A definitive account of mammal behaviour featuring an excellent range of locations. This is a decent transfer for this dvd, pre-hd though, the audio is great with a fine mix of narration, natural sound and music. Some of the most impressive shots in my view are the overhead ones of herding wilder beasts. Unlike more recent series done by the BBC here Attenborough directly interacts with the wildlife onscreen and other elements of production are in full view. Some of the night vision photography while enough common today was pretty new at the time. Camera movement is not as fluid as later series e.g. Life (2009) but still much smoother than older series done by the BBC. Attenborough's delivery of the dialogue is also less emotional & dramatic instead done in a bit more of a descriptive matter of fact manner. I really hope a Blu Ray release of this is on the horizon . My favourite episode was "return to the sea". The dvd comes with 4 disks, 10 episodes in total.
There is only one word to describe these documentaries and that is ' Excellent '. The only very faint criticism that I could possibly have is that there could often be less background music and more of the sounds recorded on location, or, failing that, more of their beautifully faked up ' natural sounds '! David Attenborough's work is so good that it doesn't need emotional hyping by music in the chases and grisley bits but tighter editing to compensate, and little more music other than at the opening and closing and, possibly, for scene setting. I prefer to watch these documentaries and imagine that I am ' on location' with them and not sat in a studio with the Musicians Union knocking on the door. Sound editors can very easily ruin excellent work.
Having said that it is probably something to watch in quite a few doses - maybe one episode a night. Photography is excellent - not a fan of Attenborough as he has got older but thought he was very good on this
This is another of Sir David Attenborough's BBC documentaries and as usual it is excellent. He and his documentary team manage to secure a lot of footage of wildlife that I have never seen before therefore it is highly recommended. Thoroughly enjoyable.
..And he-arr, deep in the bowels of the Amazon DVD forest, comes a remarkable DVD set. Bursting with beautiful photography, good science, the accessible (but not patronising) style of Sir David Attenborough, opens up the world of mammals to the masses. Arriving on four DVDs, which contain all ten episodes plus extras (which are thoughtfully placed at appropriate points through the series rather than on a seperate disc) we learn about the varied and wonderful creatures to which we are related. How they live, how they feed, breed, and die... from the majestic lions on the plains of the Serengeti, to the polar icecaps, and the baboons in the Amazon rainforest, are all presented in exceptional detail & with Attenborough's infectious enthusiasm for the subject matter.
Many mammals are nocturnal by nature, so for the first time many animals are caught on film through the use of infra-red cameras... watching a pride of lionness' hunt by night is a staggering experience and will give your subwoofer a workout, not to mention chill the blood! There are also close encounters with numerous types of dolphins, the rare blue whale, monkeys & bats of all various kinds, and so on. Truly something for everyone here.
Can't recommend this series highly enough. Another great from the undisputed king of nature programmes, you'll want to watch this again and again.
Will there ever be a better presenter of documentaries about the natural world than David Attenborough? For decades now we have been lulled into learning about nature by a man who manages to convey his unique passion for all things alive with a panache that cannot be matched. This is the man who could have been running the BBC, but decided instead to remain an employee and continue producing documentaries. Life of Mammals may well be his best work yet. The series begins with "A Winning Design", which distinguishes mammals from other living organisms. This episode follows marsupials, and hence spends most of its time in Australia. There is some wonderful footage of the duck-billed platypus, perhaps the most bizzare mammal alive today. From here, the next three episodes deal with small herbivores as David charts the development of mammals by examining animals of greater and greater evolutionary complexity. Spectacular later episodes include "Meat Eaters", in which large cats and dogs are compared, and "Life in the Trees", in which David is hoisted to the top of the rainforest canopy to observe the astounding gibbons, who move from branch to branch with breathtaking speed and agility. There is also the amazing "Return to the Water". David stands inside a life-size computer-generated blue whale, and states that the ancestors of these giants were "deer-like creatures" - a fact that surprised me! The last two episodes then examine man's pre-cursors in social monkeys, baboons and finally man himself. This series, along with the Blue Planet, must rank alongside David's finest work. Fortunately, he shows no signs of slowing down, although one can only wonder if there is any creature he has not yet filmed, or if he could add to what he has produced here. There is a host of previously unseen behaviour in this series, mainly due to the advantage of cameras that are capable of filming with practically no light. The behaviour of platypus in their nest, as well as lions hunting at night, are particularly memorable. David has produced another masterpiece, and it is hard to see how the BBC will ever replace him.