Planet Earth - Complete Series  [DVD]
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AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE... The makers of The Blue Planet present the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that combines rare action, unimaginable scale, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the challenging seasons and the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Using a budget of unprecedented proportions, photography and unique, specially developed filming techniques, Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience again
As befits the BBCs reputation for producing some of the worlds best nature documentaries, the five-disc set Planet Earth is an epic travelogue, focussing on different ecologies and the unique animals that inhabit them. Once again, Sir David Attenborough provides the narration, as the cameras fly across the surface of the earth, zooming in to give us a bugs eye view one minute, zooming out to give us an eagles perspective the next. The BBCs cameramen filmed more than 200 locations, resulting in some truly spectacular footage, much of which has never before been seen--such as the rare sight of an endangered snow leopard hunting in the Himalayas, or great white sharks leaping from the water as they hunt. The creators of Planet Earth endured some of the worlds most hostile environments, from the deepest ocean depths to an Antarctic blizzard to a fetid, cockroach- and bat-infested cave, just to grab a few moments of film; its worth watching the "Making of" shorts that accompany each episode, in order to see just what lengths they had to go to. The three extra episodes here--Planet Earth: The Future--provide a sobering finale, as Sir David practically pleads with viewers to cherish the animals that we share this planet with, before its too late. --Ted KordSee all Product description
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Smooth tracking shots
Sound clean clear.
Time lapse growing plants
Sounds - calls monkeys insects
Night reptiles amphibians
Narration good balance between eye candy awe drier narration
Colours still beautiful. Clear. Sharp picture.
Slow smooth overhead shots from helicopters and planes camera stabilisation.
Fungi time lapse
Overhead shoots winter
Long lenses and hides
lovely changing forests
mountains - features best Ariel photography
Broadcast in 2006, ‘Planet Earth’ mostly comprises (see the end of this review for the extras) eleven hour-long episodes that showcases wildlife in its landscape context. But only the world’s remaining wildernesses are thus addressed: there is little or no attention given to urban or agrarian wildlife. After the first episode, which takes us on a journey through the world’s different climes from one pole to the other, each is devoted to a particular form of habitat. Thus we have a programme on deserts, on forests, on seas, etc. The most unexpected for most will probably be the one devoted to caves.
Each episode has at least one ‘wow’ moment; and each episode is full of stupendous photography (although the extent of ‘fakery’ is not known). The last ten minutes of each show is devoted to how one element of that episode was shot. It is clear that those on the ground needed to have immense patience to get their prize on camera.
I also noticed a geographical bias in the coverage. I did a rough continental count of where the examples were shot: Asia had twenty-one, North America had eighteen, Africa fifteen, South America ten, Oceania six, and the Poles only four (but they do also have a whole episode to themselves). The odd one out is Europe with only four, three of which occur in the seasonal forest episode and one in that of mountains. But Europe is curiously absent in any of the shows on caves, and both of the episodes on water (fresh and salt). One Asian country – Japan – comparable in size to Britain receives more coverage than Europe.
Another bugbear is the use of imperial measurements one minute, followed by metric the next. I love the soundtrack (by George Fenton) as music qua music, but it cloys when shown with the visuals, as if it is telling us how we should feel, such as painting African dogs in a bad light as they try to bring down an antelope: don’t they also have offspring that need to be fed?
My set also came with the three hour-long ‘Planet earth: The Future’ episodes. Here the issues about saving species, the threats of population growth and global warming, and sustainable development are discussed by the likes of Rowan Williams, James Lovelock, Jonathan Porritt, Edward Wilson, Richard Mabey, and Tony Juniper – and these are only the names I know. These are all complex issues with few (if any) simple solutions. Jonathan Porritt makes the valid point that viewers watching ‘Planet Earth’ and similar programmes may remain passive about the threats because they assume that everything out there is OK. Don’t! This may well be your last chance to see these wonderful wildernesses.
Hasn't stopped me enjoying the episodes though, even though I sit close to my TV in a small room because it's where I game too.
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