The Great Rift – Africa’s
Greatest Story (2010/BBC Earth Blu-ray
B-/C+ Sound: B-/C+ Extras: C Documentary: B-
Hugh Quarshie (Highlander, Nightbreed) narrates a new
three-episode BBC/Animal Planet nature documentary mini-series The Great Rift – Africa’s Greatest Story
(aka The Great Rift – Africa’s Wild
Heart) that goes on location to the East African Mountains (and surrounding
areas) to show the unique formation they are, how they were formed, their
unique history, the great animal species that live there, the surrounding areas
(including underground and underwater) and many only there and what a priceless
and vital locale it is.
hour-long shows here are entitled Fire,
Water and Grass, which gives the producers plenty of time to show all the
great footage they have and give us all the scientific and statistical
information they can squeeze into each show.
The BBC is doing so many of these shows, but they manage to keep them
interesting and different enough that the shows do not get boring or
repetitious and continue to create what they hope will later be seen as a
golden age of nature documentaries. Even
if they don’t manage that, they’ll come very close. This is a strong showing about a place we do
not see or hear enough about and is very much recommended.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot on location in High Definition digital
video and has some motion blur and softness (including from its digital
animation models), but looks good for such a documentary series. The anamorphically enhanced DVD is a bit
softer still, but all have good color and interesting, one-of-a-kind
shots. The DTS-HD High Resolution (HR) 2.0
Stereo mix on the Blu-ray is warm and not bad, with the location audio decent
and new music somewhat prominent. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the DVD is notably weaker, but not bad. The only extra is the 10+ minutes behind the
scenes Inside The Great Rift
featurette at the end of the last episode, hidden there in the chapters menu.
found this common on overseas DVDs, hiding a sole extra after the program. There are no main menu ways to get to it or a
note about where it is. This is not good
and something that needs to be altered in future releases in general.
- Nicholas Sheffo