Wednesday, January 16, 2008

BBC Planet Earth

I got my hubby, who loves documentaries, the complete BBC Planet Earth series for Christmas. I, too, enjoy the odd documentary, but I won't drop everything to watch one. In fact, part of me bought the series for him to ease my guilt over ditching him and the television every night in favor of reading or writing.

Well - this series has totally captivated all of us - my eight year, too. Before I go any further, let me start by saying - WOW - GO BUY THIS. It's hands-down the best $54.00 I ever spent. Hours and hours of the most incredible footage I've ever seen. Simply stunning.

I've been subscribing to National Geographic for over 15 years and can't help feeling cheated!

This 5-disc compilation, narrated by the venerable David Attenborough, has shown me more about the world, introduced me to animals I'd never before seen or heard of (and I used to work in a zoo!!) and environments I never knew existed.

According to the back blurb, it was 5 years in the making, with over 2000 hours in the field. Each 'segment' (jungles, shallow ocean, seasonal forests, caves - my personal fave, pole-to-pole, rivers, etc...) is one hour long, followed by a 10 minute segment called Planet Earth Diaries, where they give you some insight into how they got some of the amazing footage. What these people go through for a single stunning shot is really incredible.

Days and days and days of sitting in bird blinds in a hot sticky rainforest for a 30 second shot of a bird-of-paradise displaying for a female (totally worth it, btw) makes me shake my head in awe at these dedicated crews. Or trekking for 10 days into a cave system to film the stunning Lecheguilla (sp?) with its white crystals - I'm still breathless over that one.

I really could go on and on about it -- just ask my sister who had to listen to me wax endless on the phone last night -- but I'll spare you and just say again - GO BUY THIS SERIES. NOW.

You will not be disappointed, in fact, you will be sending me accolades! ;)


M. said...

one of my husband's patients gave him this as a thank you - and we had the same reaction. breathtaking. we just fast-forward some of the carnivore chases at the strategic moment for the sake of young eyes that can't handle full-frontal nature all the time...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

When we were in Yellowstone, we met a nature photographer. One of those sorts who sits and waits for that 3-second shot of something.

Really cool people, they are. Doing massively important work, too.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I watched Planet Earth, and it's a spectacular series -- so neat that you bought it on DVD! It's amazing, mind boggling, astounding... oh, I could go on, but I'd sound like a thesaurus, LOL! :-D

Amy Ruttan said...

I would go get it but DH would seriously kill (because of price), but maybe I should just buy it and hypnotize him with the stunningness, then he wouldn't complain so much huh???

:D I am eeeevil like fruitz of the deeevil, eeeevil.

Anonymous said...

I bought this for my nephew. I've seen bits of it, but not the whole thing. The photography is stunning. I may have to borrow it from him.

Wylie Kinson said...

Kristy - yes, I highly recommend stealing it *ahem* BORROWING it from your nephew.

Amy - It's well worth owning, but if hubby still has reservations, I'm happy to lend you our copy for a month!

TL - I feel the same, but I can't find the words to express just how amazing it really is.

SHG - they certainly have my admiration!

m. - cool gift idea! And my 8 year old was surprisingly philosophical about the carnivorous scenes. Despite me yelling - 'Don't watch, look away!! EWWW!!!' - he calmly explained, 'Relax Mom, that's how nature works.'

Vicky said...

:) It's sounds awesome, but leave it to me to get stuck on the part about you working at the zoo! :)

I worked at the zoo for 5 years and I've watched amazing documentaries... and animals are always more interesting on those documentaries... they speed up to the exciting parts! I remember rushing to the Koala exibit when we go them here at the toronto zoo... and I was extremely dissapointed! You can barely see them because they don't even move!!! Leave it to a documentary to make them seem soooo exciting. :)

julia said...

Thanks for the shout out for 'Planet Earth'. As soon as Brad gets back to Blockbuster I'll ask him to bring it home so I can watch it. I too admire the film crews who push the limits for incredible footage. It becomes a personal challenge for them, like a marathoner. And for the rest of us, it's truly a gift to the whole human race.

Nicholas said...

You cxan't go wrong with David Attenborough.

Anonymous said...

I was so impressed by your description I bought it. Good price at DVD Byte. My poor husband is wearing Animal Planet out during those afternoon writing sessions.
Thanks for the tip.