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on 30 October 2009
'if it aint boke,dont fix it'. so the saying goes. well, for some reason, the BBC decide to fix something that isnt broke,changing a winning formula,and really coming up short.
this is a 'special', but apparently is footage from a week in the masai mara.if thats the case, why only 51 minutes?the past 'big cat weeks' are far longer.
also,there is no saba douglas-hamilton,so they have replaced her with 'jackson', a local masai guide,who comes up with thoughts such as the wilderbeast are 'praying to god' when they are vocal.please hurry back,saba!
the main irritant,however, is the inclusion of glamour-journo kate silverton as narrator.this is someone who has no knowledge or expertise in big cats. indeed,when the programme went out live,each programme ended with camp fire 'chats', and her questions she came out with were truly inane.
i gave it 3 stars as the footage,albiet not as much as usual, is fantastic.
heres hoping the BBC have realised that this change in format does not work as well, and will go back to its original winning and far better formula.
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on 25 October 2009
We are massive fans of the whole series and have loved the previous TV programmes and DVDs. The format for this DVD has changed. No episodes just one 50 min piece amalgamating all the key bits in the show (plus some extras). The tension and excitement have been lost completely althought the filming is of the usual high BBC quality. They had some fantastic footage available of the camp site where it was filmed and much more nighttime stuff. It has a feel of being cobbled together to get out quickly. They have great presenters who are nearly lost in the quick programme. There is a whole series available here that the BBC could bring out.
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on 26 October 2009
The family has loved Big Cat Diary and Big Cat Week since we first saw it and have found the previous DVD's sensational, definitely all 5 star. However, perhaps the standard was so high as sadly this falls well short of those. Although Jackson Looseyia is excellent, this is balanced by some irritating narration by Kate Silverton and poor & inappropriate music; Simon and Jonathan remain great as do all the actual stars.
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on 8 October 2009
Once again the Big Cat team have excelled in bringing us an update of the lives of the cats we have come to know so well. Superb camera work and wonderful commentary. Tamu's story is particularly moving.
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on 28 December 2009
This DvD consists of the highlightss from big cat live 2008, this Dvd will prove a huge dissapointment to many people.

The first problem with this is the casting. We still have the return of the great Simon King and Jonathan Scott but unfortunatly we are missing a familar face by the name of Saba Douglas Hamilton and instead is replace with Jackson Losseyia. To be honest the replacment is not bad he is still very passionate and adds to watching the series to unfold. The problem lies within the Narrator who is an ex anchor woman/ newsreader, first of all there is no reason for there to be a narration the other series did fine without it and the second problem is that whenever she speaks it sounds like she is reading headlines from the morning news it can get really annoying at times.

The second problem with this is something i could not believe. In the orignal series the atmospehere was amazing, everything felt so natural and you enjoyed the nice views, but they seemed to have to dumbed down the program. at one point Jackson spotted leaopards he then says to the camera that he shall call them the Jackson five. before that it looked amazing watching the leopards in their daily lives and then the go and play ABC by the Jackson five, this ruins the atmosphere compleltly and made me fell like i was watching something with a low IQ. there is about four times they play modern songs and to be honest it would definatley be done without.

The last problem with this is that it is too short, this is the problem of shooting live because you are not always garunteed to get the shots. The Dvd is around 40 minutes long and the leapards have hardly any airtime because of the change of shooting live.

This Dvd will prove to be dissapointing to many Big Cat fans for the main reason of changing the format, granted you still get attached to the animals involved and at moments it makes your heart stop and that is what makes a good dvd, engaging characters. Unfortunatley there is not much of these and with a lack of special features this makes this BBC nature dvd a let down.
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on 16 October 2009
i purchased big cat diary as a gift for my elderly sister who cannot praise it highly enough she says the filming is so vived it is viewable over and over again and likens it to having africa in her lounge great product great price great service well done.
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Personally (though I understand why a lot are disappointed), I can also understand the main changes to this series of Big Cat Live. Saba Douglas Hamilton was involved in relief work in Kenya following the violent elections, so couldn't be a part. I thought Jackson was a very good replacement and has proved his dedication to the project by regularily updating his blog from the Masai Mara (search for "Jackson Looseyia blog" to have look:)... Lastly, The inclusion of Kate Silverton does seem strange, but she is a likeable person with experience of live television. She didn't fit totally in, but I didn't think she was as awful as some are making out.

Watching the first 4 series (and bearing in mind there were several -- albeit shorter -- series of Big Cat Diary before they starting doing Big Cat Week), it also became apparent to me that it must be very difficult to keep coming back year in year out and finding new ways to keep the series as thrilling as in the past. Most of the time these cats just sleep, and do much of their hunting at night! (I also wonder how many stories they have had to abandon due to things turning too nasty for the BBC.) It must be a huge undertaking to film for weeks (whilst retaining the same enthusiasm, despite having filmed the majority of incidents thousands of times before) and then have to edit countless hours of footage into something that matches the quality of previous series. I can understand why they didn't want to come back and do another full series. At least with the likes of Springwatch, Simon King doesn't have to re-edit the footage or relocate to another country for a couple of months.

My "main" issue with Big Cat Live 2008 is the length of the DVD. 50 minutes!!! Why? The series ran for 5 nights the same as the others from what I can rememeber. Why haven't they just put all the eiposdes on as they were broadcast? I know that series 3 and 4 came on 2 DVDs, and can understand the BBC not wanting to fund an extra DVD for this set -- given the lukewarm reaction to the series -- but surely they could have fitted it all onto one DVD (the same as series 1 & 2) without any extras?

Hopefully the presenters will feel like doing another "proper" Big Cat Week eventually. The BBC haven't sold the brand to another broadcaster, so I remain optimistic that they have at least another series in store. I hope also that some day they produce a complete DVD or Blu-ray boxset of all the series (including the original Big Cat Diary episodes and the complete version of Big Cat Week 2008). Other than that, this series of Big Cat Week was somewhat disapointing compared to others, but (I think) if you take into account why they filmed it that way is pretty understandable. I just cannot understand the short running time of this DVD, and it cheapens this series even more.
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on 7 February 2013
This is a fantastic DVD, bringing the Mara Big Cats into our home. The camera work is stunning, and the commentary accurate, yet compassionate. It does not repeat the actual Big Cat Live week as broadcast in Oct 2010, but adds to this great week of TV.
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on 29 March 2013
I loved the series so I also bought the special .Would highly recommend ,thought it was really good .Buy it ! You won't be disappointed .
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on 16 May 2015
if love africa and big cats and one go look back this for you simple
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