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Natural History

  • Walking With Dinosaurs [1999] Walking With Dinosaurs | DVD | (15/05/2000) from £5.49  |  Saving you £19.50 (78.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Walking with Dinosaurs, which must have surprised even its makers by reaching the viewing figures usually reserved for royal weddings, was the undoubted television event of 1999. (The companion book and soundtrack album became bestsellers, too.) Extending the computer animation techniques developed for Jurassic Park (1993) these six 30-minute programmes, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, became the first blockbuster special-effects documentary. Here was natural history with a difference, recreating "the lost world" of the Cretaceous and Mesozoic with modern technology, the remarkable visuals enabling the programme-makers to show what life may have been like during the estimated 160 million years "when dinosaurs ruled the Earth". As well as the dinosaurs, the series investigates the plants, insects, climate and geography of the distant past, and considers the mystery of why the creatures became extinct so suddenly. There has been some argument over how much is scientific fact, and how much is entertaining speculation--after all, Life on Earth (1978) and The Living Planet (1984) had the advantage of living subjects to film--but for the moment this series must stand as the definitive visual chronicle of the life and times of the fascinating "terrible lizards". A year later the BBC followed this with the surprisingly sympathetic The Ballad of Big Al (about a youthful Allosaurus), before the equally ambitious, and equally enthralling Walking with Beasts (2001). On the DVD: Those interested in special effects techniques will appreciate the inclusion of a 50-minute "making of" documentary (which is also on the VHS). There's also an informative director's commentary, plus some behind-the-scenes picture sequences and additional graphics. The sound is vivid Dolby stereo and the picture is anamorphic 16:9 widescreen.--Gary S Dalkin

  • The Secret Life of Elephants The Secret Life of Elephants | DVD | (09/02/2009) from £5.99  |  Saving you £14.00 (70.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A series of three programmes revealing the emotional and dramatic lives of elephants in Kenya's Samburu reserve.

  • Ocean Odyssey [2006] Ocean Odyssey | DVD | (07/08/2006) from £15.03  |  Saving you £0.96 (6.00%)  |  RRP £15.99

    From the Walking With... team comes this fantastic new programme looking at what lurks deep in the world's oceans. Representing the majority of our planet's surface extreme pressure and perpetual darkness mean that Earth's final frontier has only been seen through torchlight - until now. Seen through the eyes of a Sperm Whale from infancy to death the marinescape comes vividly to life: the impossibly deep canyons the underwater volcanoes and the spectacular mountain ranges.

  • Nature's Fury Nature's Fury | DVD | (01/01/2009) from £8.49  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Understanding our planet's destructive power

  • Walking With Beasts - The Complete Series [2001] Walking With Beasts - The Complete Series | DVD | (08/04/2002) from £5.99  |  Saving you £19.00 (76.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Walking With Beasts is an introduction to the animals (predominantly mammals) that roamed the earth from the extinction of the dinosaurs until the rise of early humans. The sequel to the BBC’s acclaimed and highly successful series Walking With Dinosaurs, Beasts also uses a combination of clever special effects and computer-generated imagery to create a realistic world as it may have appeared millions of years ago. As to be expected from any BBC nature programme, the images are visually stunning; the prehistoric animals look impressively lifelike, interacting seamlessly with each other and their environment to create an entire world that could have been photographed only yesterday. Best of all is Episode 2, "Whale Killer", which follows a female Basilosaurus, an enormous ancient predatory whale, as she travels through shallow seas and along coastlines--the underwater images could have just as easily originated in the BBC’s spectacular Blue Planet series. It’s unfortunate, therefore, that Walking With Beasts is let down by its script and the often dubious science therein. Episode 3, "The Land of Giants", begins with an anthropomorphic statement better suited to a Disney film than a scientific documentary, referring to the featured animals as "The good [a herbivore or plant-eating animal], the bad [a carnivore or flesh-eating animal] and the ugly [a giant warthog which is, admittedly, pretty ugly]." Still, Walking With Beasts has a host of little touches and flourishes that add to the feeling of realism (the animals knock over the cameras, pebbles hit the lens), which make this programme a success as a piece of pure entertainment and prehistoric escapism. A companion book and soundtrack CD is also available. --Ted Kord

  • Wild Africa Wild Africa | DVD | (18/07/2005) from £5.69  |  Saving you £14.30 (71.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Africa is the mother continent - the core from which all the other continents were torn away 270 million years ago. Since then three factors have had profound consequences on its wildlife. This mighty block of land has stayed in much the same place it stands alone and it straddles the equator. It's also been protected from crippling ice ages and destructive invasions as well as nurtured by gentle changes in climate and geology. Time is the key to the series. Influenced by climate a

  • Earth Story Earth Story | DVD | (07/08/2006) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Heralding the new age of digital television this masterful BBC documentary was one of the first major programmes to usher in the new era back in 1998. Aubrey Manning takes viewers on a voyage of discovery across our very own planet and the wonders within. Earth Story unravels the secrets of our planet and brings it alive. The series took three years to make cost 3 million and was filmed all over the world from the craters of active volcanoes to the ocean floor. Where th

  • Wild Weather [2002] Wild Weather | DVD | (02/12/2002) from £5.49  |  Saving you £14.50 (72.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Wild Weather is a major BBC documentary exploring the extremes of the world's climate with the engaging presenter Donal MacIntyre. The four one-hour programmes focus on wind, wet, cold and heat, and explore how these produce hurricanes, monsoons, ice storms and tornadoes, as well as regulate the global environment. MacIntyre, best known for his investigative series MacIntyre Undercover (1999), travels the world, from beneath the North Pole to the saturated humidity of the Belise tropical rainforest. Bringing to mind the daredevil John Noakes from 1970s Blue Peter, MacIntyre skydives, is battered by a wild tunnel, frozen in an ice-box, subjected to a reservoir flood and endures a marathon across the Sahara. Survivors' accounts tell the stories of such disasters as Hurricane Andrew, a New York state snow storm and the flood of Britain's eastern coast in 1953. The intelligent use of computer graphics enhances clear explanations of the jet stream, ocean currents and other phenomena, in a series which is part geography lesson (but with a great teacher), part reality TV entertainment show. Occasional flash-cut editing and some inappropriate techno/drum & bass on the soundtrack will irritate viewers who remember life before MTV, but otherwise this is an excellent mainstream documentary series. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Once Upon A Time - Season 2 [DVD] Once Upon A Time - Season 2 | DVD | (18/11/2013) from £9.50  |  Saving you £19.00 (61.30%)  |  RRP £30.99

    The curse is broken magic has arrived and there's no telling what - or who - will be unleashed! Now the exiled fairy tale characters must grapple with a flood of awakened memories as they come to grips with their new 'reality.' Old loyalties will be tested new heroes will emerge and vengeful villains will wreak havoc. Amidst the backdrop of previously unexplored lands and a newly magical Storybrooke love and sacrifice will set the stage for the ultimate battle between good and evil. Special Features: Audio Commentary: View Broken With Commentary by Actors Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas View Queen of Hearts With Commentary by Co-Creators and Executive Producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and Actor Lana Parrilla View Manhattan With Commentary by Co-Creators and Executive Producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and Actor Robert Carlyle View Welcome to Storybrooke With Commentary by Writers Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss View And Straight On 'Til Morning With Commentary by Co-Executive Producer David H. Goodman and Actor Colin O'Donoghue Featurette: Good Morning Storybrooke Wake up with Storybrooke's favourite morning show Sincerely Hook The Style of Storytelling Our building character series continues as we look into the development of Storybrooke's favourite Pirate Killian Jones aka Captain Hook Girl Power A high impact look at all of the girls on Once Upon A Time who kick-ass in whatever world they are in Gag Reel: Fairest Bloopers of Them All

  • Wild Down Under Wild Down Under | DVD | (27/10/2003) from £4.49  |  Saving you £15.50 (77.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Wild Down Under' is the BBC's key natural history series this Autumn presenting an astonishing mix of the surprising and the deadly. Narrated by Matt Day each episode is a detective story delving into Australasia's hidden secrets to explain why it is one of the world's truly great melting pots for both people and wildlife. It is home to giant birds that can't fly and possums that do; platypuses that detect food by electricity; plus many more fascinating creatures.

  • Shark Water Shark Water | DVD | (19/05/2008) from £7.97  |  Saving you £8.02 (50.20%)  |  RRP £15.99

    For filmmaker Rob Stewart exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning high definition video Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala resulting in pirate boat rammings gunboat chases mafia espionage corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart's remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world's sharks into a fight for his life and that of humankind.

  • Hebrides - Islands on the Edge [DVD] Hebrides - Islands on the Edge | DVD | (05/08/2013) from £7.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (46.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    Scotland's Hebrides are Europe's final frontier against the wild and unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. This landmark wildlife series, is narrated by Ewan McGregor and shot in breathtaking HD. The series introduces an unforgettable wild animal cast struggling to survive, on these magical islands. In the course of a wild year, we meet otters, dolphins, eagles, seals and many other charismatic creatures filmed by some of the greatest wildlife camera talent in the world. Compelling story-telling co...

  • The Ascent Of Man The Ascent Of Man | DVD | (18/04/2005) from £15.69  |  Saving you £36.30 (69.80%)  |  RRP £51.99

    Dr Jacob Bronowski traces the history of mankind's cultural development from primitive times to the present day.

  • British Isles: A Natural History British Isles: A Natural History | DVD | (29/11/2004) from £8.59  |  Saving you £16.40 (65.60%)  |  RRP £24.99

    The BBC's latest lavish natural history series, The British Isles: A Natural History stirred a minor controversy when first aired because its presenter, the ever-affable Alan Titchmarsh, is better known as a gardener (and writer of saucy novels), not an expert on mineralogy, plate tectonics, or prehistoric flora and fauna. Until this programme the presumption had been that a multi-part flagship BBC documentary would be written and presented by an authoritative figure, David Attenborough or Simon Schama for example. For better or worse Titchmarsh has broken the mould. In fact, once past the glossily superficial opening chapter "3 Billion Years in the Making" (essentially a highlights programme of what is to come), Titchmarsh turns out to be an excellent host, addressing the audience in his familiar chatty way and cleverly exploiting his horticultural roots, noting for example how evidence of major geological changes can be found in the most humble plant, wildflower or weed. And unlike his more academic predecessors, he also uses his TV charisma to the full, finding lighthearted ways of imparting otherwise dry information: sampling malt whiskies to explain how water permeates through different types of rock; scoffing platefuls of clotted cream with jam and scones to show how desert conditions millions of years ago gave Devon its fertile soil; or even getting made up as a Neanderthal and strolling down Oxford Street. It's all far more cosy than Attenborough. The director of this eight-part series has clearly been watching Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, as he never misses an opportunity for sweeping helicopter shots of snowy mountain peaks, rugged coastlines or glacial valleys. Combined with some neat computer graphics, the result makes ideal consumption for Sunday evening TV: easy on the eye and none too taxing on the brain, but informative enough to banish any fears of dumbing-down. --Mark Walker

  • Earth: The Power of the Planet Earth: The Power of the Planet | DVD | (14/01/2008) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This landmark series uses specialist imaging and compelling narrative to tell the life story of our planet how it works and what makes it so special. Examining the great forces that shape the Earth - volcanoes the ocean the atmosphere and ice - the programme explores their central roles in our planet's story. How do these forces affect the Earth's landscape its climate and its history? CGI gives the audience a ringside seat at these great events while the final episode brings together all the themes of the series and argues that Earth is an exceptionally rare kind of planet - giving us a special responsibility to look after our unique world. This is a series that shows the Earth in new and surprising ways. Extensive use of satellite imagery reveals new views of our planet while timelapse filmed over many months brings the planet to life. Offering a balance between dramatic visuals and illuminating facts this ground-breaking series makes global science truly compelling.

  • Nature's Great Events Nature's Great Events | DVD | (16/03/2009) from £4.00  |  Saving you £18.00 (72.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Nature's Great Event (2 Disc)

  • Johnny Kingdom A Year On Exmoor [2008] Johnny Kingdom A Year On Exmoor | DVD | (28/01/2008) from £9.99  |  Saving you £-7.97 (-61.40%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Johnny Kingdom is a gravedigger. That's his day job but when he's not digging graves he's roaming the Exmoor countryside with his video camera in-hand filming the wildlife and people of the moor. A Year on Exmoor is a 10 part series shown on BBC2 in October '06 and is released to co-incide with Johnny's new series Johnny's New Kingdom.

  • Hebrides - Islands on the Edge [Blu-ray] Hebrides - Islands on the Edge | Blu Ray | (05/08/2013) from £7.99  |  Saving you £9.00 (53.00%)  |  RRP £16.99

    Scotland's Hebrides are Europe's final frontier against the wild and unpredictable Atlantic Ocean. This landmark wildlife series, is narrated by Ewan McGregor and shot in breathtaking HD. The series introduces an unforgettable wild animal cast struggling to survive, on these magical islands. In the course of a wild year, we meet otters, dolphins, eagles, seals and many other charismatic creatures filmed by some of the greatest wildlife camera talent in the world. Compelling story-telling co...

  • Big Cat Week - Series 3 Big Cat Week - Series 3 | DVD | (07/05/2007) from £3.49  |  Saving you £9.50 (73.10%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The team returns to the magnificent Masi Mara in search of old friends and new stars of the BBC's fantastic third series of Big Cat Week.

  • The Body [DVD] The Body | DVD | (07/10/2013) from £6.99  |  Saving you £3.00 (30.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Made in 1970, this remarkable study of the human body is neither scientific nor medical; it is, rather, a deeply intimate feature-length film exploring the physical experience of being human. Narrated by Vanessa Redgrave and Frank Finlay with a commentary by poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell, <i>The Body</i> traces the human life-cycle from conception to death. Photographic techniques never seen by cinema audiences at the time of release - including the use of internal cameras - allow an u...

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