Tag Archives: Discovery Channel

‘North America’ Series On The Discovery Channel. Not As Scintillating As ‘Africa’ But Still A Very Compelling HD Tour de Force.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> ‘Africa’ series on Discovery Channel … — Jan. 17, 2013.


Click to access home page on the 'Discovery Channel' Website.

Click to access home page on the ‘Discovery Channel’ Website.


We have watched two episodes of Discovery Channel’s ‘North America’ so far. They were, indubitably, good. Definitely 4th generation of nature programs, 2nd gen. in terms of HD exploitation — if you start with David Attenborough incomparable and seminal Life On Earthon BBC in the 1970s as the first generation of this genre. See my ‘Africa’ post for more on ‘Life On Earth‘ if you are not familiar with this groundbreaking series.

I could be mistaken, but I do not think that this series, especially when it comes to storylines, narration, close-ups and ingenuity, is as good as ‘Africa’ which really was breathtakingly amazing. Maybe I got slightly spoilt by having watched all the episodes of ‘Africa’. We are still going to watch all of this series, it is too good to pass by.

Still a definite two-thumbs up. Kids should love it. Enjoy. I have already set the DVR to record this week’s episode (tonight, I think).


Click to access video online.

Click to access video online.


‘Strip The City’ Series From The ‘Science Channel’. Wow. Digital Animation On Steroids.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> ‘Africa’ Series On The Discovery Channel — Jan. 17, 2013.


Click to access the 'Science Channel' page for the show.

Click to access the ‘Science Channel’ page for the show.


Wow! We watched the first episode, San Francisco bared, last night — having DVDed it on Tuesday night. To be fair we could not watch any of these shows live. Too many commercials. I think the actual shows are around 40 minutes long. So 20 minutes of commercials. So we tape them and fast forward through the commercials – though we do stop if we see one that looks interesting or to check promos for forthcoming shows.

We know San Francisco. Deanna and I had a 3 day vacation there in 2005; I having to fly there to do a seminar for one of my then clients, NetManage. I have been to S.F. at least 50 times in my life starting in 1985, but all of the, including the 2005 trip, were for business. So, we could actually relate to the places they were talking about.

The digital animation is something else. You really should try and watch this show. It will enrich your life.

Yes, they could do better. They only spent a minute or less on the fabled cable cars. They talked about the cable and how you can even have cable tracks crossing, at right angles, but didn’t show the GIANT cable wheels and the steam engines. I have toured the Cable Car museum and even read a book on them. So, I know the mechanics quite well. With that animation they could have WOWED a whole generation of kids. But, still a wonderful show.

The GIANT cable car driving wheels that they didn’t show on the show. Click to explore and learn.

‘Africa’ Series On The Discovery Channel: The Bold NEW Standard For Nature Shows. Beyond Amazing.

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by
Anura Guruge


Click to access the Discover Chanel 'portal' for this series.

Click to access the Discover Channel ‘portal’ for this series.


Since we watch a fair number of shows on the ‘Discovery Channel‘ (all taped, of course, because of the huge volume of commercials) we had seen the previews for this show. When they had mentioned that it was a BBC cum David Attenborough production, I knew it would be good. As with so many Brits of my vintage, I adore Sir David. We came to age as far as nature programs were concerned on David’s incomparable ‘Life On Earth‘.

If you have never experienced ‘Life On Earth’ do yourself a huge favor and at least watch a few minutes on YouTube. David’s voice is mesmerizing. I watched the series when it first came out on BBC TV in 1979. I have since watched it at least 6 times. The 2 older kids used to watch the VHS tape, often. They too loved the show. I had multiple formats of the book. Not sure if I still have a copy. Will have to look around. If I don’t, I really should get a copy.

Click for the YouTube.

Click for the YouTube.

‘Life on Earth’ (and even ‘Planet Earth’ (of which we have the DVD set)) was brilliant. ‘Africa’ leaves them in the dust!

The telephoto and zoom camera shots are breathtaking. This is the pinnacle of HD technology at its best. They also throw in a huge amount of intriguing information — like the go/no-go distance at which a Cheetah decides to chase a pray. Plus, creatures you would never have seen. It is an amazing show. We watched Episode 2 last night. The baby elephant dying was distressing. But, it was all compulsive watching. Yes, Discover Channel, as is their wont, does its best to obliterate the image with obnoxious promotional ads in all 4 corners of the screen. Their greed has no end.