The Discovery Channel has partnered with the BBC for several documentaries, including the wildly successful "Blue Planet" and "Planet Earth". But their latest venture, called "Frozen Planet", has viewers falling in love with Antarctica and the Arctic via beautifully shot video and images captured with state-of-the-art equipment. The seven-part series--narrated by Alec Baldwin--aired its first episode last night and was fairly made for HD televisions.
"Frozen Planet" offers a little bit of everything, from the comedic shenanigans of a group of penguins to the sadly ill-fated love story of two polar bears who traveled great distances to find one another. But the real star of the documentary is a time-lapse video of the growth of a brinicle, or ice stalactite, which kills everything its frozen plume touches. Such technology has never been used underwater before, and the images created are spectacular.
One can't write off the dramatic overtones created by the wildlife, however, or the way the documentary appears to have created a seamless reality show.
"That's the thing about the natural world: It gives you amazing natural drama," says Vanessa Berlowitz, "Frozen Planet" series producer, "It looks like it's scripted, but we don't fake anything. Everything that we film is a complete portrayal of reality. And the audience thinks, 'Wow, they did that without trained animals!'"
Twitter reaction from those who watched the first episode seems to be similar, as everyone thought both the effects and the message were very well done.
Unbelievably amazing work by the BBC and Discovery Channel on Frozen Planet. I could watch this stuff all day long.