Leopard is one of a series of BBC Wildlife Specials. Each film is a masterpiece of expertise and innovation: award-winning cameramen using revolutionary filming techniques backed by the latest scientific research and each features one of nature's superstars revealing aspects of its life that have never been seen before. The leopard is the least known of all Africa's big cats. Until now the leopard an animal of the night has been virtually impossible to observe. Using state-o
State of the Planet is long overdue. The BBC's Natural History Unit has finally delivered a hard-hitting documentary series on the extinction crisis many scientists believe is beginning to threaten the integrity of the entire biosphere. The combination of stunning camerawork, glossy production, David Attenborough's inspirational whispering narration and subject matter of the greatest and most urgent import makes State of the Planet riveting and required viewing. The three programmes cover the scientific understanding of the crisis, the extent to which humans are implicated in the wave of extinctions currently sweeping across our planet, and the ways in which we might slow or halt the current precipitous decline in Earth's biodiversity. In brief, the conclusions are that we know astonishingly little about the diversity of life on Earth, that our species is implicated at every level in precipitating this, the "sixth great mass extinction", and that we are only just beginning to see possible ways out of the environmental mess that we have created. Viewing the second programme (our malfeasance) directly before the third (our attempts at remediation) makes it abundantly clear that we have a very long way to go. The participation in the series of some of the world's leading authorities on biodiversity and extinction--Ed Wilson, Terry Erwin, Sylvia Earle, Sir Robert May--adds considerable gravity to Attenborough's already weighty presentation. However, the programmes would have been much improved had the experts been allotted more than the odd sound-bite. And why only three programmes on such an important and urgent issue? Even the terrifically expensive and time-consuming Walking with Dinosaurs got six. More of the serious stuff, please. --Chris Lavers
Series of 7 programmes which relate masterpieces of the world's tribal art to the people and places that produced. David Attenborough visits a cliff-dwelling tribe in the Mali desert, investigates the sadly vanishing culture of the North West American Indian tribes, explores the wealth and culture of the Aztecs and Incas of Central and South America and looks at the remarkable sculptures created by the bus people in the New Hebrides.
On the coast of Christmas Island a beach is painted crimson by the bodies of a million scarlet crabs all choosing the same moment to lay their eggs in the sea. In East Africa an elephant calf is born and the females in the herd crowd around the newcomer collaborating in looking after their young. On a Patagonian beach sea-lions lounge in supposed safety as a tall wave concealing the huge presence of a killer whale thunders towards the shore. Following the extraordinary se
On the coast of Christmas Island a beach is painted crimson by the bodies of a million scarlet crabs, all choosing the same moment to lay their eggs in the sea. In East Africa an elephant calf is born and the females in the herd crowd around the newcomer, collaborating in looking after their young. On a Patagonian beach sea-lions lounge in supposed safety as a tall wave, concealing the huge presence of a killer whale, thunders towards the shore. Following the extraordinary series 'Li...
It' time to meet our 47 million year old ancestor... Millions of years ago a little girl was born. Now she's about to change the world. Kept secret for over two years Ida as she is known to the researchers who have painstakingly verified her provenance is the most complete early primate fossil ever found. It's a discovery Darwin would have killed for. With exclusive access to the first scientists to study her this unprecedented documentary tells the history of Ida and her place in the world. The Link offers a wide-ranging investigation into Ida and our earliest origins - and the magnificent cutting-edge scientific detective story that followed her discovery. At the same time it opens a stunningly evocative window into our past and changes what we know about primate evolution and ultimately our own. This film will challenge your idea of what it is to be human.
Snakes are traditionally thought of as predictably scaly slithery primitive and an enemy of man. But the truth is they have a range of behaviour more bizarre and astonishing than almost any other group of animals. One of the most successful species on earth it is also one of the least documented. Miniaturised cameras reveal the snakes' world for the first time from their point of view. Head-mounted cameras capture gripping images of the world's most dangerous snakes hunting and ove
The critically acclaimed documentary When Bj rk Met Attenborough will be released on DVD and Blu-ray via One Little Indian. Originally screened in the UK on Channel 4, When Bj rk Met Attenborough follows Bj rk and Attenborough as they investigate and discuss the connection which exists between music and nature. Narrated by Tilda Swinton and inspired by Bj rk's technological project 'Biophilia', which Attenborough provided a spoken introduction for, the film is a unique encounte.
In 1979 David Attenborough presented Life on Earth, the first wildlife blockbuster series, a chronicle of three-and-a-half billion years of natural history. The Living Planet followed five years later, an equally ambitious 12-part documentary which spanned the globe with portraits of each of the major geographical regions which offer home to life. Attenborough demonstrates how even in the most hostile of environments, from the volcanic "Furnaces of the Earth" to "The Frozen World" of mountains and tundra, the Arctic and Antarctic, live maintains a foothold. He takes us to "The Northern Forests", the "Jungle", "Seas of Grass" and "The Baking Deserts", and ever the genial host, details how in all its endless diversity, life is ingeniously suited to its surroundings. With breathtaking imagery we meet our fellow inhabitants, from penguins to polar bears, lions to scorpions, oaks to eagles, and journey on to "The Open Ocean" and the "New Worlds" which mankind itself is rapidly fashioning through ever more radical technological change. The series ends with an impassioned environmental plea which rings even more urgent now than in 1984. The Trials of Life (1990) and The Private Life of Plants (1994) further detail The Living Planet. --Gary S. Dalkin
This release is a collection of the one-off programmes that the mercurial Sir David Attenborough has recorded over his first 50 years in broadcasting. Episodes Include: 1. Attenborough In Paradise - Broadcast 08/04/1996 2. The Lost Gods Of Easter Island - Broadcast 24/04/2000 3. The Amber Time Machine - Broadcast 15/02/2004 4. Bowerbirds: The Art Of Seduction - Broadcast 17/12/2000 5. The Song Of The Earth- Broadcast 23/12/2000 6. A Blank On The Map - Broadcast 29/12/197
Planet Earth & Life Box Set
Sir David Attenborough reviews the history of mankind's relationship with the natural world in the lands around the Mediterranean.
Titles comprise: Life: This ten-part natural history blockbuster shot in HD is the definitive exploration of the diversity of life on Earth revealing the most spectacular and fascinating behaviour driven by the endless struggle to survive. Life stars a cast of 'box-office' wildlife characters filmed on every continent and in every habitat across the world with each drama-filled episode entirely dedicated to one of the planet's ten most important wildlife groups. Planet Earth: Four years in production over 2000 days in the field using 71 cameramen filming across 204 locations in 62 countries this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that combines rare action unimaginable scale impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved wildest and most elusive creatures.
At one and a half times the size of the United States, it has a year round population of only 800 people. Three quarters of the world's fresh water envelops it in a layer of ice so thick it conceals mountain ranges as vast as the Alps. And with temperatures seventy degrees below zero centigrade and winds of up to 120 mph, Antartica is the coldest, loneliest place on Earth. But it is also a place of majestic beauty which can support astonishingly rich and varied forms of wildlife. Presented b...
School for Secrets tells the inside story of the 'Boffins' - Britain's backroom boys - who developed the miracle discovery of radar and helped stave off the German invasion of Britain in 1940. Five different scientists led by Professor Heatherville (Ralph Richardson) are brought together and work in total secrecy and under incredible pressure in a race against time to develop this vital weapon. Their dedication disrupts their family lives as they are forced to sacrifice everything to make the great breakthrough. Their success is illustrated by the effect Radar has on the fighting abilities of the RAF over the skies of Britain in those crucial summer and autumn months of 1940. However Germany is also planning its own Radar capability and British commandos must be despatched to strike at a vital Nazi installation Written produced and directed by Peter Ustinov and boasting a distinguished supporting cast including Richard Attenborough David Tomlinson and John Laurie this film celebrates one of Britain's greatest wartime achievements.
An epic, eight-part series that took five years to complete, The Blue Planet firmly re-establishes the BBC as the world's pre-eminent producer of top quality nature documentaries. Exploring every aspect of marine ecosystems, from coastal marshes to deep-sea trenches and from polar waters to tropical reefs, The Blue Planet is thorough and informative, yet never less than thrilling. Sir David Attenborough is one of the most well-respected (and well-known) personalities in the field of nature programmes and his narration is flawless as he educates and inspires without patronising his audience or anthropomorphising his subjects. Spectacular camera work (of a standard not seen since the BBC's classic Life on Earth series) captures images of a fascinating world rarely seen by human eyes--in fact, in several instances, the subjects and behaviours filmed for this series have never been witnessed before, let alone caught on camera. This is particularly apparent on the series highlight, "The Deep" (Programme 2), where film crews discovered two new species in the depths of the ocean: a grotesque fish named the Hairy Angler and a fantastic, pink octopus-like creature, which is so new that it remains unnamed (but was nicknamed "Dumbo"). Both are testament to the fact that, although oceans cover two-thirds of the Earth, we know less about them than we do the moon. It is proof that, to us land-dwellers, much of our Blue Planet is alien indeed. A handsomely illustrated companion book is also available. -- Robert Burrow
Badgers are loved by some and hated by others. Yet few people have ever seen one alive. So how does the badger maintain its secret life? This film follows a badger family throughout the year from the birth of their tiny cubs deep underground to their spring emergence discovery of summer scenery and encounters with people and wild neighbours. Set against the idyll of country life on a working farm this film uncovers the dark and light side of the badger as never seen before. What is revealed is a surprising entertaining and moving account of the country's most respected and endlessly watchable wild inhabitant
Series of 7 programmes which relate masterpieces of the world's tribal art to the people and places that produced. David Attenborough visits a cliff-dwelling tribe in the Mali desert investigates the sadly vanishing culture of the North West American Indian tribes explores the wealth and culture of the Aztecs and Incas of Central and South America and looks at the remarkable sculptures created by the bus people in the New Hebrides.
Two masterpieces of British cinema are paired here--Powell and Pressburger's first Technicolor triumph, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and their even more ambitious A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Both pictures are transcendent examples of the filmmakers' craft, and remain models of great cinema long after their original wartime propaganda brief has expired. Based on a famously satirical cartoon strip that mocked outmoded attitudes of fair play at a time of "total war", Blimp subsequently became notorious as the film Churchill tried to have banned. Because the War Office objected to the screenplay, they refused to allow P&P's first choice for the role, Laurence Olivier, and the duo cast unknown stage actor Roger Livesey in his place. It is Livesey's sympathetic performance that transforms Clive "Sugar" Candy from an object of satire to one of warm affection, effectively reversing the film's intended message about old-fashioned decency versus wartime pragmatism. Anton Walbrook is a profound presence in a role that mirrored the actor's own plight as a German in Britain, while Deborah Kerr is a living leitmotif in the film, playing no fewer than three distinct but deliberately related roles. Briefed by the Ministry of Information to make a film that would foster Anglo-American relations in the post-war period, the duo, known as "the Archers", came up with A Matter of Life and Death, an extravagant and extraordinary fantasy in which David Niven's downed pilot must justify his continuing existence to a heavenly panel because he has made the mistake of falling in love with an American girl (Kim Hunter) when he really should have been dead. National stereotypes are lampooned as the angelic judges squabble over his fate. In a neat reversal of expectations, the heaven sequences are black and white, while earth is seen in Technicolor. Daring cinematography mixes monochrome and colour, incorporates time-lapse images, and even toys with background "time freezes" 50 years before The Matrix. Roger Livesey and Raymond Massey lead the fine supporting cast. On the DVD: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and A Matter of Life and Death are presented in reasonably sharp 4:3 ratio with good mono sound. Blimp comes with a 25-minute documentary feature that tells us nothing revelatory about making the film, but has good new interviews with cinematographer Jack Cardiff (then an apprentice) and eloquent admirer Stephen Fry. Text biographies and stills are also included. Life and Death has no extras. --Mark Walker
Over the course of three episodes, David works with experts to ask whether nature really is in a crisis of species extinction, to examine why has this come about and finally to understand what options for the future remain open to us. His quest takes him on a truly global trail, from Kenya to Ecuador, from the Philippines and the Maldives to Easter Island, and from South Africa to California - visiting habitats of threatened species and exploring ways in which life can be sustained for the fu...
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