Planet Earth: The Complete Series
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Planet Earth: The Complete Collection (DVD)
As of its release in early 2007, Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. Following the similarly monumental achievement of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, this astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, shallow seas, seasonal forests, etc.) until the entire planet has been magnificently represented by the most astonishing sights and sounds you'll ever experience from the comforts of home. The premiere episode, "From Pole to Pole," serves as a primer for things to come, placing the entire series in proper context and giving a general overview of what to expect from each individual episode. Without being overtly political, the series maintains a consistent and subtle emphasis on the urgent need for ongoing conservation, best illustrated by the plight of polar bears whose very behavior is changing (to accommodate life-threatening changes in their fast-melting habitat) in the wake of global warming--a phenomenon that this series appropriately presents as scientific fact. With this harsh reality as subtext, the series proceeds to accentuate the positive, delivering a seemingly endless variety of natural wonders, from the spectacular mating displays of New Guinea's various birds of paradise to a rare encounter with Siberia's nearly-extinct Amur Leopards, of which only 30 remain in the wild.
That's just a hint of the marvels on display. Accompanied by majestic orchestral scores by George Fenton, every episode is packed with images so beautiful or so forcefully impressive (and so perfectly photographed by the BBC's tenacious high-definition camera crews) that you'll be rendered speechless by the splendor of it all. You'll see a seal struggling to out-maneuver a Great White Shark; swimming macaques in the Ganges delta; massive flocks of snow geese numbering in the hundreds of thousands; an awesome night-vision sequence of lions attacking an elephant; the Colugo (or "flying lemur"--not really a lemur!) of the Philippines; a hunting alliance of fish and snakes on Indonesia's magnificent coral reef; the bioluminescent "vampire squid" of the deep oceans... these are just a few of countless highlights, masterfully filmed from every conceivable angle, with frequent use of super-slow-motion and amazing motion-controlled time-lapse cinematography, and narrated by Attenborough with his trademark combination of observational wit and informative authority. The result is a hugely entertaining series that doesn't flinch from the predatory realities of nature (death is a constant presence, without being off-putting), and each episode ends with 10-minute "Planet Earth Diaries" (exclusive to this DVD set) that cover a specific aspect of production, like "Diving with Pirahnas" or "Into the Abyss" (the latter showing the rigors of filming the planet's most spectacular caves, including the last filming ever officially permitted in the "Chandelier Ballroom," a crystal-encrusted cavern found over a mile deep in New Mexico's treacherous Lechuguilla, the deepest cave in the continental United States.)
With so many of Earth's natural wonders on display, it's only fitting that the final DVD in this five-disc set is devoted to Planet Earth: The Future, a separate three-part series in which a global array of experts is assembled to discuss issues of conservation, protection of delicate ecosystems, and the socio-economic benefits of understanding nature as a commodity that returns trillions of dollars in value at no cost to Earth's human population. At a time when the multiple threats of global warming should be obvious to all, let's give Sir David the last word, from the closing of Planet Earth's final episode: "We can now destroy or we can cherish--the choice is ours." --Jeff ShannonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Photographic and technical wizardry aside, the mandate of this series was to show the planet and it's non-human inhabitants as they've never been seen before. In this respect, the producer, Alistair Fothergill, and his team of hundreds have far exceeded their goal. This did not come about without putting in a mammoth amount of sweat equity. In watching the 10 minute diary segements after each episode, one sees the drive and determination of the crew, sometimes up to three years of hiking and filming, to capture a few minutes of rare footage. A previous reviewer has referenced the snow leopard and shark footage, I would like to add the pirhana feeding frenzy and stork migration over Mount Everest as truly awestriking segments as well.Read more ›
One of the great things about this series is they have a segment right after each 'episode' (there are three per DVD) entitled Diaries. The viewer is given a very personal account from the photographers as to just how difficult it was to get their remarkable shots. It not only highlights the humanity of the photographers and directors but also the dedication they put into their work, and the unbelievable lengths to which they will go in order to achieve it. More often than not it is done at great physical expense as they put themselves in harm's way.
We've been avid wildlife watchers and many of the scenes within this set have never been captured and viewed before. The flow of each 'episode' is remarkable. Attenborough comes through again as he narrates each segment with dignity and aplomb. We highly recommend this series.
The ultra high speed cameras used for Planet Earth capture footage with such clarity it is unbelievable. The shark footage alone is worth it. The high definition filming is amazing because they can film from so far away you see animals going about their daily lives undisturbed. This DVD should be shown in every school around the world, it would capture the young students attention and show them the beauty of our planet as they have never seen before and show them why we must protect our environment.
The only question I have is why does the product description mention a 5 disc set when the product image clearly states 4 disc set, like the one I own. Was there a re-release of this product?
Where is the fifth disc? Where are those 10 minute behind the scenes clips for each episode? I don't have any of that on mine. In fact my version is bare-bones episodes, no special features. For my first blue-ray purchase that's a little disappointing. My friend has the regular dvd's and they do have all the special features and extras...
Why would the blue-ray version have less?
Most recent customer reviews
Most powerful video I have watched in a long while. Great for kids also to learn all about so many different educational things on the video. Read morePublished 10 days ago by ron Lalonde
This series was fantastic! There is such great video and interesting commentary on so many different places around the world, many that the grand majority of us will never get to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Binky
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