Industrial Deals HPC Best Books of the Year Holiday Dress Guide nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc For a limited time. 3 months for $0.99. Amazon Music Unlimited. New subscribers only. Terms and conditions apply. Electronics Gift Guide $54.99 for a limited time only Handmade Gift Shop Holiday Home Gift Guide Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon MMM MMM MMM  Echo Devices starting at $29.99 Save $30 on All-New Fire HD 8. Limited-time offer. $20 off Kindle Paperwhite Shop Now HTL17_gno

on April 4, 2013
George Fenton's terrific score anchors this spectacular BBC documentary from the same creative team that would later produce "Planet Earth," including host David Attenborough and producer Alastair Fothergill. BBC's 1080p transfer of their acclaimed 2001 "Blue Planet" mini-series still offers breathtaking footage of life under and just above the surface, from dolphins and killer whales to seal pups and baby turtles - the latter groups fighting to stay away from predators.

However, because the BBC's Blu-Ray presentation has been mastered from a standard-definition source (and is clearly stated as such on the back cover, albeit in tiny print), the upscaled presentation varies greatly from certain sequences that nearly look HD in quality (the film based portions), to others that are clearly derived off video elements and display jaggies and other issues (i.e. much of the underwater footage). Either way, none of the transfer is actually presented in high-def -- so consumers will have to determine for themselves whether this upscale is enough of an upgrade over the prior DVD release to justify the purchase (I don't have the DVD to compare it with). Five bonus programs, interviews with Fothergill and other crew members, 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and DTS MA 5.1 soundtracks round out the release.

ADDITIONAL NOTES - There seems to be a misconception that BLUE PLANET was entirely filmed on 16mm film stock. I refer readers to this 2002 in-depth article on the production of BLUE PLANET and its HD mastering, which includes interviews with the producers and presents evidence to the contrary:


It clearly states "the source material varied from a wide range of film and video formats," says that "a significant percentage of the original material was shot on video," and goes onto state "having so much video footage interspersed with the film footage was a change that presented a particular challenge in providing a seamless transfer to HD."

So not all of it was shot on film stock. Underwater portions, which I mentioned were derived from a video source, is also confirmed in this article: "however, for many of the underwater sequences it was important to give a sense of speed, so video running at 50i was more appropriate. Shooting video underwater is also easier because the cameras are smaller, and you can spend more time filming before you have to change rolls". There are jaggies and other problems all throughout this transfer IN those moments that are derived not from 16mm but video sources -- clearly upconversion artifacts.

Perhaps it was too daunting a task for them to track down every last bit of footage and remaster it for HD. The author of the article even asks the BBC rep why the whole production "wasn't shot in HD to begin with," which implies that not every scrap of footage was either shot on film or an HD-based video format. Keep in mind this production was filmed in the late '90s when it was not cost-prohibitive for crews to all be carrying HD cameras around (which is also stated in the article).

Either way, the fact is that this transfer -- all of it, including the film based portions -- is a standard-def upconvert, and is confirmed as such on the packaging itself.
1515 comments| 176 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 1, 2017
Great product and service love it
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 14, 2017
Another great BBC documentary.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 15, 2017
Love this collection!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 26, 2017
I had watch parts of this before and enjoyed it very much. The BBC just does an outstanding technical job of recording these and David Attenborough cannot be outdone in his narration. I know when I see his name that the production will be excellent. I don't know of any of these that Amazon has that I do not.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 27, 2017
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 24, 2007
Nature shows used to be half-hour or one hour self-contained episodes that dealt with one specific organism or group of organisms. Then came cable TV with the likes of Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and A&E. Now, with a paying audience, film makers could splurge and create extended serials on whole ecosystems. One of the most dramatic examples is The Blue Planet from BBC and distributed by Warner Brothers. Now released in a 4-disc DVD set, it comprises eight 50-minute episodes, each of which examines one specific aspect of the world's oceans. Each episode is narrated by Sir Richard Attenborough, and is comprised solely of footage of wildlife; no cut-aways to interviews in a studio, and no intervening video of computer simulations. Every second of footage is beautiful nature.

The 8 episodes cover the coasts, polar regions, deep sea, coral reefs, islands, open ocean, and mangrove swamps. Various organims such as fish, marine mammals, crustaceans, echinoderms and medusa are shown. Footage is provided in both day and night, offering views of how the ocean is a 24-hr city of life.

All in all, a great documentary series and worth the money to buy it.
11 comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 7, 2004
the camera work is phenomenal and is generally edited very well -- in the behind the scenes extra you see how much inactivity the crew had to sit through to get the final footage.
David Attenborough is his usual self, soft spoken and easy to understand while being informative.
the series as noted deals with different segments of the ocean from the beginning Ocean World (a general overview) to the Coasts (as he saids, the most dynamic) and i suspect if you have even a remote interest in marine life there is something in this series for you.
my favorite is disk two with Open Ocean and The Deep; not coincidently, i find these two to be have the best cinematography. the images of marlins and tunas exploding through a huge tightly packed school is remarkable until hear Attenborough announces 'they have attracted a giant' and a whale materializes out of the blue depths.
this entire series is shot in enhanced resolution so most of the footage is very sharp -- but none more so than in The Deep (with the black background and the lack of suspended particles); it seems unreal in clarity. deep water footage is harder to get due to the specialized equiptment necessary to withstand the immense pressure so i shouldn't have been surprised to see something completely new... Attenborough takes you to what looks to be underwater lake -- it's water of the highest salinity and is denser than surrounding waters so it kind of collects like a lake -- this is described in greater detail in one of the behind the scenes features. just astonishing.
i've watched this series several times and really enjoyed each time; with the exception of Ken Burn's Civil War, i have never been so impressed a documentary series.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 23, 2013
I have been looking for videos of oceanography (especially marine biology) and found these videos really amazing. The videos offer a quite comprehensive view of the deep sea which we really don't know much about, with a clear exhibition of both macroscope scenes and microscope structures. The one about coral seas is extremely cool. The narrator is good and easy to follow. I'd say it's both educational and entertaining, and suitable for all ages.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 29, 2017
Great series. We watched the entire series, one episode a night till the last DVD ended.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse