Monday, August 3, 2015

DVD Review : The Wild West With Ray Mears

Catering to fans of history and appealing to the ongoing interest in nature survival shows, the stunning BBC documentary The Wild West With Ray Mears makes its North American DVD debut on August 4, 2015 from Athena, and RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand. Following the pioneers’ wagon trains through the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Rockies, wilderness skills expert and TV presenter Ray Mears takes viewers across North America on a journey back in time to the Wild West. Featuring interviews with Cherokee tribal elder Davy Arch and members of the Navajo and Blackfoot Indian peoples, among other experts, this eight-part documentary sets out to show more than just the rugged landscape. Mears delves into how man interacts with nature and how the Wild West shaped American history. The program is currently syndicated to public television stations through APT and was originally broadcast in the UK on BBC Four in May 2014 under the title “How the Wild West Was Won with Ray Mears.” This DVD 2-disc set features eight episodes plus text profiles of fascinating women of the west ($39.99,

Long before superhighways spanned North America, westbound settlers lumbered across a dangerous continent by covered wagon or on foot in search of a new life. In this fascinating documentary, survivalist Ray Mears retraces the steps of the 19th-century travelers and discovers how the trip’s rugged terrain and deadly hazards tested the pioneers.

Mears takes viewers across the seemingly impassable mountain ranges, sprawling grasslands, and arid deserts that confronted those who dared to make the journey. Along the way, he pans for gold, rides the range, and snacks on bear meat with locals who preserve the ways of life forged by one of history’s largest human migrations. From the densely forested Appalachians to the windswept peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Mears ventures into parts of America that remain untamed to this day.

Episodes: The First Settlers, Furs and the Mountain Men, The Wagon Trains, Homesteaders and Cowboys, Plains Indians & Buffalo, Gold and the Boomtowns, Bandits and Lawlessness, and The Desert Indians


  • 16-page viewer’s guide with a map of the settlers’ routes west and articles on stagecoach services, how the west was wild, pioneering women’s right to vote, little-known facts about cowboys, and Geronimo’s art of war
  • Profiles of fascinating women of the west

Street Date: August 4, 2015                         SRP: $39.99  

DVD 2-Disc Set: 8 episodes – Approx. 204 min. – SDH Subtitles

UPC 0-54961-2380-9-5                                  ISBN 978-1-62172-380-6

My Thoughts

The Wild West with Ray Mears gives you an up close and personal look at what life was really like in the Wild West. Follow settlers as they travel in covered wagons and pan for gold to try to find their fortunes. There are eight fantastic episodes n this box set.

The 1st Settlers - White settlers travel through the Appalachians with a little help from the Cherokee. Tribal leader Davy Arch shows us some real traditions.

Furs & the Mountain Men - Discover the lifestyles of the  Mountain Men of the High Rocky Mountains of West America and the animals they hunted.

The Wagon Trains - This episode focuses on cowboys on the prairie who wrangled Longhorn cattle.

Plains Indians & Buffalo - We see how the decline of the buffalo took place, and also learn how Indians used every part to avoid waste.

Gold & the Boomtowns - We learn about the California gold rush and visit the ghost town of Bodi.

Bandits & Lawlessness - We take a look at the danger caused by the bandits and robbers that were everywhere in the Wild West.

The Desert Indians - A look into the lives of the Navajo, Apache, and other tribes who knew the landscape. 

In addition to the DVDs, this set only includes a map of all the settlers routes This series is definitely a refreshing switch from the norm, and I'm looking forward to watching the full series. If you love tales about the Old West, than this is the box set for you. You can order The Wild West with Ray Mears  on DVD on Acorn Media or amazon.