Blue Planet, The - Seas of Life (Blu-ray)
This groundbreaking series from the BBC and Discovery, winner of two Emmy(R) awards, is now available on Blu-ray! The Emmy-winning The Blue Planet: Seas of Life is the definitive natural history of the world's oceans exploring everything from the popular shores and teeming shallows to the mysterious ocean depths. Sea birds and crustaceans inhabit the no-man's-land between earth and sea; sharks bask in the shallows, waiting for prey; strange, flower-like anemones bloom in the coral reefs; while in the deep canyons of the oceans, weird creatures with huge jaws wait for something to sink down from the sunlit world. It's a journey that gets stranger and more awe-inspiring as it goes along. You will be in awe as you relive this truly historic series from the BBC and Discovery on Blu-ray.
]]>Originally produced in 2001 and finally released on high-definition Blu-ray, The Blue Planet: Seas of Life is, as of 2013, the most comprehensive exploration of what many refer to as "the last frontier": the world hidden beneath the water that covers 70 percent of the earth. Produced by Alastair Fothergill, narrated by David Attenborough, and set to music by George Fenton, this compilation took more than five years to film and consists of eight absolutely captivating 50-minute BBC episodes. The compilation begins with striking footage of the blue whale: the largest animal on the planet and one that scientists admit to knowing very little about. The first episode, "The Blue Planet," explores sun and currents, with a look at everything from how a wave works to the way currents distribute nutrients such as plankton. Animals encountered include herring, albatross, hammerhead sharks, dolphins, and grey, killer, and humpback whales. The cinematography in this episode is completely breathtaking and was recognized with an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming. "The Deep" descends some 4,000 meters to the bottom of the ocean and the Mariana Trench for a look at some of the strangest creatures in the sea, including jellyfish and squid that glow with bioluminescence, grey sleeper sharks, and the six gill shark, often referred to as a living fossil because it's believed to have been unchanged for 150 million years. "Open Ocean" focuses in on creatures that live far from shore and are rarely captured on film. An immense amount of time, energy, and money was invested in scouring the marine deserts of the open sea to locate animals like Pacific spotted dolphins, striped marlin, manta rays, swordfish, sailfish, and spinner dolphins in their natural habitat, and the footage is striking and powerful. Equally fascinating is the look at undersea volcanoes and the reef fish that find permanent shelter in these constantly erupting areas. "Frozen Seas" explores the Arctic and Antarctic and the resilient creatures like polar bears, beluga whales, penguins, seals, and the vast array of birds that brave the cold to live and reproduce in some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth. Next, it's on to the breathtakingly beautiful "Coral Seas," with their colorful, interdependent creatures. The photography of coral growing and feeding at night is riveting, as is footage of unusual creatures, including the hump head parrotfish, whose jaws are strong enough to chew through the ocean reef; shrimp that live in social groups similar to bees; and serious predators like grouper and lionfish. "Seasonal Seas" explores the effects of the moon's pull on the earth and the tides it creates in places like Nova Scotia, the Washington and California coasts, Southeast Alaska, and Victoria, BC. Kelp, seaweed, clams, orcas, seals, salmon, and sharks all get a turn in the spotlight in this look at the rhythm of the water. Finally, "Coasts" explores the ocean areas that experience the most dynamic change and the adaptive mechanisms of creatures living there. Among them are Galapagos iguanas, hawks, frigate birds, and albatross; Brazilian sea turtles who swim to the North Atlantic to lay their eggs on the beach, and the saltwater crocodiles that threaten them; and a beached humpback whale being scavenged by bears, eagles, and wolves. Interviews with producer Fothergill, cameraman Doug Allan, and researcher Penny Allen highlight the many trials of ocean filming, the importance of planning in an undertaking of this scope, and individual recollections of some of the most memorable moments of this five-year project. Other special features include 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and bonus films Deep Trouble, Dive to Shark Volcano, Amazon Abyss, and the Being There series' "Between the Tides" and "Antarctica." --Tami Horiuchi