First of all, it's strictly chronological and it helps grasping the width of evolutionary time-line and place of mammals within it. Second, it avoids "The Land Before Time" stories of the series and is strictly scientific. Finally, the recurring theme of climate change (caused by the pole) and it's impact on the drastic evolutionary divergence at the time is fully explained.
The CGI isn't the best, but it works in combination with the prop animals. The history of paleontological digs is especially interesting, as we get to see the giant mammal remains in it's actual size as well as who, when and where found them.
This episode is not about humans. That's the subject of the second special. This one centers on how the mammals got into the sea (like whales), and how, without birds or dinosaurs, they themselves became the new giants of the Earth up until the last Ice age.
Also of interest are the comparisons between the fossil digs now and back then when they were a lush jungle or an ocean (like Munich, or Sahara).
The part of history between the Dinos and Man is rarely the theme of movies or TV, so this important documentary does a great job of filling the hole that exists in our knowledge of the period.
It might just be the best episode of the series.
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