David Attenborough has graced our screens for decades, and despite being 93 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down. Our Planet is the latest masterpiece he has narrated, which took over 600 crew members to produce and highlights the impact of humans on the natural world.
Four years in the making, it was finally released in April 2019 on Netflix. Since then, it has already accumulated huge audiences and critical acclaim.
Our Planet focuses on humans’ impact on the environment, rather than simply describing nature away from humans as most nature documentaries have done. This may be because it was produced by Silverback Films in collaboration with WWF, a charity dedicated to the reduction of humans’ detrimental effects on nature.
This message falls in line with the increasing popularity of eco-responsibility and regard for human impact on nature, but also offers a much needed broadening in focus from the narrow limits of climate change to the wider detrimental impacts of humans on Earth. It also allows viewers to see the interconnectedness of biodiversity, from sea urchins to Siberian tigers.
Expect stunning views of nature, comic moments, heartbreaking tragedy, and – don’t say we didn’t warn you – a lot of guilt for how you’re impacting the planet. But presumably the hope is that all that guilt will kick you into action to help save the stunning parts of the natural world that we’re destroying – and if you’re stuck as to where to start, the WWF has some tips.
Who narrates Our Planet?
Netflix’s Our Planet Royal World Premiere, London, April 2019. (C) Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough narrates the series in English, whilst Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz narrate Spanish versions in Latin America, and Spain.
Attenborough is the English-speaking world’s favourite presenter for anything nature-related, and worked with the BBC for over fifty years, especially in the Natural History Unit. He’s a favourite of the public, critics, and scientists, and is the only person to have ever won a BAFTA in every category – from black and white to 3D. He’s also had over 20 separate species named after him. That’s quite a resume!
How many seasons of Our Planet are there?
There is only one season of Our Planet with eight episodes, but it’s not yet been confirmed whether we’ll see a season two.
Who filmed Our Planet?
Gentoo penguins in Our Planet (Netflix)
Filming natural habitats is time-consuming and difficult, and has been a key driving force between the development of new filming techniques. Our Planet required a team of over 600 people to produce, and new developments in filming technology, especially 4k drones – but drones can’t do everything, so other scenes used cameras attached to jeeps or snow vehicles. Motion-detector cameras that use infra-red to capture images when animals are nearby also featured.
How long did it take to film Our Planet?
It took four years to produce Our Planet, and shooting locations spanned over fifty countries.