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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2009
I waited a while for a Blu-ray release of this, but it just wasn't forthcoming so I gave up and plumped for the DVDs. Glad I did - they look beautiful upscaled, and the series itself is another masterpiece. Stunning photography, informative enthusing from Dave, and the same inescapable sense of wonder and delight at the beauteous diversity of nature as is present in all of Attenborough's programs.

My only real disappointment was the complete absence of komodo dragons. As the largest lizards, and the closest real life representation of their namesake mythical creatures, I felt sure they would make an appearance at some point, but they were nowhere to be seen. The iguanas got short shrift as well, making little more than a cameo, but the komodo dragons' absence stands out more.

Still, this is another gem from the BBC and Attenborough, and a must-watch for anyone interested in reptiles, amphibians, and nature in general.
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Life in Cold Blood is another sterling wildlife series from the BBC, presented with warmth and authority by veteran naturalist David Attenborough. This DVD set contains all the core episodes plus a variety of additional, behind-the-scenes material, to run to over five hours. The photography is beautiful and the reptilian subject matter is intricately examined and explained for al to understand. It's an excellent teaching tool while at the same time providing colourful entertainment for anyone with a vague interest in natural history.

Using new filming techniques help to keep what can be a bit of a staid subject more interesting. Tricky animation shows how cold-blooded reptiles move heat around their bodies to stay warm, or demonstrates what goes on inside a giant python when it's just eaten an entire deer. (In fact, the footage of the snake swallowing the deer is some of the most extraordinary natural history filming I've ever seen).
LICB also uses ground-breaking filming to illustrate what's going on underneath the skin - and the heat cameras brilliantly demonstrate how a sea iguana changes temperature throughout its daily routine. The occasional animation of the odd dinosaur is a welcome bit of fluff, too (after all, T-Rex is much more camera-friendly than a snake which spends three days out of four being dormant!)

The Cold-Blooded Truth explains how reptiles function differently to warm-blooded mammals; how they use the warmth of the sun to function and how bigger reptiles can store heat and so be active even at night. The Amphibians episode looks at the creatures which first made the transition from the oceans to dry land, and how their descendents (mainly frogs) need now to balance their needs to stay moist with their need to be warm. The Lizards programme looks in depth at reptiles which live in dry, desert conditions while the Snakes episode uses CCTV to show how clever rattlesnakes are when hunting, and Attenborough `enjoys' the experience of being spattered with venom from a spitting cobra. The final programme mixes the most interesting of the reptiles - the ferocious saltwater crocodiles - and some of the most mundane (turtles and tortoises just don't do it for me!)

Of course, LICB does has its flaws although they are fairly minor compared to the accomplishment of the overall series. Some times it's a little bit too pleased with how clever it all is, and like many of these series it does tend to repeat stand-out shots and general information from one episode to the next. So if you watch them all in close succession you will notice some repetition.
It also suffers from the usual natural history problem: while there is a fair bit of startling new footage here, there's also new film of the same-old same-old. I watch quite a few documentaries and probably never need to see the leatherback turtles laying their eggs again. Really. There are some aspects of a subject which get repeated every time the programme-makers go near the subject - and surely David A must be fed up with the turtles, too?

Apart from my (personal) over-exposure to some of the themes, this is an excellent series and a good value DVD set. It tackles what can be a very `worthy but dull' subject and manages to translate more than 90% of it into colourful and interesting TV. It falls somewhere between four and five stars: 9/10
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When I was little, I was mesmerised by David Attenborough's wildlife documentaries. And now twenty years on I still absolutely love them.

The passion of the man and the team he works with is more than apparent, especially when in the additional features you see what lengths they go to, to bring you maybe a just a few seconds of stunning footage.

Whether you're a reptile fan, or whether you can't stand them - this series will highlight the variety and complexity of these creatures. There's so much beauty amongst those scales - it's not often that a series captures so many jaw-dropping moments, but here, every few minutes you find yourself amazed by what the natural world has to offer.

It seems that with every Attenborough series you hear those words "...never before captured on camera", and this is no different. Animal behaviour never witnessed before is documented on film, I felt privileged to watch this - even the experts the BBC worked alongside were gawping at the videos with childish glee. It's like watching the moon-landings, but in this case you're seeing things which have happened every day for thousands of years (if not more) but it is only now that we are beginning to understand. This doesn't just further your understanding of the reptiles filmed, it furthers scientific understanding among the biologists who study these animals.

Each episode concerns itself with a specific area, for example; Snakes, or Frogs - and then we are treated to ultra close up footage with a fantastic musical score. Each episode contains genuinely spectacular moments, the sheer diversity is emphasised. This gives you an appreciation of what fantastic wonders this world contains. You can't help but wonder how they managed to film half of what they managed to get - but thankfully, the extras start to answer those questions.

In a nutshell: Some of the most spectacular moments committed to film, an educational documentary which will further your respect for this massive range of unique creatures. Eye opening stuff with camerawork by the best in the business. Attenborough on top form again.
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on 26 September 2014
This is DVD bring joy to my life, I love these little colourful intelligent being, I learn how their life in the juggle. because I live with one of this little being we call him Harry together we play and I learn about their way of life, with the DVD allow me to learn more of their behaviour, when in the cold winter morning he sleep with me on my warm chest. I also love David Attenborough what a wonderful work he have done to bring this to the TV for us to enjoy in the comfort of our own home. with much appreciation.
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on 5 October 2014
This should be the last of the life series but i hope not because fish are still missing but shourley for now it is the best the camera is much improved from the 70's life on earth if only they had it for life of birds,anyway nice layout loved the episode on snakes much information I never knew. The lizard episode is great as well with the flat lizard scene being one of my favorites showing them in slow motion jumping to catch flies in mid air next to a river.Great documentary
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on 30 January 2013
As a massive animal lover, I have always grown up with animals around me and watching the great Sir David bring us some the most incredible nature programs ever made. Life in Cold Blood is another amazing series that gives us a glimpse into the remarkable lives of our reptiles and amphibians, and hopefully shatters illusions that animals such as snakes are frightening/dangerous. These animals are breath takingly beautiful, adaptable and utterly essential to the survival of countless ecosystems.

This series is one to admire, inspire and treasure because without programs like this how would mine and countless others' passion for the natural world have been encouraged? Theres so much information here and stunning camera work, really a must have for animal lovers and fans of Sir David Attenborough.

Thank you to the BBC and Sir David for another cracking nature series.
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on 9 April 2013
Really enjoying this. I have got most of David Attenborough's DVD's from Amazon, and am gradually building my colection up. Worth seeing! Good photography, and good commentary (as usual) from David.

I note that "music time" was disappointed about the absence of the Komodo Dragons. To rectify this, I would suggest 2 DVD's from Amazon- "Life" Gunton and Holmes, and narrated by Attenborough, and "Last Chance to See" by Stephen Fry. Both of the DVD's have footage of the Komodo Dragons, in fact if you read some of the reviews for "Life" there is a warning about upsetting scenes regarding the Komodo Dragons!

Hope this helps!

Greg (Sheffield)
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on 6 December 2012
I suppose I will not be illuminating anyone, but I feel that David Attenborough is one of those very, very rare people who transcend their subject, the thing that they do, to become it. He IS nature film making, he does not just MAKE the films. And he represents in it's greatest form what a scientist should be - persuasive, welcoming, clear, and sparking off in you a deep interest in what is his great passion - the natural world. A great man whose films are the very pinnacle of their genre. The Life in Cold Blood is as endlessly fascinating and remarkable as all of the other series he has made - backed up with the absolute best of filming techniques and innovations.
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on 5 December 2014
The last of Attenborough's 'Life' series sometimes feels a little forced, but nevertheless is light years ahead of most other natural history programmes: Sir David on excellent, passionate, form without being hyperbolic.
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on 30 May 2012
As always david attenborough narrates a perfect documentary and this time its about reptiles! Being a lover my self i just had to get this dvd and i was absolutley thrilled with it.It starts off with sea iguanas and how they control ther body heat and swim in the ocean to get food etc,followed by desert and other types of lizards including monitors, through to the veiled chameleon to the smallest in the world!also through the dvd ther are frogs which are becoming extinct and snakes to watch how they hunt and survive in the wild,this dvd is the best reptile one i have found so far and well worth watching i hope he brings another one out soon :)
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