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<p>Blue Planet Seas of Life: Seasonal Seas / Coral Seas (DVD)</p><p>The open ocean is vast - it covers more than 360 million square kilometres of the Earth's surface. Much of it is a marine desert with virtually no sign of life but somehow the fastest and most powerful predators in the world survive thousands of miles out to sea.</p>
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The BBC's landmark series on marine wildlife continues with this pair of uncommonly beautiful episodes. "Seasonal Seas" focuses on the explosion of life that accompanies every annual blooming of plankton, numbering in the countless billions and captured here with brilliant microphotography. The plankton provide a seasonal feast for a stunning variety of creatures, including the gigantic basking shark, sea otters, immense swarms of jellyfish, bat rays, and dancing Australian squid. In massive kelp forests, we witness such delightful sights as white-sided dolphin playing a game of "pass the seaweed." In "Coral Seas" miles-long reefs of living coral are explored, from deep within (requiring brief computer animation) to the surrounding environs, where you'll see white-tipped sharks in a feeding frenzy while beautiful harlequin shrimp wrestle with a starfish. Stunningly photographed and supplemented by an informative DVD bonus interview with producer Alastair Fothergill, these episodes represent a filmmaking legacy that will reward viewers for many years to come. --Jeff Shannon
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