UK TV 2002- 2003
In ten parts, the award-winning David Attenborough (2002 Emmy winner for The Blue Planet: Seas of Life; The Life of Birds) introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on Earth, from the smallest - the two-inch pygmy shrew, to the largest - the blue whale; from the slowest - the sloth, to the swiftest - the cheetah; from the least attractive - the naked mole rat, to the most irresistible - a human baby. The Life of Mammals is the story of 4,000 species that have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on earth. With bodies kept warm by thick coats of fur and their developing young protected and nourished within their bodies, they have managed to colonize every part of the globe, dry or wet, hot or cold. Their adaptations for finding food have also had a profound effect on the way they move, socialize, mate and breed.
Television Premiere: November 20th, 2002
DVD Review: BBC / Warner - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||BBC / Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
|Runtime||Approx 49:00 / episode X 10 episodes|
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
the scenes featurettes
I can state with total assurance that BBC1's nature documentary series The Life of Mammals is the best of its kind ever produced (to date). It is certainly the definitive documentary on mammals, which, by the way, includes human beings - the most successful mammal. This Warner Region 1 DVD set, made in 2003 - a year after it first aired, has become the most watched set of DVDs in my household. Not only do my two young boys enjoy it, but I too am constantly learning and captivated by the detailed examination of whom we share this planet with. It is absolutely fascinating and totally riveting (check out its voted score on IMdb for further proof).
We are reviewing the entire 4 disc package, but the DVDs are available separately (see linked cover images above). Purchasing the complete set gives you savings of about $25 from buying individually.
There is only one DVD inferiority that I was able to isolate. The image has fine combing, but I was unclear whether this was due to digital filming (inherent in the source) or a non-progressive transfer. Regardless, it looks bright, sharp, clear with fabulous colors on my 43" plasma. I suspect the combing might rear its head if blown up to a large screen.
Each DVD has optional English subtitles and some extra features. These consist of featurettes (appearing to be supplemental material not put into the broadcast shows - most likely for time constraints), text page facts files, photo galleries and selections from the musical score.
Attenborough's narration and 'hosting' of the show from all over the globe with his gentle manner of disseminating the information presents a perfect juxtapose to the occasionally violent world of some of the conflicting mammals. He, quite often, gets right into the thick of the activity that he is discussing - from being hoisted to the top of the rainforest canopy to wading chest-deep in infested waters. I suspect the real heroes of this documentary though are the producers who diligently and painstakingly mapped out the evolution of this series to completion. This is one DVD set that I encourage everyone to have in their home - you will never regret owning it - I guarantee!
Sample DVD Menus