The Big Dinosaur Box

Starring: Kenneth Branagh/Nigel Marven
BBC Worldwide Publishing

RRP: £29.99

Certificate: PG
Available now

What would it be like to go back millions of years and be witness to one of life's amazing creations? How would you feel to be able to walk, fly or even swim with the dinosaurs that once roamed this earth? Well now that dream can come true from the safety of your very own living room...

From the creators of the Walking with Dinosaurs series comes a three-disc special edition box set. Included in this set are the titles Walking with Dinosaurs, The Ballad of Big Al, The Giant Claw, and The Land of the Giants.

The Ballad of Big Al tells the story of the almost complete dinosaur fossil found in Wyoming in the USA of an Allosaurus, hence the name Big Al. We follow Al's life from the day he hatched to his death at 15 years old. As we follow his story we find ourselves becoming quite attached to him and his death becomes a moving scene.

The Walking with Dinosaurs specials, The Giant Claw, and Land of the Giants, feature Nigel Marven as the presenter of these documentaries. Taking us back millions of years ago on a prehistoric safari, Nigel comes face to face with a huge Tarbosaurus - a 40 foot long carnivorous predator.

The advantage of using a presenter for these specials is so we can actually get a sense of scale of these huge giants and as an audience we can empathise with Nigel through some of his more frightening scenes. His emotions are so believable that you almost forget these are programs made with the latest computer technology and animatronics, and find yourself transported to the past with great ease.

A 50 minute special on the making of Walking with Dinosaurs shows you everything from how the creators made the dinosaurs walk, where they lived, what they ate and even how to make your very own dinosaur dung. (You never know when this may come in handy!)

Other special features include photo galleries, storyboard comparisons, exclusive behind-the-scenes picture-in-picture sequences, additional graphics and fact files of the dinosaurs.

Not being a great fan, of the Walking with... series, when it first came to our screens I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this box set. If you've already seen the series I would still recommend buying this even if just for the Nigel Marven presented documentaries and the specials that go with his films.

It's good to see a box set released that doesn't just package together DVDs that have been released before - without providing any real extras that haven't been seen before. This is a box set that has extras on the extras.

A must for any fan of the series.

Helena Rea

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