Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue Planet Seas of Life on Blu-Ray DVD

Blue Planet Seas of Life put out by The Discovery Planet is an incredible testimony to not only the marine life of the planet and her surroundings, but the potential of the Blu-Ray format. This Blu-Ray DVD set takes a look at oceanic life and circumstances in a visual and informational way like no other documentary of its type, outside of the Discovery and Planet Earth series.

The Blue Planet set consists of eight 50 minute episodes that tell some of the history and events surrounding the ocean. Under the premise that the ocean is one of the largest, misunderstood anomalies of our planet this BBC series sets out to explore and educate. What transpires is a wonderfully narrated series by David Attenborough with stunning images captured in the high definition Blu-Ray format. The images are so good in fact that this is one of those must have series, not just for educational purposes, but the imagery provided.

Through out the eight episodes Attenborough tells of various aspects of marine life. There is no set formula or method in the episode index of the series, although each of the eight episodes focuses on a common theme, ranging from The Ocean World to The Tidal Seas and from the Deep crevices of the ocean to the Coral Seas. In the magnitude of the episodes, we see the reality of the depth of the seas, and while a great deal of information is provided, one thing we are left with is the understanding that there is still much more we don’t understand.

As a human species we are challenged to think about and try to understand, there is more to this planet than just us. This series drove home for me the complexity of not just our universe, but the complexity of our planet. The stunning visual images help bring home the realism of what we see on screen. While it is just short of being there and experiencing the events for ourselves, what we experience through the complexity of the eight episodes will still likely be mesmerizing. As I watched the series, I couldn’t help but think of the likelihood that there has to be more to this planet. There has to be a more complex creator than many give credit for or think about. I was also reminded of a concept often referred to in religious circles as the Genesis Mandate. The Genesis Mandate takes a spiritual perspective of the need and importance of the human species in understanding the role of a creator, the human species responsibility in taking care of the planet, and then our appreciation of the planet God created. There is the understood concept that there is a purpose behind all of God’s creation and the reality that while God saw it as being good, we need to also show an appreciation of the planet in such a way as we are moved to take care of it.

The images and visual aspects captured here are nothing short of amazing. While there is no human actors, no human story lines, the methods of filming, the imagery and stories displayed in the life of the ocean is in itself an outstanding story. I personally appreciated the lack of human involvement in the story telling, outside of course of the script and narration provided. In some regards, I would have appreciated more special features on the DVD series, but I can understand that with this series being done as well as it was, there was really no need. There is a good feature on The Making of Blue Planet that is insightful, but this is one of the rare times that I won’t blast a DVD for the lack of special features because there really isn’t such a need for it.

There is not a great deal that needs to be said about this series, other than; it has to be seen to be truly appreciated. I suspect schools across the globe will, and have used this series to educate others from the smallest of children, to the most advanced of graduate marine biology student. It is that type DVD; it has something for everyone, and can be appreciated by most anyone who has an awareness and interest in the oceans of the planet and their role in the survival of all species. If owning a Blu-Ray player, you won’t be disappointed, and I suspect it is a Blu-Ray that will make frequent visits to your own DVD player.

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