'Penguin Post Office'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)
Overview: Antarctica's most popular tourist destination is a unique British post office located in the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula at Port Lockroy, about 700 miles south of Argentina and Chile. Watch the drama of 3,000 gentoo penguins as they surround the Antarctic post office each and every summer!
DVD Verdict: In the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula there's a unique British post office staffed by a dedicated team and surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery that includes 3,000 gentoo penguins. Every summer, this particular colony of penguins returns from an intensive spell of deep sea fishing to its breeding grounds alongside the post office, trekking nearly two miles across sea ice and snow to get there when the weather is especially bad. They rush to find a partner, build a nest, lay eggs and protect those eggs from predators, and then finally get down to the task of raising their young.
For those not in the know, the long-tailed gentoo penguin is a penguin species in the genus Pygoscelis, most closely associated with the Adélie penguin and the chinstrap penguin. The first scientific description was made in 1781 by Johann Reinhold Forster with a reference point of the Falkland Islands. They call in a variety of ways, but the most frequently heard is a loud trumpeting which is emitted with its head thrown back.
Anyway, history lesson over and 'Penguin Post Office' allows us a close up and fascinating look as their four-month drama unfolds against the backdrop of their lives. Primarily, the comings and goings of cruise ships, bringing enthusiastic tourists to photograph the penguins and their chicks, and to buy postcards to send to friends and family around the world - from the now-infamous Penguin Post Office! Although, come the end of the documentary I was left wondering just why would anyone wish to send a postcard from Antarctica?! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.