Friday, November 9, 2007

Second chance to see"Planet Earth"

If you missed your chance to see Discovery Channel's Planet Earth series last Spring, take advantage of the reruns starting Sunday night.

The photography is absolutely breathtaking -- and lets you see our planet and its human and non-human inhabitants as never before. It's also one helluva demo for a hi-def TV.

The series was co-produced by Discovery Channel and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation in association with the CBC, and was described by its makers as "the definitive look at the diversity of our planet". It was also the first of its kind to be filmed almost entirely in high-definition format. The series was nominated for the Pioneer Audience Award for Best Programme at the 2007 BAFTA TV awards.

The programs were made over five years by producer Alastair Fothergill and his team, who were responsible for the successful The Blue Planet(2001). The British narrator, David Attenborough, worked on them while also embarking on the last in his Life series, Life in Cold Blood, which is due for completion in 2008. (The American version is narrated by Sigourney Weaver.)

The music was composed by George Fenton. Filming involved visiting 62 countries and 204 different locations. Planet Earth had a production budget of around $25 million.

There are 11 episodes. The first gives a general overview of the series, by describing each of the environments that are looked at in more detail in later programmes. However, the method used to communicate this — a "journey" from one end of the Earth to the other — serves to demonstrate the rich variation that exists on the planet as a whole.

Each of the remaining 10 episodes focuses on one of the Earth's natural habitats and examines its indigenous features, together with the breadth of fauna found there. Several animals and locations are shown that have hitherto never been filmed, using innovative camera technology. Previously unseen animal behavior includes: wolves chasing caribou observed from above; snow leopards pursuing markhor in the Himalayas; grizzly bear cubs leaving their den for the first time; crab-eating macaques that swim underwater; and over a hundred sailfish hunting en masse.

Some sequences, particularly in episodes 6–11, have potentially disturbing content, and may not be suitable for young children. Examples include a lone elephant being brought down by lions, and a polar bear unsuccessfully attacking a walrus colony and subsequently being overcome by hunger, exhaustion and injury. (info from Wikipedia)

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