David Attenborough to present epic new natural history series – on Netflix

Eight-part series Our Planet will be the first time the BBC natural history veteran has worked with the streaming service

David Attenborough was announced as the presenter of Our Planet on Netflix at WWF’s State of the Planet Address (James Gillham/Netflix)

David Attenborough’s next major natural history series will be on Netflix.

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The broadcaster will voice Netflix’s ambitious eight-part series Our Planet in 2019, marking the first time the documentary maker has worked with the US streaming service.

Our Planet will be released on Netflix on 5th April 2019.

Speaking at conservation charity WWF’s State of the Planet address in London, Attenborough said the new series will serve as both a celebration of the natural world, and a warning about the damage humanity has wrought on it.

“Our Planet will take viewers on a spectacular journey of discovery showcasing the beauty and fragility of our natural world,” the 92-year-old broadcaster said.

“Today we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now. We need the world to pay attention. Our Planet brings together some of the world’s best filmmakers and conservationists and I’m delighted to help bring this important story to millions of people worldwide.”

The Crown - Matt Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy - Writer/Creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) (Netflix, TL)

‘The way TV works now is transforming’

Attenborough will next be seen fronting BBC natural history series Dynasties, airing this November on BBC1, before Our Planet debuts in 2019.

The naturalist has worked with other broadcasters apart from the BBC in the past, but Our Planet will be the first series he is involved with that is available exclusively online.

In September 2018, Attenborough spoke with Radio Times about how television had ‘transformed’ over the six decades he has worked in broadcasting, referencing how online services had changed the way viewers watch programmes.

“In 1952, you made an appointment with television and shaped your evening around that. You’d paid your licence money, and so you felt that you’d better watch it all – you had, as it were, bought it,” he said.

“But the way that television is used now is transforming. The mere fact you’ve got these various devices for catch-up television is comforting in a way, because you can dial up a programme that you heard someone talking about. I read the reviews in the press and think, ‘Why haven’t I watched that?’ And so you catch up.”

First look at Netflix's upcoming natural history series Our Planet (Netflix)
First look at Netflix’s upcoming natural history series Our Planet (Netflix)

Our Planet has been filmed over four years and in 50 different countries across the world.

The series is led by Alastair Fothergill, director of production company Silverback Films and the producer behind Planet Earth and Blue Planet. Netflix has also partnered with charity WWF, and the series will be used to promote conservation efforts around the world.

Fothergill said the opportunity to release the series on Netflix allows the filmmakers to share a global conservation message.

“By launching on Netflix at the same time all over the world, this series will enable people to connect to and understand the shared responsibility we all have. We are genuinely all in this together,” he said.

Our Planet Netflix
First look at Netflix’s upcoming natural history series Our Planet, presented by David Attenborough (Netflix)

The series has been filmed using the latest 4k camera technology, according to Netflix, with over 600 members of crew working on the project.

“Our Planet is our most ambitious endeavour to date, we hope it will inspire and delight hundreds of millions of people across the world so they can understand our planet, and the environmental threat it faces, as never before,” Fothergill added.

“The crew have ventured to all corners of the globe to capture breathtaking natural history sequences and using the latest filming technology to bring these never-filmed-before moments into people’s homes.”

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Our Planet will be released on Netflix on Friday 5th April 2019