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While the 'Cosmic Collisions' episodes featuring the Earth, Solar Systems and Galaxies is interesting enough fare, it's the 'Prehistoric Disaster' episodes included on the second disc (the series was called 'Catastrophe' in the UK) that are worth the price of admission alone.
The Prehistoric Disaster episodes lay out what happened to the Earth during its initial formation, as well as how life arose on our planet. While the episodes don't specifically go into abiogenesis, the other information is quite good. Episodes cover the Giant Impact Hypothesis, plate techtonics, the Ice Age, and how the Earth has continually changed throughout time. A very well done series; without the grandiosity and "generated drama" found in American documentaries like "The Universe", etc. Sadly, the set does not include the fifth episode of Catastrophe "Survival Earth" which would cover from the extinction of the dinosaurs up to modern day - fair warning.
I caught these initially on Netflix streaming but was so impressed by the Catastrophe series, I had to pick it up on DVD.
Granted, both documentaries use the visual FX seen in other Discovery Channel programs, but regardless, the information is presented entertainingly. Of all the episodes of both series, Snowball Earth is perhaps the most intriguing, with evidence of glaciers being present at where the equator would have been on the drifting continents. (Some think it wasn't a Snowball Earth, but a Slushball Earth. The documentary was done in 2010, so at least the info is up-to-date.)
Anyway, I bought it only for the 2nd DVD, "Prehistoric Disasters" which my kids love but is no longer available on Netflix. Like everything on the Discovery Channel it is a little overwrought. They breeze through the data, omitting necessary details, so they can get to the cool graphics. It's not bad, and I would definitely buy it again because yeah, it's pretty cool. Just be aware that it is the Cliffs Notes version, heavy on the hypotheses and light on the data.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a great collection. Just got it ,opened it and saw it, And it most certainly does have the extra dvd about the collisions throughout Earths natural history that let to all the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Classic George
Real early cosmic disasters! Good fun astronomy. And it comes with "Prehistoric Disasters" as a bonus.Published 14 months ago by Mark A Spencer
This is not the Cosmic Collisions program shown at the Museum of Natural History's Planetarium. I should have believed the prior reviewer. Read morePublished on November 3, 2010 by J. Steward