You won't find Nemo but you will meet most of his relatives in Deep Blue, a feature-length selection of highlights from the BBC documentary
series The Blue Planet. Taking us from God's-eye-views of the sparkling surface to the darkest depths, this ocean odyssey conveys a
riveting sense of nature's infinite variety. Backed by a colourful orchestral score performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, it
features narration by Michael Gambon, sporadically used to let viewers immerse themselves in the stunning imagery.
Mind you, the Harry Potter actor's mellow tones do help to set the mood. "This is a world of constant jeopardy," he
warns us early on, and you'd better believe it. One vignette turns from sweet to savage when a group of sea-lion pups wander off from mum
to find themselves tossed around like bath toys by a killer whale. A little later, there's suspense to match the horror as sharks go hunting
by cold moonlight on the coral reef. Even the coral themselves go at it, their bizarre biochemical warfare reminding us that the fight for
territory isn't limited to our finned friends.
|Peter's DVD rating: |
This 90-minute film is not exactly an abridged version of the
"Blue Planet" series. The scenes are not exact duplicates from the latter;
the images seem much sharper, perhaps due to faster shutter speeds, and the narration is by Gambon, not Attenborough. This would make
breathtaking family entertainment in a big screen theater with surround sound, but the educational value is almost non-existent.
Gambon often does not bother to even mention the organisms, much less say anything interesting about what we see on the screen.
For example, the scene of many predator species in a feeding frenzy has no narration at all other than a short preface about "sea birds";
We have no idea that these are Cape Gannets scavenging on Sardines driven to the surface by other predators.
Get the 4-DVD "Blue Planet" if you want to learn anything about the ocean. In any case, I believe this DVD is available only in Region 2 PAL
format; I bought my copy in Amsterdam.