7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A heroic and successful venture in intelligent TV,
This review is from: Life on Earth [DVD]  (DVD)
'Life on Earth' was recognised almost immediately by contemporary TV critics as one of the most intelligent and most absorbing TV series ever made. It's more than just a prelude to Attenborough's later achievements (which were remarkable); it's more than just a great wildlife show; it's television at its very best, offering beautifully crafted visuals in a thoroughly entertaining, informative and coherent context.
The idea of the show was to demonstrate, over the course of the entire series, how life came to evolve on this planet. This is what makes 'Life on Earth' the pinnacle of David Attenborough's career, in that not only is each sequence gorgeously shot and intelligently narrated, but the entire series has a dramatic storyline that none of his future series were able to emulate. The storyline is one of a slow change from simplicity to complexity, and it means that every episode of 'Life on Earth' is not only a self-contained piece of television but also a part of an overall and thoroughly integrated whole.
'The Living Planet' and other shows benefited from improvements in wildlife filmmaking technology, but ultimately they are not as magical and gripping as this show. Attenborough had the good taste not to try to tell the same story twice, and that's why 'Life on Earth' will remain not merely the greatest television wildlife series ever made, but arguably the greatest television documentary series ever made. The only other candidate I can think of is ITV's 'The World At War'.