Yellowstone: Battle for Life [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
The episodes are informative, entertaining, and light-hearted, largely free of the depressing reminders of human ecological destruction seen on some other BBC documentaries such as Wild Pacific [Blu-ray]. I learned some things I didn't know before. Winter is by far my favorite episode, giving me the most memorable line from the series: "At 40 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit or centigrade doesn't really matter much. At this temperature, both are the same." Despite being the home to the world's largest geothermal formation, Yellowstone is paradoxically one of the coldest places in North America. I enjoyed the pristine landscapes covered with deep snow and seeing a winter wonderland untouched by any signs of humanity, all from the comfort of my home. One particularly amazing scene is of a fox sniffing for mice under 6 feet of snow, and seeing it leap into the air, plunge headfirst into the snow like an Olympic diver, and emerge with a mouse in its jaws.
This series also features some gorgeous fly-overs, in particular, the colorful volcanic springs (Grand Prismatic Spring), which looks like a beautiful orange and blue encircled painting instead of a natural ecological wonder. I wish the producers could've spend some time showing us the colonies of extremophile heat-loving bacteria that thrive in these springs, instead of just flying over and cutting to the next scene. Bears and elk I've seen a thousand times on TV, but not these rare bacteria.
I watched these out of order on TV, but the overall effect is not diminished because of the cycle of life and the changing of the seasons. Peter Firth's voice is pleasant and affable. If you enjoyed Nature's Most Amazing Events [Blu-ray], you'll probably enjoy this too.
The program contains the usual stunning scenery and animal video you would expect from this type of program. The basic theme of the program is to follow how various animals survive in Yellowstone throughout the year. I missed the first part of the program, but I believe it starts with summer and then flows through the seasons to summer again. There seemed to be particular emphasis on the Yellowstone winter given its harshness. (Of particular interest was the fact that winter is when wolves are at their strongest as their prey animals become weaker.)
The program also spent some time explaining how the geology of Yellowstone affected its climate. They explained, for example, how it can snow in Yellowstone any month of the year. (Something I found interesting given that I got caught in a snowstorm there in late July one year!)
The TV airing was 120 minutes, less commercials. The Blu-Ray description indicates a run time of 150 minutes. That might include extra features or it might mean additional footage not included for broadcast. Either way, and given the price, this seems to be a good deal.
UPDATE: The program actually includes three 50-minute episodes (Winter, Summer, Autumn). I must have missed part of the Autumn as part of that episode has a bit more of the man versus nature theme than the other episodes. The episodes are presented in widescreen (and look great). Three short features on "The People of Yellowstone" are included.