Series: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars
Ever since “Planet Earth”, I have been a nature documentary series junkie. I can’t help it. BBC releases some of the highest quality programming and consistently as well. I love “Life” and “Frozen Planet”. I can never seem to get enough. “Africa” is yet another breathtaking series that not only educates, it also leaves you stunned. The series is Executive Produced once again by “Mike Gunton” and he should be giving numerous awards for this work on these shows. This 6-part series will really takes you through Africa in a way that no documentary series has every shown you. The cinematography is beyond gorgeous and it is blended well and made entertaining as well with their fantastic stories of survival in place on our planet that has the most diverse animal life anywhere on our planet. Be sure not to miss this series!
Official Synopsis: 553 cameras. 100 days on horseback. 6,526 anti-malarial tablets. Just under 50 tons of kit carried. Executive producer and Primetime Emmy-nominee Michael Gunton and his team of dedicated filmmakers utilized all of this and more to bring you Africa. Four years in the making across 27 countries, Africa is the latest landmark Discovery Channel/BBC co-production to combine groundbreaking technology and dedicated filmmaking to produce a view into this mystifying continent as you’ve never seen it before. Narrated by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough, this extraordinary series takes you to epic, never-before-seen locations and captures the incredible new behaviors of the creatures that struggle to survive in a ever-changing continent.
“Africa” is perfectly narrated by the amazing Sir David Attenborough. When this aired on the Discovery Channel they ended up using Forest Whitaker and that is the main reason why I chose not to watch it. If you are a fan of these series then you should know who Sir David Attenborough is, I wish they kept it the same as the international UK broadcast. Nonetheless, this Blu-Ray contains the correct narrator like I said and also the original uncut broadcast taking us through Kalahari, Savannah, Congo, Cape, Sahara, and The Future. Again the Discovery Channel cut out various scenes for commercials, so sad. When I was a kid, I would have never believe you if you would have told me that I I would enjoy and also learn a lot from a series like this. But again, they didn’t have amazing product like this when I was a kid.
Let’s get to the high definition 1080p transfer for these episodes. I know I should say more but I really feel that “WOW” really sums it up. Is that enough? Well I can’t say enough great things. The colors are so pristine and the landscapes are perfectly presented and looks crystal clear. Even if you watched this show in HD on the television it is usually only 720p at the most, so this is a real step up and it’s worth the purchase of the Blu-ray alone. BBC Home Entertainment not only delivered perfect video but also perfect audio. This releases comes with a killer DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. I know mostly it is used for David Attenborough’s narration, which sounds amazing, but if you really listen you can hear the grass bend and the beautiful songs of the river, deserts and of course the animals. Ace job here!
So you think that the amazing episodes are enough to keep you satisfied with this release? Well that’s great if you are because the rest is all topping then. There are some really great special features included for this release. There are over 30 minutes of extra exclusive Interviews with Sir David Attenborough, Executive producer Mike Gunton, series producer James Honeyborne and cameramen Martin Colbeck and Richard Matthews. You want behind-the-scenes featurettes? Good, because there is over an hour included as a bonus feature. Each episode has one and they are a fantastic look into this fantastic production. There are a few additional scenes including exclusive unseen footage from the Harenna Forest in Ethiopia also with commentary by director Matthew Wright and director Nick Easton respectively. Lastly there are about five minutes of Outtakes with the BBC Natural History Unit crew.