Judge Kent Dixon cherishes his Earth, Wind and Fire collection.
A ring-side seat to the amazing story of the shaping and synergy of our world.
With some of the most famous documentaries and series to its name, Discovery Channel all but dominates documentary programming, certainly in the Unites States, if not the world. The quality of their programming generally sets the standard by which other productions are measured, and certainly series like Planet Earth have proven that Discovery can deliver content that is both informative and breathtaking.
This spring, Discovery released Earth Collection, gathering an assortment of shorter features together for the first time, spread across two discs as follows:
• What Lies Below
• The Sun
• Fearless Planet—"Earth Story"
• If We Had No Moon
• Faces of Earth—"Building the Planet"
There's some fascinating science here to be sure, but much of it feels too familiar and no one episode seems to flow out of or into any other. Granted, you may not necessarily sit down to watch all seven episodes back-to-back, or even in a few extended sittings like I did, but you may still wind up leaving the experience unsatisfied.
Each of the episodes included with Earth Collection follow a similar format to the Discovery Channel sister release Dinosaur Collection: on-screen experts talk, CGI dazzles and represents, narrators expound, and here and there, you may find you learn something new. Overall though, when considered as a whole, this collection feels thrown together and jumbled, with no logical overarching theme to guide the viewer.
Viewers will also find a bit of a hodge-podge with the A/V presentation on this release. The 2.0 audio presentation suits the overall documentary style, but a more dynamic mix might have been nice, especially to accompany some of the more grand CG vistas. The release includes episodes in both anamorphic and non-anamorphic widescreen, which may prove annoying to some viewers, but it's not a complete deal-breaker. There are no extra features of any kind.
With History Channel pulling out most of the stops on their space science series The Universe, it's difficult to recommend Discovery's Earth Collection as much more than a rental. The lack of coherence or focus will likely serve to confuse casual viewers and annoy more experienced ones.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Discovery Channel
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