Top positive review
757 of 771 people found this helpful
on 23 June 2006
I have never in my life seen anything like this series. I had thought that the Blue Planet, also by the BBC, was the pinnacle of achievement of wildlife television. The deep sea episode had left me breathless, but that proved nothing compared to Planet Earth. The effort that went into this series is obvious. Only at the end of each show when we spend time with each of the crews do we really get a sense of what they had to do to bring such beauty before us. This is not self-serving "let's pat ourselves on the back" television. It only adds to the sense of wonder, and to the sense of how privileged we have been to see some of the rarest sights in nature. The camerawork is sensational. The killer whale rising out of the sea with the seal in its mouth, the diving hawks making their mid-air kill, the snow leopard bounding down sheer cliffs, the chandelier cave. All incredible. This is unlike most other "animal" tv shows, where the audience is patronised into listening to an ill-thought out anthropomorphic commentary which is little more than "ooohhh...isn't that cute" or "whoooah...isn't that dangerous". Attenborough is wonderful. He has the humility to understand that the show is not about him, and he is prepared to say nothing whilst our senses drink in "that shot" of Angel Falls or the intense colours of the Okavanga Delta. The behaviour of the Gobi desert camels left me speechless; you don't need some idiot telling you how amazing it is. I can recommend this serious without hesitation. This is public television at its best. It cannot be financially prudent to spend 40 days in the Gobi desert chasing Bactrian camels, but it takes real corporate bravery to say that natural beauty cannot be captured on the cheap. The camera techniques (remember the African dogs chase?) are priceless. You must watch this series. People at my office were discussing each episode for days afterward. Friends' children were having the same discussions - "oh my god - did you see that?" If 8 year old children and 60 year old lawyers have the same base sense of wonder, nobody will watch this and think, "it's just another documentary". This is nothing like you will have seen before. I thought I was a cynic, but this really has re-opened my eyes to the raw power of nature.