Is it as good as Planet Earth? No. This documentary series doesn't a never-ending overabundance of brilliant imagery. But don't let that dissuade you. If it wasn't for "Planet Earth" everyone would be raving about this set. Because though its visuals aren't always as stunning as that excellent series -- sometimes the screen shows just a guy or two talking in front of a washed out sky -- overall "Earth: The Biography" is just as interesting and at times even more informative. The special effects are good, too.
Generally, I'd say this set is great for anyone with even a passing interest in geology, at least if they're over, say, 8.
These are the same shows that recently aired on the National Geographic Channel. There are no bonus features.
Disc 1 has three shows, "Volcanoes," "Atmosphere" and "Ice." Disc 2 adds "Oceans" and "Rare Earth." Each of the first four explains how that particular system works, as well as what happens when it's messed with.
The last show examines a theory that says simple life may actually be common on other planets, but complex life -- i.e., animal life -- requires such a complex sequence of events that we'll never find another human-like population. It goes on to examine how humans are damaging the planet. Did you know each year people cut down enough forest to cover the state of South Carolina?
Everything is presented with plenty of objective, scientific information.
My favorite show is the first one, since it includes the formation of Earth. Did you know scientists think our planet once had a twin? Or that the moon is drifting away from us?
Though the narrator, Dr. Iain Stewart, speaks in a Scottish brogue, I didn't have any trouble understanding him. He's calm and articulate.
By the way, you can't help but be reminded of "Planet Earth" as you watch this. A commercial for it is actually the first thing that comes up when you pop in Disc 1.