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DVD Review: The Making of The Human Body

Despite my dissapointment at The Human Body series (see review below) I decided to rent the accompanying “The Making of” DVD to learn more about the techniques used to map parts of the body.

I’m really glad that I did because this DVD was well worth watching. It’s about 50 minutes long and not only explains some of the techniques used, but goes over the biology of what they were trying to record. This covers most of the good bits of the original series missing out the less relevant information. It doesn’t add any new information on the Human Body, and still skims over the surface of most of the topics, but was more enjoyable to watch.

The bit where this really shines is when you put the DVD into a computer and try the multimedia tour of the human body. It covers 8 areas which are:

  • Reproduction
  • Respiration
  • Circulation
  • Digestion
  • Nervous System
  • Senses
  • Defences
  • Muscle and Bone

The interface is a bit clumsy to start, but you get used to it. It consists of two small circles which become menus when you hover your mouse around them. Each of the sections is split into a number of animations, video clips or still images that demonstrate some of the main concepts. At the end of each section there is a short game and a summary. The games are a bit basic compared with the more recent ones that the BBC has created, but help to reinforce the information.

The information is not comprehensive, but what there is, is good. Some of the content is very graphic (showing digested food passing through the intestine etc.), whereas some is more basic animations (e.g. a demonstration of the heart circulating blood around the two systems). It still avoids too much in the way of sex educaction with the only aspect really covered is the male erection which is shown as a heat map, but it does show what happens inside the body in more depth.

Well worth having if you have a DVD drive on your computer.

Earlier Review: The Human Body 2 DVDs

I was disappointed after watching this series. I was hoping to get a further insight into the functioning of the Human Body, and how the various components work together. This is not what it was about.
The entire first episode was on the theory of evolution.

The episode on the new born baby and the early years was the most informative. The episode on the teens was not as well done. It covered some of the changes through puberty, but more from the feelings of the teenagers rather than the biology. It didn’t even come close to discussing basic sex education. The episode on the brain was better, but none of the other organs of the body were discussed in the same level of detail (in fact most organs of the body never got a mention).
Two of the sensory organs were discussed, the eyes, and the ears, but that was more about how they can deteriorate with age rather than as an opportunity to inform how they work. The other 3 senses weren’t even mentioned.
Whilst the episode on death gave some useful insights, it spent too long on discussing the effects of G-Force and peoples perception of ‘near death experiences’. Time that could have been better spent on topics more relevant to the human body.

The series did use some ‘ground breaking’ techniques, these are now looking a bit dated.

The level seams to be aimed at older school children (14-16), but doesn’t cover enough information to be a useful learning resource. It’s worth watching as some of it was interesting and well presented, but the title made is sound like it may cover the anatomy of the human body which it doesn’t.

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