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on 8 October 2010
First of all lets go through some of the negatives I have read about this phenomenal mini series. The narration is cited by some as being bland and monotone - Benedict Cumberbatch in my opinion is only second to the sublime David. A. His voice is soothing and is description is perfectly concise and factual. Score - Some people believe it reminds them of Africa but it is fitting as it is definately in keeping with the tribal aspects of the south pacific (which are also given some attention throughout the series). Third - repetitive sequences. Whilst these do exist, I find this is commonplace in wildlife series (see Blue Planet and Planet Earth)- its simply a way of ensuring that stragglers can understand everything rather than assuming everyone has either followed the series from the first minute or has an encylopedic knowledge of marine bio-diversity. Who cares if they repeat huge sharks attacking struggling chick albatrosses learning to fly, flapping in dangerously shallow waters? Not me.

This is what makes the series staggeringly great value. It covers history and the influence of man, evolution and how certain species migrated across islands when it could have been quite easy to focus purely on marine life. After all, only 1% of the south pacific is land. The aerial shots provide an excellent sense of scale and the last episode provides a fitting analysis of how procarious and precious the south pacific is to everyone. I deliberately avoid going into details about certain episodes because I don't want to ruin it for anyone....

Finally, the Diaries section at the end of each episode is a great (and for me unexpected) addition because, like the immense Planet Earth series - we fully appreciate the lengths, timescales and risks taken by cameramen to bring never-before-seen shots. Who would have thought filming the inside of a big wave had never been done before?

Simply breathtaking this is an essential in Blu-Ray format.
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on 17 September 2010
Normaly I would start with the content, which in this case is great. But the Picture quality and the effort to wich the camerawork has gone, sets almost a new level. The satellite approach of a cyclone was one of the most impressiv pictures I have ever seen. The picture is cristal, the image so impressive, it makes look Hollywood like a puppet theatre.
The colour is very rich, turqouise water, white beaches, shades of green, you have to see to believe it. On top of that some of the most pristine coralreefs there are in existence today.
You learn a lot, like f.e. the history and tragedy of the stone sculpures on the Eastern Islands. The origins of basejumping, underwater-volcano explosions, cave-explorations, and many many more astonishing pictures and informations.
Get it and enjoy a picture perfect ride in the South Pacific.
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on 7 August 2015
The photography is great. The rest, including the narrative, is a three out of five. True, the regular narration and comments fit well into this documentary on the islands of the South Pacific, but I'm not sure on the content of it and even the general structure of the episodes.

For me the human stories are almost a sprinkling amongst the fish and the more irrelevant bugs and fruitflies. We also see a lot on the carnivorous caterpillars, we see a lot but a lot on the albatross chicks and their demise. Why first call the Coconut crab a Robber crab, even if that is its other name, as it cracks open a coconut? The episode about the drifting whale hunters is entirely stretched out and during it we are offered stories of more creatures of the deep. I wasn't impressed by the description of the volcanic formation of the many South Pacific islands as there is hardly a geographical term used, next we see only a quick air view of Rangiroa atoll and never find out how an atoll is formed exactly. The human element, nature, unusual bugs, marine animals of the South Pacific are thus revealed.

Maybe we should be glad there is no chance of any overwhelming information. The filming of the underwater volcano exploding out of the depths is fairly amazing.
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on 18 September 2012
This BBC documentary explores the vast ocean that is the SOUTH PACIFIC. There are 2 discs which contain 3 hour long programmes on each. Disc 1 explores the OCEANS OF ISLANDS (Programme 1) of which there are 20,000 ranging from the largest New Guinnie to small areas of land, all of which have been formed by volcanic upheavals over millions of years.
Programme 2 CASTAWAYS shows how life has spread to even the most remote islands in this ocean which is 10,000 miles wide.
Programme 3 on disc 1 is entitled ENDLESS BLUE and follows some of the creatures that migrate thousands of miles each year in persuit of food in this vast expanse of ocean which contains one quarter of the worlds water.
Disc 2 starts with a programme entitled OCEAN OF VOLCANOES which looks at the processes that have created the islands in the South Pacific and shows that even today there are active volcanoes which are creating land for future colonization.
Programme 5 called STRANGE ISLANDS visits some of the pacific's most unusual island inhabitance.
Programme 6 is FRAGILE PARADISE and looks at the way humans have impacted on the South Pacific causing damage to the flora and fauna of this region of the world.

This series contains some superb photography on land, in the air and under the sea which shows nature at its most beautiful and diverse to give a wonderful insight into a world that is remote and mostly still unexplored.
At the end of each programme is a short slot on the making of the series and how the team overcame obsticles to bring the shots they wanted back from each assignment.
My only criticisom of the series the commentary is slow and long winded and combined with a tendency to repeat items from earlier episodes, it is slightly boring in places. But on the whole it is a fantastic series worth watching again.
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on 3 February 2017
I disagree with one reviewer who described the narration as a " dirge". I was impressed with such articulate commentary. At times there was a bit of repetition, but with such awesome views of the geography and nature of the vast ocean I was not going to complain. The camera work was outstanding, and the background music unusual but unobtrusive.
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on 11 July 2016
An excellent pair of Discs in this two Disc pack, well narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch about a fascinatking and massive area of the Pacific Ocean and very thankfully not released in Holland but good old Britain. With so many wonderful islands , coral reefs and different kinds of wildlife in this incredible area of our planet this is an enjoyable viewing experience revealed in stunning detail in this acclaimed BBC Series.
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on 7 October 2010
This series is a must watch for all. Amazing content, quality narration and some new and unique film, pictures and techniques used. This is a long series with lots of topics covered from the island and animals, to the people and details of this vast area of ocean. Do not be put off that this is not a David Attenborough narration; the production quality of this series is second to none. I was engrossed and watched one episode after another until I was through the entire series.

I have since re-watched this and was just as interested second time around. The footage is exceptional. Nice catchy intro music too that you will find yourself humming in your head for days after watching!

I watched this in Blu-ray on a new 60" LG Plasma HDTV 1080p and this is some of the best quality HD content I have seen. Stunning from a definition point of view alone. Forget Avatar for stunning HD quality, watch this.
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on 30 March 2018
This dvd takes you on a journey across the vast Pacific ocean and its thousands of islands. Many of the islands are remote, tropical and uninhabited. Highlights include young albatross learning to fly who have to evade ravenous Tiger sharks & the world's biggest crabs smashing open coconuts
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on 2 July 2012
Coverage of most of the South Pacific islands would seem impossible given the vast distances and endless stretches of ocean involved.This disc covers the most important areas and produces many surprises and discoveries whilst exploring hundreds of the islands. The scenery alone is breathtakingly beautiful,remote uninhabited islands,coral reefs,pristine beaches,the filming is truly spectacular.Best of all is the strange,almost unknown,wildlife and secret species which inhabit these islands and reefs.Also included is an insight into the lives of some of the islanders on the inhabited islands. Altogether a fascinating insight into one of the most remote areas on this planet.
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on 29 October 2017
Do you know and believe it's possible to live there? Now you'll see what you what you would never see yourself and it's in wonderful colour and fish that you thought were boring are bright.
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