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How the Earth Was Made: Complete Season One

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Spectacular location shooting from around the world, evidence from geologists in the field, and clear, dramatic graphics combine in this stunning 13-part series to show how the immensely powerful, and at times violent, forces of geology have shaped our planet.

Investigate with HISTORYTM the origins of some of the most well-known locations and geological phenomena in the world. From the Great Lakes to Iceland, the San Andreas Fault to Krakatoa, How the Earth Was Made travels the globe to reveal the geological processes that have shaped our planet. Spectacular on-location shooting, evidence from geologists in the field, and clear, dramatic graphics combine in this stunning 13-part series to roll back the millennia and show how the immensely powerful, and at times violent, forces of geology have literally shaped the world we live in. With rocks as their clues and volcanoes, ice sheets and colliding continents as their suspects, scientists launch a forensic investigation that will help viewers visualize how the earth has evolved and formed over millions of years. Locations covered in How the Earth Was Made include Hawaii a remote island chain brought to being by the movement of super heated magma deep within the earth, to the Marianas Trench, a spot in the sea deeper than Mount Everest is high, where the ocean floor disappears into the centre of the earth.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: History
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001R60ER0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,784 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I can confirm that the aspect ratio on this set is 4:3 and the picture is letterboxed (and there are 4 disks, not 7). What a shame that this superb series would be released with such rotten visual quality when the original was broadcast in full high definition. Why on Earth would they do this? If you have an old 4:3 TV you will be happy with these, but the visual presentation on a high def TV will be a severe disappointment. The quality of information in this series is absolutely superb (unequivocal five stars) but the quality of the DVD presentation is terrible (one star) so an average of 3 stars from me. To repeat, the series itself is superb, the very best set of programs about geology I have ever seen. The information presentation is excellent and the visual presentation of the original broadcast was equally excellent and would be here also if they had just used a 16:9 aspect ratio. It is beyond understanding why they would treat this fine series in such a fashion when there was just no reason to do so.
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The plus of this series of 13 programs on 4 DVDs is that it allows scientitis to illustrate geological analyses, principles and theories in classical geological settings or in their laboratory, and integrates various appoaches in trying to resolve questions. The down side for me is that it is often too repetitive in reviewing what as presented, although this may help some remember. Also, it's sometimes too elementary and simplistic, occasioanlly presents controversial theories as generally accepted facts, and occasionally presents wrong or outdated facts or theories. Let's take a look at the specific topics, with my comments, as a nonprofessional geology enthusiast.
DVD#1
Begins with a discussion of the nature of the volcanic region of Yellowstone Park. I felt the introduction was too long and touristy;homever, eventually the nitty gritty was presented. Rock layers in the surrounding region representing ancient lava flows are shown, and evidence of volcanic ash originating from this region from CA to far to the east is discussed. Evidence of a former supervolcano that blew itsef up is presented, as well as a huge magma chamber relatively near the surface. The westward movement of the NA plate is thought to have caused the apparent eastward movement of a stationary mantle hotspot over southern Idaho to its present location, producing a series of volcanoes. The timing of several volcanic eruptions suggests we are due for another anytime within the next 100,000 years, with some ominous recent signs. Evidence is also presented of gigantic geyser explosions within the last few thousand years that dwarf present geysers...
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By William on September 20, 2009
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Has anyone seen it on these DVDs who can say whether it's widescreen or surrounded with black bars?
I have the original single episode from 2007 on one DVD in 1:33:1 from "Best of the History Channel, Vol. III 2007 Premier Collection (10 DVD Set)".
I watched the "How the Earth Was Made" series this year (2009) on the History Channel in HD widescreen. This listing now says it is 1:33:1 (I preordered it and it was sent before I knew what its aspect ratio was -amazon is often wrong in that respect, for instance: this listing says 7 discs but there are 4. No biggee.).
It's a good series, but loses its appeal in such a small picture on a large screen and zooming it causes pixelation and stretched picture (the earth, sun, etc. are oblong, people's faces are distended). The box does not say its aspect ratio at all. I returned it based on the listing here. I didn't want to open the box because of Amazon's return policy -my period of return was due and there were no reviews here.

Update April, 2011
I bought the Blu-ray -SPECTACULAR! Vivid color, audio, aspect 16:9. Worth the wait.
Will
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With a number of dangers threatening our planet, more people are keen to know about it and its origins. Understanding its origins may help us to protect it for future generations. The Earth is a constantly changing, evolving planetary body.
How the Earth Was Made steps in to fill this knowledge vacuum and does its job admirably. The visuals - both actual and graphics - look nothing short of stunning and several scientists do provide valuable insights on each site featured in the programs. My only complaint is that there is some repetition involved, but this must have been dictated by the commercial breaks on television. Still, it can be annoying when you view it through a commercially purchased DVD. I am sure that this series will be even more stunning on blu-ray.
The History Channel must be congratulated on a marathon effort that takes viewers right around the world, although there is some bias towards North America. Nevertheless, those sites (such as Great Lakes, New York) are very interesting in their own right. The programs manage to hold your attention for the full 50 minutes or so and the narration is never boring. I have not seen this series on History in this part of the world and I eagerly look forward to the second series as well. This is recommended for all those who like nature/science documentaries and for those who would like to educate their children on geology. The pricing is also just right, for nearly 12 hours of material. Granted, it is no Planet Earth, but the emphasis here is on the Earth itself, not necessarily life on it. The series wins hands down on this score. It is a documentary that demands your full attention and rightly so. Give it a spin and you would not be disappointed on any count.
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