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BBC Nature's Great Events Series


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#1 Drew

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:46 PM

After the lambasting of the Ocean series by many of you, I thought I'd bring to attention the series that Wetpixel members were privileged to witness some of the shooting for and even involved in the book of the series.
The BBC series, Nature's Great Events, was shot over 2-3 years and covers the annual sardine migration in South Africa, the herring run and the Narwhals migration on the North American continent. These are just the ocean related episodes. In the entire series, there were some awesome underwater shots of Grizzly Bears, baitballs with predators and scenic icescapes. The aerial shots were from the Cineflex camera system which gives awesome perspective of natural behavior.
I just finished watching all 6 episodes (again all narrated by il padrino of nature docos, Sir David Attenborough) and can't recommend it enough. I think the BBC run is now over but the BluRay and DVDs should be out in June and Discovery Channel should be showing it in May 09 for the rest of the world.
I watched the HD versions from BBC (gotta love HD capture into DVRs!).
As usual, the making series is also fun to watch, especially the fun outtakes. And for those who won't forget about Oceans, there is a Cousteau connection in this series too. :turtle:

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#2 loftus

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:09 AM

How / where did you get to watch all 6 episodes. Are there any options for us US folks before they are released on Discovery Channel?

Edited by loftus, 02 April 2009 - 05:09 AM.

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#3 Scubamoose

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:17 AM

Cant wayt to see it!!! :turtle:
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#4 DDT uk

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:30 AM

I watched this weeks episode featuring the sardine run in SA and herring baitballs being taken by whales. Absolutely fantastic.

I have been curious though as to where the herring shots were taken? Are there also dive operators covering this area?

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Edited by DDT uk, 02 April 2009 - 07:30 AM.


#5 Drew

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:33 AM

My cousin knows somebody who's married to somebody whose cousin is sleeping with somebody who works with the BBC. LOL

All legitimately recorded off BBC HD in London (licence fees and all) and recorded by HD DVR on computer and accessed by computer. :turtle:

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#6 adamhanlon

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:18 AM

I was really disappointed with the BBC "Oceans" fiasco, and together with others on this forum and elsewhere, was worried that they had lost the will to produce the types of documentary that they have in the past. Programs like the Blue Planet, with massive resources and time being spent on getting "the shot" seemed to have been suplanted by generic rubbish, designed to appeal to everyone, and thus not satisying anyone!

The Natures Great Events has proved once again that you need to be really careful in pigeon holing it! What a superb series-great footage nay superb footage, with good science and as Drew has said thouhtful and considered narration by Our Lord Attenborough!

If or when you get the chance to watch it-grab it with both hands!

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#7 Drew

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:20 AM

I did forget to add my one rant about this series. They purposely mixed up the 2 different baitfish seen on the show. There were 2 fish they called the "sardines", the real sardines "Sardinops Sagax" and the herring "Etrumeus Teres" which was in quite a few shots. You'd hope the director would maintain some sort of scientific accuracy. That is the one flaw they had to sacrific to maintain the narrative.
Oh and the gannets can dive past 10m to at least 12m before they start swimming. I gotta talk to their research people!

Adam, my gf called Sir Dave's narration as sonambulistic. :turtle:

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#8 RickM

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:24 AM

Guess we're stuck waiting until May (and whatever Discovery does to it). Can't wait to see it none the less.

#9 DeanB

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:29 PM

In agreement... this is what the natural history unit excels at... proper filmmaking with no hyped scarey animal rubbish and adrenalin fueled presenters... There were some absolutely breath taking sequences and the photography was just ... OMG !!!

Agree again with Drew (yes i actually do :turtle: ) about the baitball clips... But wasnt that filmed the same time you were there last year Drew ? where there wasnt much happening when the Unit was there ??? ... Maybe they had to use what they could... And as a NHU camman said to me once there will always be someone out there who will analyse a program or notice the mistakes... ;) wait until you see the mantas in my freshwater fish DVD :D

I'm also well impressed with Yellowstone... Thats absolutely awesome and again inspirational photography

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#10 Drew

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:51 PM

For those who MUST watch the series sooner than Discovery broadcasts, Amazon UK has the DVD on sale now.
http://www.amazon.co...h/dp/B001P5GIP0
For those who aren't in PAL land, you will need a zone free DVD player to play this. The cover pic is by our Wetpixel member, PatsOn.

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#11 blimbo

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 06:54 AM

Fantastic series.. the humpback coming from out of nowhere to munch on that baitball was incredible.
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#12 Drew

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:19 AM

To give an idea for people about what Blimbo is talking about:


The NGE Dairies gives an interesting dialogue up to that sequence. Very amusing to hear Dave (Reichert) talk about it in the Making of series. I think these are all part of the DVD collection. Good thing my sister recorded them all for me. :turtle:

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#13 SimonSpear

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:17 PM

Couldn't agree more. Nature's Great Events was the Beeb back to its very best and although personally I didn't think that it quite reached the heights of Plant Earth or Blue Planet it was very, very, very, very good. Oceans, Pacific Abyss and a few more of their recent turkeys were just totally dire and many had started to think that they had completely lost their way. It was good to see that it was unfounded and hopefully they are now back on track. (Maybe there is hope again for 'South Pacific'?)

Great natural history programming has the potential to inspire and bring a sense of wonder to viewers, no matter how seasoned or world weary. To pull it off in the way that the NHU does at times makes it a shear joy to watch. For non UK viewers you have another delight coming your way - just wait till you see Yellowstone. It's completely stunning! Now if only it had been underwater..... :turtle:

Cheers, Simon

#14 DeanB

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:17 AM

Now if only it had been underwater..... :)

Cheers, Simon


All those poor animals would have drowned :P

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#15 Drew

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:22 PM

Btw folks, the DVDs and Blurays are available for this series on Amazon now.

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#16 echeng

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:37 PM

Awesome, Drew. I've ordered it in Blu-Ray. Can't wait to see it!
It also is available as a 720p torrent, but it's 10GB (do a search).
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#17 Drew

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

Hmmm Pirate Party made it to the EU Parliment .... I just bought the EyeTV and Hauppauge HD to record BBC HD off my sister's iMac (in XP bootcamp :P) via programmed remote (Timbuktu) , then download to wherever I am or get DVDs sent to me. It's not bluray quality but at least I get it quick and it's legal... well more legal than torrents. :)

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#18 drako

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:11 AM

Awesome, Drew. I've ordered it in Blu-Ray. Can't wait to see it!
It also is available as a 720p torrent, but it's 10GB (do a search).

The Blu-ray is amazing. I recommend this to everyone. Its a condensed Planet Earth

#19 Drew

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:14 AM

Problem with the BluRay version is I can see the differences when they shot 720 and 1080... it's highly distracting! :)

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