DVD Review: Amazing Earth Collection from the Discovery Channel

This 215 minute long DVD presents four episodes from the Discovery Channel.

Amazing earth dvdEpisode 1: Amazing Earth

This episode, narrated by Patrick Stewart, is a good introduction to earth history.  It discusses plate tectonics, earthquakes, and the history of life.  It has great cinematography and interesting animations.  It suffers from a somewhat melodramatic narration script.  The background music makes parts of the narration hard to hear.  The episode features great photos of erupting volcanos and buildings shaking during an earthquake.

Episode 2: What Lies Below

This episode follows three female scientists as they explore caves in Iceland.  Once again the cinematography is great.  They explore lava tubes and ice caves and have quite an adventure getting to the last cave.

Episode 3: Wild Weather Ahead

This episode is speculative fiction which dramatizes climate scenarios produced by the Earth Simulator, a super computer in Yokohama, Japan. Al Gore would like this episode. The scenarios are interspersed with scenes from the aftermath of hurricane Katrina to add to the drama. This episode qualifies as a B-grade science fiction movie. It demonstrates that even with super computers its junk in, junk out.

Episode 4: Earth, the Sequel

This episode is essentially an infomercial for the alternative energy industry.  The narrator says in the video that government action is necessary to accelerate development of alternative energy schemes (probably because they could not compete in the free market), and that a cap & trade system for the fossil fuel industry is necessary.  Although this DVD has a 2012 date, this infomercial is made partially obsolete by events such as the failure of Solyndra and other solar companies.   The rosy picture painted in the story has been tarnished by reality.

My overall opinion is that the first two episodes are worth watching; the second two episodes are propaganda and not worth your time.  You have to decide if the DVD is worth your money.

The DVD is available from the Discovery Store here for $14.98 or on Amazon here for $13.49.