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on 22 October 2016
I'm a huge fan of David Attenborough and his nature series. The Planet Earth and Life series are simply magic, just as the Madagascar series, the Great Barrier Reef series, Life in Cold Blood, The Life of Birds and several others. And sure enough David Attenborough's narrating of this series is excellent as always. However, something clearly went wrong with the picture when this series was transferred to a digital format. I am not talking about the slightly grainy quality you normally get from anything before the digital era. I really don't mind that. But in this dvd, for some reason, there are clearly visible blurry stripes all over the screen. At times it makes the whole thing almost unwatchable. It basically feels like watching tv while wearing someone else's glasses. The picture quality is outrageously bad.

Maybe I got hold of a bad version of this, I don't know. But the one I have is a huge dissapointment and I only give it more than 1 star because of David Attenborough's superb narrating.
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on 1 January 2016
A great classic series. Very informative, highly ambitious, nice touch of music, good sound with clear narration.
The colours on the DVD are a bit pasty and not very strong, black tends to look more like brown or grey, details isn't great and there's a fine level of film grain is also quite visible, unsurprising for a documentary released over 30 years ago. Some colours though look quite natural looking such as the green forests or blue fish under water. The number of filming locations are also very impressive as is the footage of the volcanos and very rare snow leopard. While the footage might not compare well to modern wildlife documentaries like Life and Africa the series is much more serious and contains far more scientific facts. Very much recommend.

the living planet
Fav episodes . The sky
Mexican butterflies
Balloons. Demonstrate effects of hot air on thermals. Lift
Didn't seem to realize good way to shoot landscape. Plane only to show travel. Or establishing shot
Traditional camera work hunt static camera pan or zoom.
Damage to the frame. Black lines at top or bottom.
Low bit rate.
Plant seeds. Migration. Gliding. Bats. Owls.

Force of water,
Shaky camera when in plane
Camera cannot move backwards or forwards..
Giant Amazon Lily. Uses Beatles to pollinate.

Episode 12 - human impact on land environment.
New worlds
Bears wolves. Forests cleared.
Rabbits, deer. Introduced.
CATTLE. Pigs. Domestic breeding. Millions. Turkeys
Potatoes South American
Betruit Germany
Rice Asia 7000 yrs ago. 50% ×world eat y it
Master farmers
Pets. Dogs. Cats.
Plants spread along the railway line
church towers birds of prey
Swallows barns.
Rats . Insects.
Rubbish. Thousands of tonnes New York. River pollution. Oil spills. Smog. Air. Acid rain. Industrial pollution. Over fishing. Peru. Scale of destruction in rainforests. Passionate at times angry reaction.
Behind the scenes work.
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I'll try and keep this relatively brief, as there are plenty of other reviews here already, some, like Sally Anne's, being very detailed. I'd just like to add my own little tribute to this truly great series. One of Attenborough's 'sledgehammer' documentaries, this is factual television at it's very best.

The range and scope of the series is astonishing. The first 10-15 minutes of the first episode alone justify the price of purchase: travelling up through the strata of the Himalayas, Attenborough gives a wonderfully subtle, understated, and yet awe-inspiringly powerful illustration of what Darwin, Wallace and others, had observed, regarding animal and vegetable adaptations to changing habitats, covering tropical lushness to quasi-polar conditions in a rich ascent. What a way to start the series!

It was of course such observations that lead to the formulation of evolutionary theory, the evidence for which continues to mount up, more prodigiously than even the 'eternal hills' of the Himalayas themselves. And, as Attenborough points out, it turns out the Himalayas are 'far from eternal'. And what's so great is that, within only a few minutes, he's made - and substantiated - some extraordinary claims (some of which, for example plate tectonics, were still not generally understood as recently as when Attenborough was at university in Cambridge*), which are now what many of us understand to be 'common knowledge', and all thanks to advances in scientific understanding made in very recent times.

He then moves on to discuss and illustrate the awesome mechanisms that sculpt the earth, walking round the sulphurous rim of Krakatoa, or delivering lines on the formation of the planet, as molten lava (in some Northen location like Iceland or Greenland, I believe) erupts behind him. And this is all within the first half hour of episode one! I've only given the sketchiest summary: the rich detail Attenborough and his superb team present is simply astonishing, and truly wonderful.

This series, as old as it now is, remains a real treasure, and, at less than a tenner**... amazing!

* Read about (or listen to) the story behind this in Attenborough's excellent autobiography, Life on Air.

** When we got our copy.
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on 1 August 2013
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 other than opening and closing and, possibly, scene setting.
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on 10 July 2017
I always loved this old series, and this set of DVDs is a good quality set. David Attenborough nature programmes are some of the best out there, so this is well worth watching.
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on 27 April 2017
Classic wildlife documentary with a good strong scientific approach. David Attenborough at his very best. Sound is very good however the picture quality is poor at times and at best VHS quality.
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on 23 October 2017
I know the series and it is perfect, as all (matser)works by Sir David Attenborough. HOWEVER MINE HAS NEVER ARRIVED.
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on 16 April 2013
As a perfectly-conceived nature documentary, this is still the best ever made. unfortunately the music is nerve-wrackingly retro. Diehard fans of late 20th century electronics will love it, but it it really takes a lot of dealing with. I would love it if the eventual blu-ray transfer put the music on a seperate track!
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on 23 December 2010
Truly one of the greatest documents on the staggering vastness of life on earth. It reveals mechanisms of evolution in the crisp, beautiful and eloquent way. Covers all of the main ecosystems on our planet including these created by homo sapiens.

As far as the technical side is concerned. There's of course a lot of grain and the sharpness is by no means HD. But in my opinion ot does not have any meaning. The true value lies in brillinat screenplay, great scenes themselves and gripping storylines. Thus it makes no sense to watch contemporary documents created in HD, but lacking the proper film-making craftsmaship. Not to mention today's MTV-based editing, which turns great natural events into annoying pop-clips.
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on 18 November 2015
What can you say about David Attenborough and his T.V series. He's been to every corner of the earth and covered just about every living species known to man on this planet. The guy's a legend!
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