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Life on Earth 

David Attenborough's groundbreaking study of the evolution of life on our planet.
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1  
1979  
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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More Like This 

The Living Planet (TV Series 1984)
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

David Attenborough discusses the biomass and life in a variety of eco-systems spanning many of the environments found on Earth (from tropical to polar).

Stars: David Attenborough
The Trials of Life (TV Series 1990)
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Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction.

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The Private Life of Plants (TV Series 1995)
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David Attenborough's study of the world of plants, which demonstrates, with the aid of time-lapse photography, the rich and varied ways in which they flourish.

Stars: David Attenborough
The Life of Birds (TV Series 1998)
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David Attenborough's comprehensive and richly detailed study of birds, examining the variety of different species and their ways of life.

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The Life of Mammals (2002–2003)
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David Attenborough's comprehensive study of how a remarkable group of animals evolved - a group that includes ourselves.

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Life in the Freezer (TV Series 1993)
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Series exploring the natural history of Antarctica.

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A nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, that looks at the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles.

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Life in the Undergrowth (TV Mini-Series 2005)
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David Attenborough's ground-breaking exploration of a group of organisms that are vast in number, yet often too small to be noticed: the invertebrates.

Stars: David Attenborough
Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives (TV Series 1989)
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David Attenborough's comprehensive study of fossils, which give many clues to how life existed on pre-historic Earth.

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State of the Planet (TV Series 2000)
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David Attenborough investigates the latest scientific research to discover whether or not there is a global environmental crisis, and, if so, what solutions there are to it.

Stars: David Attenborough
Attenborough in Paradise (TV Movie 1996)
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David Attenborough travels to the forests of Papua New Guinea, where 38 of the 42 kinds of bird of paradise are found.

Director: Paul Reddish
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Madagascar (TV Mini-Series 2011)
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Over 80% of Madagascar's animals and plants are found nowhere else on Earth. Discover what made Madagascar so different from the rest of the world, and how evolution ran wild there.

Stars: David Attenborough, John Brown, Rainer Dolch
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Cast

Series cast summary:
David Attenborough ...  Himself - Presenter 13 episodes, 1979
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Storyline

British naturalist David Attenborough examines the diversity and origins of "life on earth." As is usual with David Attenborough's work, the camera work is outstanding and employed techniques which were ground-breaking in their day. Also, as is his custom, Mr. Attenborough filmed this series in locales all across the world. Written by Jason A. Cormier

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Zycie na Ziemi See more »

Filming Locations:

Bermuda See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An additional item on the DVD is David Attenborough being interviewed by fellow naturalist Tony Soper regarding the making of Life on Earth including the equipment used (at around 23 mins) See more »

Quotes

David Attenborough: There are some four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. Four million different solutions to the problems of staying alive. This is the story of how a few of them came to be as they are.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original home video release was severely edited down to fit on two video tapes, meaning half or more of the original broadcast was omitted. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Attenborough's first master-piece.
10 February 2012 | by frogfrognewtSee all my reviews

Life on Earth is a comprehensive analysis of Life on this planet, ranging from the beginnings of life to the evolution of Homo sapiens. The individual episodes are chronological in relation to the colonisation and evolution of life generally. So the very first episode starts with the early earth and the environments found upon it, the last being about the great apes, with an emphasis on humans.

Life on Earth explains masterfully very complex and important concepts in Biology, going so far as to describe and explain DNA and how evolution changes it. Key concepts like these are explained using certain "case studies", i.e. specific species which are entertaining (and often funny) for the spectators, that inherently pertain to the subject being discussed. So, for example, the evolution of camouflage is analysed using the peppered moth, which changed during the industrial revolution because of the smog which blackened the trees.

Attenborough, nowadays, has a legendary reputation as the founder of accurate and entertaining wildlife film-making. And this is where it all started. This series is the base structure of every wildlife documentary ever made in and after the 80's. Attenborough is both a masterful story-teller and modest teacher, skillfully avoiding the two most fatal flaws in presenting, that still goes on today. Firstly, he avoids "telling" the spectators what to think or see as opposed to "showing" it to them, so they can make their own minds up, where many presenters use patronising language or over simplified explanations. And also, Attenborough remains humble throughout the whole process. Presenters today (2012) like Prof. Brian Cox seem pretentious in comparison, often appearing suddenly from behind pillars or speaking meaninglessly with the sun pointing towards the camera. Essentially, they use clever cinematography to waste screen time and "waffle" to use a technical term. Attenborough merely uses his presence as an aid for the audience, even as a guinea pig occasionally.

If you haven't seen this documentary and you are often inclined to watch such a program, get the box set now. It will be the best £15 you have ever spent, and you could learn a surprising amount about nature. I know I did.

HAIL! Sir David!


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