Image courtesy National Geographic Channel

Just a quick recommendation from your old pal Tom: If you get the National Geographic Channel (and why wouldn’t you, you wealthy dish/digital cable subscriber), make sure to catch the 3-part special Galápagos. This marvelous, breathtaking show is, quite honestly, reason enough to get an HDTV. Sadly, I do not own one of these televisions, so I was stuck watching it in standard definition. And still, with all the shortcomings of a 4:3 television, this show is among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

I won’t spend too long going on about it, but I’ll tell you that if you have any interest in nature, animals, science, or photography, Galápagos is not to be missed. The animals that inhabit this 13-island archipelago off the coast of Ecuador are unlike any others on Earth. The show delves into the history of the islands as well, touching on the impact from Spanish explorers and spending a decent amount of time dealing with the work Charles Darwin did in his 5 weeks there. The most amazing part of the show, though, is the photography. From the first moments, Galápagos sets itself apart from most other shows ever made with its incredible appearance, and for 3 hours it really does not cease to amaze. Of course, this is coming from someone who watched it in SD. It is now one of my goals in life to someday watch this program in all its high definition glory, because it really has to be in a league of it’s own. But, even if you are stuck in a dorm room with the TV that had been sitting dormant in the basement since 1997, you owe it to your eyes to watch this show. It’s just that impressive.