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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Earthflight [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

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The Series


This is a magnificent six-part documentary series from filmmaker John Downer. Narrated with much character in his voice by David Tennant (TV’s Doctor Who; Hamlet), Earthflight, which originally ran on BBC One, examines the existence of birds across five continents. From the Grand Canyon and deserts of Texas in North America to the rainforests of South America and cities of Australia and India and beyond, Downer, often quite literally, gives us a bird’s eye view of our world, strapping (what one supposes are) tiny cameras on birds that let us see their flight and the world below from their perspective.

That’s not the extent of this wonderful series, however. Earthflight explores the entire existence of birds and their struggle for survival around the world in some of the most harrowing environments. We see how they find food, water, and avoid becoming supper themselves. Be it cranes, parrots, eagles, condors, pigeons, pelicans, and other species, a wide range of beautiful winged creatures are on display over the course of the six episodes.

Video Quality


The digital photography is nearly flawless in Earthflight. This UK release comes in a 1080i/50 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement, so if you’re in a non-Region B territory, be sure you have the proper playback equipment. Detail and color reproduction are incredible in most scenes and colors are vibrant, resplendent, with a natural look. Macrophotography shows the smallest detail in feathers, fur, and skin in the subjects. This is along the lines of what we’ve come to expect from any nature documentary series running on the BBC.

Audio Quality


Audio is a little disappointing in that Earthflight is supplied only with a LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit) mix. While is well done with clean narration, dynamic sound effects and strong directionality, it would have really nice to hear some of those sound effects such as the wind flutter through birds’ wings or the rush of waterfalls in full lossless surround.

Supplemental Materials


Only a brief picture gallery (1080i/50; 00:03:59) on disc 1 is provided.

The Definitive Word



Earthflight is a must-see event for all members of the family. It’ll change how you see the world and the creatures around you, especially birds. Filled with brilliant imagery and enjoyable narration, this one is an instant classic.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004U5M61W[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004U5M61W[/amazon-product]



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