ZOMG DOOD THIS SHOW IS TEH BEST EVAR!11!!!1!!
Sorry, a 14-year old hacked into my blog.
If you watch Discovery Channel as much as I do, you’ve no doubt been flooded with adverts for the upcoming broadcast of Planet Earth, their most ambitious (in conjunction with the BBC), and the world’s best, natural history documentary ever. It will air on both Discovery Channel and Discovery HD Theater, the latter being the best $10 a month one can spend (you get several dozen other channels as well). Tonight, we will see three of the eleven episodes.
Back in January, Discovery HD aired the first episode of the miniseries, in glorious high definition and narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Wait, Weaver? All the other BBC nature docos have been narrated by Sir David Attenborough, what happened here? No idea, they replaced him for some unknown reason, and it didn’t work so well. Sure, she can read off a page as well as anyone, but when I see nature shows, I want to hear that recognizable Brit accent telling me about penguins and sharks.
Fortunately, I imported the DVD set as soon as it was released in November of last year, completely worth it. These BBC-Discovery joint efforts have the highest production values and the images stay with you for a long time. The boundaries of cinematography are constantly pushed to the edges by these teams. You may recall Blue Planet: Seas of Life, or Life of Mammals, or Life of Birds, or Life in the Undergrowth, or Life in the Freezer. I own most of these and have lent them out to others, who often enjoy them so much they buy it for themselves or as a gift for others (I’ve done that, too).
Even though I have the region 2 DVD set, I wouldn’t mind purchasing an HD version, since the visuals are immensely more powerful in high definition. I have no HD format player, so I’ll have to wait until I get one for the HD set. An upconverting DVD player would make the DVD set I have look better, and is a worthy purchase, with my current region-free player getting flaky on playback.
If you are hearing about this program for the first time and want the DVDs, lucky for you the wait for the region 1 DVD set isn’t so bad, April 24th to be exact. Rumor is that both the Attenborough and Weaver audio track will be included. Back in November, there was no guarantee that I would get to see it on tv, so I had to spring for the import. No regrets at all, and now I get it in HD? I love Discovery Channel.
(EDIT: the Amazon page now states that the region 1 release will have the Attenborough narration, no mention of Weaver. Buy this.)