Falkland Islands, Kerguelen, Crozet etc. and are NEVER found on the Antarctic mainland. Never mind, Sir David, you are all the better for being human! This is a fantastic prelude to the equally good Trials of Life on Blu, not as spectacular but more science based. Buy them both.
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Format: Blu-ray
Firstly, reading all the previous reviews, bear in mind that this series was filmed in the mid-1970s and shot on 16mm film. For this reason film grain is far more obvious on the Blu-Ray version than on the DVDs I had previously. I bought this to replace the DVDs which were part of a faulty batch of BBC releases, the two layers separated rendering the discs unplayable. I'd already made copies of them before they deteriorated beyond recovery, but this looked interesting so I picked it up.

The discs appear to be fresh telecine transfers from the original 16mm films. They are presented in the original 4:3 aspect, as although 16mm film can give a 16:9 aspect it requires some vertical cropping and the shots would have been framed for 4:3 safe aspect. It therefore made sense to crop the transfer horizontally to 4:3, as anything in the edges of the frame would have been irrelevant anyway.

Bearing in mind the age of the material it really does look stunning. Yes, the sound is mono as NICAM hadn't been invented then, but it is presented in a lossless format. Yes, there's a lot of film grain, but this would have been there on the original DVDs, you just couldn't see it.

I've watched this on a 51" full HD plasma TV and it looks stunning. Is it worth replacing perfectly good DVDs with Blu-Rays? Questionable. But given that my DVD set was pretty much unplayable, yes, it was worth it.

Highly recommended if you either don't already have the DVDs, or if your DVD versions have become damaged. Or if, like myself, you've still got the original VHS versions that you recorded off the BBC in the late 1970s!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Life on Earth as a series would get 5 stars from me but unfortunately this bluray release suffers from some unforgivable flaws. While it is great to see this classic in HD and mostly the film is greatly improved as several reviewers attest, the same is not true of the commentary which is badly edited and in places jumps from one topic to the next, missing out parts of, or even whole, sentences. For example check the transition in the Amphibian episode between David Attenborough talking about poison arrow frogs and then tree frogs with waxy skins. The first part of the sentence is cutoff so it starts halfway through his explanation of why frogs need to guard against drying out, basically you miss where he states this is a problem for amphibians. I have noticed several such bad cuts so far. Whoever did this seems to have not been paying full attention. Another annoyance is it is very hard to distinguish between selected and deselected options in the bluray menu, the visual cue is so subtle I can barely see it; several times I have turned on subtitles by mistake trying to select the right episode. This a shocking lack of attention to detail; quite disappointing given the stature of this series in BBC and TV history
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