'Kingdoms Of The Sky'
(Michael J. Hayes / DVD / NR / 2018 / BBC Earth - PBS)
Overview: A landmark three-part series made in conjunction with the BBC, 'Kingdoms of the Sky' reveals the extraordinary animals and remarkable people who make a home on the iconic mountain ranges of the world. There is one program each on the Himalaya, Rockies, and Andes.
DVD Verdict: Directed by Alex Lanchester, Steve Greenwood and Matthew Wright, and Narrated by Michael J. Hayes, 'Kingdoms of the Sky' is a brand new three-part series made in conjunction with the BBC's Natural History Unit.
In what has to be said to be a very colorful and very intensive manner of documentary, it explores the extraordinary animals and remarkable people that make their home in three of the most iconic mountain ranges of the world: the Rockies, the Himalaya and the Andes.
Filmed over the course of two years and featuring breathtaking photography, the series journeys to the highest and most isolated places on the planet to reveal how animals and people survive in these rugged terrains.
Part One: "The Himalaya" - Featuring the highest mountain range on Earth, takes viewers from the foothills to the very summit of Everest. In the frozen forests of China, snub-nosed monkeys snuggle together for warmth during the bitter nights.
Snow leopards prowl the peaks of northern India after dark, forcing villagers to lock up their livestock in their own homes. In northern India, schoolchildren journey to school, crossing a deep gorge in a precarious metal basket.
In Nepal, a Buddhist monk meditates in a cave high in the mountains, seeing no one for many months, while others create sand mandalas, elaborate designs painstakingly created out of ground mountain rocks mixed with colorful dyes, a skill that takes a lifetime to learn.
Part Two: Stretching 3,000 miles and forming the spine of North America, "The Rockies" are a beautiful wilderness of snow-capped peaks and hidden valleys.
This episode begins in winter in Wyoming, where male bighorn sheep fight for access to mates, a wolverine looks for food hidden deep in the snow in the Canadian north and, in Colorado, mountaineer and extreme skier Hilaree Nelson O'Neill climbs Mount Sneffels and skis down a steep couloir.
In spring, a mountain lion stalks a deserted Montana ranch searching for mule deer, while tiger salamanders feast in the temporary ponds of Colorado, turning into cannibals when the food supply runs short. Human daredevils - wingsuit flyers - leap from mile-high cliffs in Montana.
Part Three: The longest mountain range in the world, "The Andes" are home to dozens of hidden worlds, from the driest desert on Earth to cloud forests teeming with life.
There are vertical peaks towering over 20,000 feet, but the Andes are also home to the flattest place on earth - a huge salt flat with a bizarre light show every night.
In the southern Andes, a puma family hunts guanaco, a relative of the llama. In the Atacama Desert, a lizard thrives in the driest place on Earth. In the rugged peaks of the central Andes, a spectacled bear searches burned hillsides to discover hidden springs for a drink - and a bath.
As you can only well imagine, there are so much more aspects to live and learn about these three "kingdoms" here in 'Kingdoms of the Sky,' so buy your DVD today, settle in one night with the family, and allow BBC Earth/PBS to gentle take you all away from any troubles you might be having. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.