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Life in the Undergrowth
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Life in the Undergrowth (Dbl DVD) (WS)
By getting up close and personal with Life in the Undergrowth, this extraordinary BBC series sets a new standard of excellence in wildlife cinematography. Hosted by veteran nature expert David Attenborough and utilizing the latest advances in macrophotography, the five-part series is dedicated to bugs of all shapes and sizes, from microscopic gnats to cave-dwelling millipedes so large they can capture bats in mid-flight and feast for hours thereafter! The patience involved in filming such previously unseen marvels must have been grueling (as confirmed by producer Mike Salisbury in a splendid bonus interview), but the results are nothing less than astonishing, with a parade of sequences so impressive that even insect-haters will pause in amazement. With an emphasis on reproduction and mating behaviors, each program focuses on a different, generalized group of creatures, many of them never filmed before, so that lay-persons and entomologists will be equally enlightened by discoveries made in the process of filming.
As always, Attenborough serves as an expert witness, cordial, fearless, and quintessentially British as he explains what we're seeing, from the nocturnal fluorescence of scorpions (glowing at night in ultraviolet light, they perform a mating dance playfully described as "a nuptial pas de deux") to the mysterious, 17-year life cycle of the cicada. Throughout, we see everything, both frightening and beautiful, from an intimate, bug's-eye view, in detail so vividly colorful that you'll never view the insect world in quite the same way again. (Likewise for the diverse variety of critters on view in episode 3: "The Silk Spinners," which according to Salisbury is capable of curing arachnophobes from their irrational fear of spiders.) Just when you think Life in the Undergrowth couldn't get any more fascinating, it does: episode 4, "Intimate Relations," shows how many insects symbiotically depend on other species for food, shelter, or completion of their reproductive cycles, and episode 5, "Supersocieties," focuses on the social complexities of insect colonists like ants and termites. Enough to give you the creeps for days, you say? Think again, for after seeing Life in the Undergrowth (a perfect companion piece to the Nova episode "The Unknown World"), you may find yourself in the garden, on your knees, eager for a better look at the countless millions of tiny creatures that surround us every day. --Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The BBC Natural History Unit consistently turns out viewing that is extraordinary, informative and captivating - in a class of its own among natural history documentaries. Because it is always just that, well-resourced and researched documentary that is thoroughly engaging, without the imposition of named characters in recognisably 'human' narratives. These films engender inquistive respect for, not syrupy trivilisation of, the natural world. What a model Attenborough is to us. I wish I owned them all - I'm working on it. I don't even wait to see the release on TV anymore, I just trust that I'm going to be thrilled and wowed.
If you do not yet know the pleasure of viewing BBC Natural History series, any of them are fine introductions. I recently introduced my Canadian partner to "Life on Earth," who was shocked that she hadn't grown up with this quality televsion. And even though Attenborough's dress style and the filming technology is obviously dated, the story of the evolution of life is aging well. (Want a thorough and sound balance to Creationism for your kids? there it is...)
On the contrast... this collection is everything that I wanted and more. This alien world of creepy crawlers and buzzers is the coolest documentary i have seen to date! It is the same BBC quality that goes into the oceans or plains of Africa but now with all new and wonderful, sometimes nightmarish, material.
I would recommend Life in the Undergrowth to anybody that loves nature and educational T.V.
Most recent customer reviews
I think, this documentary should be shown at schools to kids and their parents as educational and absolutely stunning material!Published 7 months ago by nina
I bought this for my 9 year old son, he loves it! He has watched it over and over again. David Attenborough makes the best nature documentaries.Published 8 months ago by Jennifer
What can you say? BBC Nature with Sir David Attenborough... Amazing quality programming!Published 12 months ago by Dave
I love it! As an educator, I am able to see how clever the material engages and captures the imaginations of both young and old. Absolutely magnificent videography. Just love it!Published 13 months ago by Lisa C
3 of my 4 boys are fascinated with insects. All 4 watched this as a supplement to their nature studies. All 4 loved it. Wonderfully filmed and narrated. Great show. Read morePublished 20 months ago by HS Mom of 4 boys
Very interesting and informative documentary series. I love the lengths that these producers went to get beautiful video shots of insect colonies and habitats. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Blooparoo
I guess I didn't research this DVD enough before I bought it. I found it boring but it's probably because I don't exactly care much about insects. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lauren B.