Case Number 19121: Small Claims Court


History Channel // 2009 // 611 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // June 19th, 2010

The Charge

Scientists launch a forensic investigation that will help viewers visualize how the Earth has evolved and formed over millions of years.

The Case

Beginning with a two-hour History Channel special in 2007, How the Earth Was Made developed into a TV series that included a 13-episode first season which wrapped in May 2009. Renewed for a second season that began in November 2009 and ended in March, all 13 episodes of the series' second season are now available with the release of How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two. The episodes are spread over four discs:

Disc One:
* Grand Canyon
* Vesuvius
* Birth of the Earth
* Sahara

Disc Two:
* Yosemite
* The Rockies
* Ring of Fire

Disc Three:
* Everest
* Death Valley
* Mt St. Helens

Disc Four:
* Earth's Deadliest Eruption
* America's Ice Age
* America's Gold

Each 45 minute episode of How the Earth Was Made focuses on a specific geologic feature or event from earth's history. In typical documentary format, the series employs narration, an engaging music score, talking-head contributions from experts, current footage and CG recreations to deliver an entertaining package. American actor Corey Johnson (The Bourne Ultimatum) lends his voice talents to the series, narrating each episode with a delivery that is both confident and pleasant to the ear; let's hope Johnson continues his side career in documentary narration.

History Channel productions have been somewhat hit or miss in the past year or two, ranging from stand-out productions like MysteryQuest to clunkers like Ancients Behaving Badly. Fortunately, How the Earth Was Made is well above average and Season Two is no exception. It certainly doesn't hurt that the producers varied the content during the season, adding a deeper understanding of historical events like the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius and exploring the many factors that created natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest and the Rockies. How the Earth Was Made: The Complete Season Two includes no extra features of any kind. Just once, I'd like to see even a short featurette that would take us behind the scenes of a series like this, showing the considerable amount of work that goes into pulling a diverse collection of elements like interviews, CG sequences and other footage together into an engaging 45-minute package.

The Verdict

During the mundane routines of daily life, it's easy to forget the amazing forces and natural beauty that surround us and shape our planet. While viewers are likely aware of some of the geologic wonders and actions explored here, History Channel has another winner on their hands that makes geology engaging, sexy, and well worth the viewing time.

Review content copyright © 2010 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 86

Perp Profile
Studio: History Channel
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 611 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

* IMDb

* Official Website