I’ve often wondered what the world would be like if I was the last man on Earth. Different books have been written with that exact premise in mind along with different films being released on the same subject. I Am Legend starring Will Smith is one of the most recent releases touching on that topic and it gives an eerie look on just how that may be. My biggest concern though is what would happen if I wasn’t the last person in the world, but what would happen to my pets or belongings if there was no one left. Would the animals survive? How long would buildings and other structures hold up before succumbing to the elements? Would it even really matter since the disappearance of human beings means that whatever happens would never be witnessed by anyone?
Life After People is a great series from the History Channel that gives the viewing audience a glimpse at something that could possibly happen one day, but that no one would ever see. Each episode of the series takes a look at a few different cities around the world and goes through what life would be like if all humans disappeared. The effect of the environment, weather, and just natural aging on buildings, structures, animals, and so much more is shown in great detail. It starts out one day after humans are gone and then slowly progresses to a week after then a month and onto different amounts of years before going very far into the future. Computer models along with expert analysis gives us all a look at just what may survive, thrive, or even deteriorate completely without humans no longer running the show.
One of the more interesting things about the series is that it is never truly explained why all humans died off. This little fact is both intriguing yet annoying at the very same time and I’ll explain why. It is annoying because the show makes it appear as if all humans fell off the face of the Earth at the exact same time without any warning or prolonged activity. After checking out how the different cities are today; we are immediately taken to the first day after humans letting us realize that some big event and just wiped our race out. Sure it’s annoying, but Life After People is about what the world would look like and how it would develop once people are gone. It never says that we are to find out why people disappeared or how, but just what would go down after their disappearance. That also makes it fun because we are left to come up with our own conclusions as to what finished us off once and for all.
This ninety minute documentary introduces us to the series before actually jumping into the different cities of each episode. Scientific experts and historians give their insight as the computer-generated models give us first hand views of just what may happen to everything were all of us to cease to exist. Some of the information may truly seem repetitive after a while which makes this documentary a tad bland at times, but that little fault is corrected later on when the season begins. Life After People must have gotten a nice enough reception from this first look to garner a full season, but surprisingly it just fails to hold my interest the whole time and I found myself wishing for the sixty minute episodes the History Channel shows each week.
The film is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks decent enough, but really doesn’t appear as if it was touched up much from when it first appeared on television. Colors look good and all that, but nothing is overly impressive.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and it does an adequate job allowing the music and dialogue to stay separate and both be heard clearly.
Additional Scenes – A handful of extra footage is shown here along with some behind the scenes’ shots. (19:00)
This is one of the best series that I’ve ever come across on the History Channel or any network for that matter. It’s just quite a shame that it was introduced rather poorly by this documentary that starts to drag about halfway through and repeating itself. Things start out with a bang and it really sucks you in but then you’ll find yourself lost before too long. The special features don’t offer much either in the way of pushing you towards a purchase here so I’m not so sure I’d recommend such an act. With the first season already out on DVD as well then you might as well jump in with both feet and begin there because you’ll get much more out of it then spending the cash here.
A&E Home Video presents Life After People. Created by: David de Vries. Starring: Various. Running time: 94 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: June 2, 2009. Available at Amazon.com