Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series
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801 of 840 found the following review helpful:
A new appreciation for the wonder that surrounds us! Show it to your children... Apr 21, 2007
"Keep Calm and Carry On."
Never have I been so moved by a series to exclaim in wonder and actually shed tears of joy at the beauty that surrounds us on this wonderful planet.
I have been watching it on Discovery HD Theater when it premiered in March. The first episode "Pole to Pole" set the tone by showing the range of life and species that exist on this planet. The subsequent episodes delve into the habitats one by one. Mountains, Fresh Water, Caves, Deserts, Ice Worlds, Great Plains, Jungles, Shallow Seas, Seasonal Forests and Deep Ocean are the subsequent episodes. This is one series that has to be seen to be believed of what the intrepid cameramen of BBC/Discovery Channel have been able to capture through their sheer perseverance in remote locations. The HD technology has captured some scenes and images never seen before and some seen before but never with this clarity and beauty. 5 years, 62 countries and 204 locations is what it took to make this series, and the result is a lifetime TV series.
This is one series that fascinated my kid as much as it amazed me. She wanted to watch her cartoons but the moment the episode began she was captivated. Both of us shared together the wonder that is our Planet and it was she who brought up the subject of what we might be doing to it by our actions. We cried when we saw how polar bears have begun to drown as ice melts faster every year. The image of one lone bear trying to walk on ice but falling into the slushy waters, and having to swim longer distances to capture food and finally dying with exhaustion was heart breaking. The series makes no references to the present conditions, just in passing as with the polar bear. I think the directors and producers of the series just wanted to show us the beauty of the natural world, the fight for survival of several animals even when there is no climactic change. And as we keep watching and are filled with awe and wonderment that we're lucky enough to live on this planet, we begin to appreciate quietly in our hearts how we need to change today to ensure that we save our planet.
That is what my daughter felt on her own, she asked me why we were not doing more to save our natural world and I did not have any good answers. The last 3 episodes, Planet Earth: The Future delve deeper into these issues, which I haven't had a chance to see yet.
I watched a clip of David Attenborough's version video on the web before I started watching the series with Sigourney Weaver's narration, and I was disappointed by her blandness and lack of depth. I bought this set like many others to listen to Sir David's narration. I was torn between the regular DVD set and the HD DVD though. This series is good enough to make me buy an HD DVD player just to be able to watch it in its true form! However, the regular set has the Future series and the Planet Earth diaries which the HD set does not have. I loved the Planet Earth Diaries (or behind the scenes) with cameramen, it made a fascinating documentary on it's own, and wished some were longer. If they had the extra material in the HD DVD set, it would have been my first choice.
I had saved the Discovery HD Theatre epidodes on my HD Cable box and I was able to compare their image quality with this Standard DVD version playing on an upconverting DVD player. The Discovery Theater images were crystal clear, and you could literally see each grain of sand on the sea bed or each crevice on a rock face. The Standard DVD looked pretty good when upconverted to 720p and if I had not seen the HD version I would have been quite amazed with the image quality. Right now I've been spoilt by the Discovery Theater version. If you're considering the HD version it's a great choice if you have an HD DVD/BluRay player. You'll probably not see a better HD disc. This series was shot completely in HD format. From my experience in the media industry I can tell you that this is a very, very expensive format to shoot in especially given the 5 years that it took to make this series. Most television is shot in a regular digital format and then upconverted to the HD format later. That gives great images but they cannot compare to something shot totally in HD. That is the reason the image quality of this series is spectacular. In HD they were able to capture the action which when replayed in slow-motion also stays crystal clear. Therefore you have breathtaking images of a shark capturing its prey (and many others) in slo-mo.
This really is the set to buy. It's like a living documentation of the beauty of our earth, some of which was starting to disappear right as the cameras were rolling. Perhaps, that is why BBC and Discovery spared no cost to produce this series and it is a masterpiece.
617 of 666 found the following review helpful:
Perfect series....with one very minor flaw Apr 01, 2007
First off, let me say Thank you to Amazon for clarifying that the great David Attenborough is the narrator for this series. No Attenborough would have meant no purchase on my part. Simply put the most amazing documentary on life and animals and the world around us that I have ever seen. The clarity is simply breathtaking(and that was on my tv brodcast which was in 720P...the HD transfers are in 1080p!!!!).A huge tahnak you to the creators and producers for doing this for people like myself and many others who care deeply about the world around us.
My one minor complaint has to do with the fact that on the HD transfers, there is absent the supplemental material that is present on the standard defintion release. There is no 110 minutes of behind the scenes footage of what took place on these excavations to these wonderous places or interviews with the people, Attenborough or anyone for that matter. The other special feature not found on either the Blu-Ray or HD-DVD transfer is Planet Earth: The Future, which is a 150 minute documentary(Shot entirely in high defintion mind you) which chronicles how the whole series was created, and how we can continue to preserve our earth so that we may continue to have wonderous documentaries like this for our children's children. Finally, amazingly there are charging the HD customers around $25 MORE for a product that has LESS content than on the standard defintion release.
Otherwise highly reccomended presentation that is extremely addictive and immeasureably sensational from the first scene to the last. Its simply amazes me the beauty of God's creations.
142 of 159 found the following review helpful:
Planet Earth is the "Titanic" of television nature documentaries! Apr 30, 2007
By Porfie Medina
"Porfie Jr. Medina"
Planet Earth was filmed on Seven continents. It took Five years and included a $25 million budget. Planet Earth is such an epic, that it earns comparisons to some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. I think High Definition Digest said it best "It's the Titanic of television nature documentaries - a work of great majesty, high ambition and huge financial risk (after all, this isn't a genre known for generating huge profits)." David Attenborough's narrates the series and does a great job at it. Planet Earth first started airing as an eleven episode series on the BBC in England late last year, and more recently on the Discovery Channel and Discovery HD here in the United States. With Planet Earth you will see beautiful landscapes of our planet, and amazing animal scenes all which will leave you either breathless, or at times put you on the edge of your seat. How some of these things were even able to be photographed by humans often makes you wonder. If you have a 1080p HD TV I highly encourage you to get the blu-ray or HD-DVD of Planet Earth. Only then will you will really appreciate the beauty of this amazing series.
I had originally purchased the blu-ray of this, but ended up also buying the DVD version of this because of all the bonus material included on it. Sadly the bonus material is not included on the blu-ray or HD-DVD versions.
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray]
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series [HD DVD]
95 of 106 found the following review helpful:
Best HD Documentary Series ever! Feb 23, 2007
By Mr. N. Collins
Having seen this series on the BBC HD Channel Here in the UK I would recommend this series to anyone that has a Interest in Documentarys and has a HD DVD player, and can safely say you havent seen anything like this before, the amount of detail the HD Cameras add to this is out of this world and the high production values make this a must have for anyone with a slight interest in the world that surronds us. Buy this and I guarentee you wont be disappointed! Its the ideal thing to show off your new HD TV and HD DVD player!
For people in the U.K as HD is region free this will play on your HD DVD player too even though this says region 1, beaware though you can only import goods upto £18 so you might have to pay duty and a Royal Mail admin charge!
372 of 430 found the following review helpful:
A very unfair rate...blame it on the industry! Jan 24, 2010
By G. Zuniga
Just in case, my 2 star rate is exclusively for the Blu-Ray product.
The Blu-Ray boxset comes with 4 discs that contains the 11 episodes that encompasses the complete series of planet earth.
If i had to rate the visual content of this series is 5 stars all the way, hands down.
As many other reviews, my discontent is the omission of special features.
I had a friend that lend me his planet earth DVD boxset and I just finished watching the bonus feature The Future which has 3 episodes: Saving Species, Into the Wilderness and Living Together each almost an hour length. In a nutshell, this amazing documentary is very informative and brings powerful ecological issues from very well educated people. Many of the concerns are going to be dealt directly by you and me, we need this education...why did they not include such an important documentary in the Blu Ray version!!
In a way I know the answer, I've seen how it works. I've been collecting movies since late 90's: I've bought DVD's that I had VHS versions before, I experienced the WB larger DVD's cases that were later changed for the standard size cases, or the "flip side" movies (first version of Goodfellas, Sleepers, A Time to Kill), the Special Editions, Limited Editions, Ultimate Editions, etc etc...believe me, I've done my share. Now seeing the same pattern in the Blu Rays discs (where "lack of space" is not an excuse) is really irritating.
It is a shame that this highly praised series (with their sophisticated message and the contribution to the appreciation/ preservation to the environment) fell in the industry abusive discipline in continuing exploiting the customers pockets...for me is somewhat contradictory to the essence of the series.
Don't be surprise when people decide to copy a special feature disc like this one, or should they sit and wait for the super mega edition boxset! Instead of spending millions in marketing for anti-piracy campaigns, concentrate in your loyal customers by making the most complete and comprehensive possible product in the original date of release.
Thanks for reading this.
UPDATE (January 27th): now that I saw the 10 minute behind the scenes on EACH episode on the DVD boxset I'm really pissed...this is amazing footage that was completely cut out from the Blu-Ray as well. Get this: these behind the scenes are an extra chapter (last chapter) within each episode which means they deliberately took them out for the blu-ray edition (as well as taking out the 5th disc - special feature the future)...que cojones man!!!
I'm sorry, I'm changing my vote to 1 star.
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