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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Untamed China [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£7.99+ £1.26 shipping

on 29 October 2016
I like Nigel Marven, I really do. I think he is the brunt of too many unfair and unkind remarks. In a world where David Attenborough has become the leading figure in nature documentaries it has become very hard for anyone to compete with him in terms of knowledge, professionalism and sincerity. We are spoiled in the UK with his huge array of wildlife programmes to the point that we see him as a national treaure, whereas the Americans brush him aside and redub his shows with sensationalised scripts read by glib celebrities, such is their pretentious nature.

Having seen Nigel in a number of programmes now, from "Walking with Dinosaurs" specials to various "Adventure" shows, I quickly warmed to him. His manner is more casual than that of David Attenborough but he is informative. I'd go far as to say that he reminds me of Attenborough in his youth during "Zoo Quest". A lot of Attenborough's more recent shows are the result of specifically targeted filming, selective editing and a polished narration. Nigel Marven tends to "go with the flow" and deliver his lines spontaneously, just as David did in the 1950s during his adventures round the world for London Zoo. Nigel has worked closely with David, and it shows, though Nigel in no way tries to emulate him and is very much his own, both confident and bold when it comes to handling live creatures, including those which can be harmful, like snakes and scorpions.

To me, Nigel is a man who doesn't want to grow up, and who can blame him, he has a great job that he loves. Even Attenborough seldom comes across as a 90-year-old bloke when he's handling rare or beautiful creatures and clearly loving it.

"Untamed China" is a chance to see Nigel Marven presenting wildlife in their real habitats, without any acting against green screen to CGI targets and looking a bit daft that we've previously seen in his dinosaur-themed titles. Just as Attenborough used to do in his "Zoo Quest" days, Marven picks up random species as he wanders through areas of China to tell us a bit about them off the top of his head. Anything else we need to know has been narrated.

The filming is very good, not the patiently-filmed epic HD shots you'd expect from BBC Earth, but by a crew recording everything whilst on the move and standing clear whenever Nigel decides to pick up a venomous cobra! As much as I love Attenborough's documentaries, I also like those which feel like an expedition with random findings. The BBC produced a number of expedition shows with George McGavin and a team several years ago, which were exceptionally good. "Untamed China" only features Nigel, although his goal is to show us previously unfilmed regions of China without any conservation agenda. I would like to see him host or co-host a couple of other BBC nature shows instead of just featuring in "Dinosaurs".
3 people found this helpful
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on 29 October 2017
An excellent 2 disc 280 min ALL REGIONS boxset in which Nigel Marven unveils creatures, scenery and customs in his usual fun and informative way.
DISC 1 EPISODE 1---Kingdom of animals-Yunnan Province
2---Deserts of the north-Northern Province of Xinjiang
3---Land of giants-the jungles of southern Yunnan
DISC 2 4---Heavenly Mountains-Sichuan
5--Grasslands of Mongolia-Inner Mongolia
6--Tibet's High Plateau-Tibet 'Roof of the world'
2 people found this helpful
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on 2 September 2014
this is fabulous to watch, the scenery and footage is second to none
3 people found this helpful
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on 24 October 2014
We have watched this a million and one times and all the family love it.
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on 9 February 2014
I like the opening music and presentation. This is a good, watchable series especially if you are not too familiar with China's wildlife and contains some really interesting species; cobras, pandas, turtles etc...
3 people found this helpful
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on 27 March 2013
Wonderful photography and are really amazing series.

Different from anything you've seen before. This is really "Wild China" and not tourist China!

Excellent and informative commentary.
3 people found this helpful
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on 20 January 2013
a very good well presented wildlife documentary very well researched and presented with verve and knowledge of the subject and areas.
2 people found this helpful
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on 1 August 2013
Too much talk and not enough of the experience. Some good topics but should have been much better but annoyingly disrupted.
6 people found this helpful
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on 8 November 2013
Prompt delivery. Item as described on the site. I am sure the recipient will be very pleased with this DVD as he requested it.
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on 16 November 2013
Some wonderful photography and scenery. Probably made for commercial TV or those with a short term memory loss. Annoying repitition after what would have been commercial breaks A David Attenborough he is not, but knowledgeable. Too much of him on screen. Insisted on catching and handling the animals, I was hoping a snake would bite him!
9 people found this helpful
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