Attenborough Blu-rays for Africa

David Attenborough fans can look forward to capturing two of his natural history series next month on Blu-ray.

Both Africa, the HD spectacular that’s two weeks into its six-week run on TV One (8.30 Tuesdays), and Kingdom of Plants will be released on March 6 — just three months after remasters of his landmark series Life on Earth and Trials of Life came out on Blu-ray.

Based on the first two episodes, Africa may be BBC Earth’s finest accomplishment yet.

Unusually for a TV series, it’s being released on Blu-ray around the same time in the UK (February 18), US (February 26) and Australasia.

TV One’s broadcast looks fabulous but the series will look even more sensational with the six hours spread across three Blu-ray discs.

It’s unclear if there will be extras beyond the making-of segments TV One screens at the end of each episode. (Running time for the release varies from 345 minutes on the BBC site to 360 on a US  site to 402 on an Australian retailer’s site.)

Kingdom of Plants was a Sky 1 3D commission following the success of Attenborough’s Flying With Dinosaurs 3D.

While a 3D Blu-ray is out in the UK, NZ appears to be getting only the 2D version that was released last month in Australia.

However, The Guardian’s reviewer of the TV broadcast in May 2012 thought seeing it in 3D would be redundant.

Kingdom of Plants is available in 3D to those who have the necessary technology. I don’t. I can’t really imagine it being any more spectacular.”

According to an Australian reviewer of the 1080p Blu-ray: “Every film technique under the sun is used here, from high-speed photography, time lapse, micro and macro. It all looks incredibly sharp and detailed.”

So much so that viewing the 50-minute making-of extra, which covers all the technical challenges of filming in 3D, “made me wish I was watching it in that format! A fascinating feature.”

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