Friday, December 14, 2007

Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series

Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series (2007 DVD) 5 Discs: 550 Minutes
Narrated by David Attenborough
Description from the BBC:

"With an unprecedented production budget of $25 million, and from the makers of Blue Planet: Seas of Life, comes the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production, over 2,000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, shot entirely in high definition, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else."

You’ll be filled with awe and amazement every time you watch this stunning BBC series about our planet’s best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures, captured on breathtaking, high-definition film in the Earth’s most extreme habitats. Shot entirely in high-definition film, with revolutionary new aerial photography. From the team behind Blue Planet, including the esteemed and beloved Sir David Attenborough."

From Monsters and Critics:

This excellent documentary explores the round blue ball that we call home in this universe and delves into places that no camera has gone before. All narrated by the harmonious tones of Sir David Attenborough.

“A hundred years ago, there were one and a half billion people on Earth. Now over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity. This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before.”

Planet Earth, Part 1: From Pole to Pole
Planet Earth, Part 2: Mountains
Planet Earth, Part 3: Fresh Water
Planet Earth, Part 4: Caves
Planet Earth, Part 5: Deserts
Planet Earth, Part 6: Ice Worlds
Planet Earth, Part 7: Great Plains
Planet Earth, Part 8: Jungles
Planet Earth, Part 9: Shallow Seas
Planet Earth, Part 10: Seasonal Forests
Planet Earth, Part 11: Ocean Deep
Planet Earth: The Future, Part 1 - Saving Species
Planet Earth: The Future, Part 2 - Into the Wilderness
Planet Earth: The Future, Part 3 - Living Together

Another online reviewer:

To their credit, the producers of Planet Earth give viewers the opportunity to get a glimpse of the stunning beauty of (what is left of) the natural world that is inaccessible to most humans. Planet Earth producers explore the different natural habitats such as the seas, caves, great plains, and forests in the first four discs. Thanks to the BBC, the producers have been able to mobilize top-notch talent and state-of-the-art equipment to accomplish this tour de force. Like other media productions made about the natural world over the last 30 years, Planet Earth helps raise awareness about nature’s beauty and diversity as well as the human footprint on nature. One of the greatest merits of the series is to market the huge economic value of the environmental services that nature renders scot-free to humanity, e.g., pollinating, cleaning water, cleansing the atmosphere, and restoring soil.


How does one even begin to lay down the words that would even dare to try to encompass and review the DVD boxset of the BBC’s nature documentary/mini-series Planet Earth, and not instantly feel insignificant and otherwise insufficient for the task? Bearing in mind that the overall cost of production was around $25 million and that filming occurred over the span of 62 countries, 204 individual locations, all over a period of five years, perhaps such feelings are not altogether unwarranted.

Produced by Alastair Fothergill, also responsible for the successful The Blue Planet series, each of the eleven episodes of Planet Earth focuses on one of the Earth’s natural habitats and examines its indigenous features, along with the types of fauna to be found there. More than a few of these locations and the animals living therein are spectacles that have never previously been filmed, and were only achieved through the use of some fairly innovative camera techniques and technology. Previously unseen animal behaviors include: wolves chasing caribou as they are aerially observed and filmed, snow leopards hunting markhor in the Himalayas, grizzly bear cubs leaving their den for the first time, crab-eating macaques that swim underwater, and over a hundred sailfish hunting all together.

Simply put, the filmmakers have managed to capture some of the most amazing footage of animals in their native habitat, ever. Period.

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