Planet Earth (2006)
A documentary miniseries described by its makers as "the definitive look at the diversity of our planet". Each 50 minute episode features a global overview of a different biome or habitat on Earth (Polar, Mountain, Cave, Desert, Plains, Fresh Water, Seas, Ocean, Forest), followed by a ten-minute featurette which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming the episode.
It doesn't get any better than this.---According to IMDb trivia: "The project took 40 camera teams shooting at over 200 different locations all over the world for more than five years." I really think this says it all. After all, instead of the usual documentary where one or two cameramen shoot some nice animal footage, this one goes way, way beyond. In addition to the best footage you'll ever see in a documentary, you are also treated with terrific time-lapse footage, video from airplanes and it's all in glorious HD. Add to this the wonderful narration by David Attenborough and you have the very best nature series ever. In fact, other shows just don't even come close. A visual treat not to be missed--chocked full of so many WOW moments!
Greatest piece of natural history shot till now..---10 on 10 from my side, echoing the view of so many others who have felt the same. I think the team didn't waste a single penny of their enormous budget and captured spellbinding footage for eternity. Almost every episode is truly remarkable and capture enormous diversity and beauty of living things around us. Serious attention has to be paid to conserving our fish stocks, rainforests and mitigating the effects of global warming. I was brought to tears at the mention of polar bears plight, blue whale's dwindling numbers, Amur and snow leopard's measly numbers and Panda's heroic efforts at raising its young. We humans have blood on our hands at having reduced such magnificent creatures to a pale shadow of former glory. David attenborough is an apt choice for the narration lending his understated but perfect voice to the documentary, speaking only when necessary to make apposite comments and remaining silent at other times to let us marvel at the beauty of these creatures. In India this will cost more than 200 USD, a touch expensive by Indian standards where pirated DVD's are rampant. But without question this DVD is a collectors item. A must have.
The Benchmark by which all other nature documentaries will be measured!---There are plenty of other reviews for you to get the gist of this series, so I won't add my 10 pence worth (except to say that if you like nature documentaries, great camera work, beautiful scenery, accompanied by just the right level of information for this type of series, then I can almost guarantee that this series will be truly satisfying, and in all likelihood become the benchmark by which you measure all other nature documentaries, or even all documentaries of every genre - yes, it really is that good!).As usual with the 'human condition' there are dissenters, which is a good thing in general as it helps drive healthy debate, but from reading some of the negative posts on this website, I suspect that they are dissenting for the sake of dissenting (and appearing intellectual and/or non-conformative), pedancy, or for assuming that the series misses it's own objectives and the 'point' it's trying to make in some way. (I personally don't think the series has an agenda beyond presenting the world with probably the greatest all-round nature programme to have been made!).Some of the negative points posted are to the effect that;The series exposes the viewer to too much death, violence between animals etc.Well, isn't that what nature is largely about - survival!? (as well as reproduction and co-habitation which are equally as well covered). I suspect that the people who make these points are a bit squeamish and don't want to witness death (especially of 'cute' animals) in the comfort of their own homes. Some reviewer even put forward the ridiculously weak analogy on the series supposedly overdoing the violence aspect that 'if aliens made a documentary about humans, then we'd be unhappy that they only focused on killing and not art and study'. Humans have advanced far beyond the 'hunter-gatherer' status which was widespread tens of thousands of years ago, and if aliens made a documentary back then which happened to include humans, then i think it would have focused largely on the way in which we hunt, co-habitate and reproduce. A series devoted solely to humans would of course look more in depth at our primitive technologies, ability to communicate, social aspects etc....but this series has a much broader spectrum to cover - many of the species on the planet today!, so it's fairly obvious that it should focus on the primary functions of the world's non-human animals - that of hunting, co-habitating and reproduction!The series lacks in-depth information. What kind of information where they hoping to gain!? Should the series have gone into the embryology,molecular biology, genetic coding, evolution and ancestry, DNA structure of each individual species!? - it would take far too long, or would limit the series to about 10 different species!...or should the series have gone into ocean currents, plate tectonic movement amongst other things, in order to explain why animals inhabit the places they do!? - of course not!. This is a nature series, not material for a biology or geology or anything else degree. It's purpose (as with almost all nature programmes) is partly to inform and partly to entertain and inspire - and for me, this series gets the balance just about spot on!Humans are not included and not enough info is given to help combat climate change. I'm not sure it ever claimed to fulfil either wish. The very essence of a nature programme is about humans observing nature, certainly not observing ourselves - that would be called an 'anthropology programme' - humans are far too complex in societal nature (plus there are far too many sub-divisions of the human nature for this series to touch on - science, art, religion, politics, war...ad nauseum) to be included in a nature programme - a brief mention of how we effect nature might be justified, but things like climate change are still very much controversial, and if the series took a side on the issue, then people would have complained that the series had some sort of political agenda - which would undermine the entire series to quite a large extent!.The claim that 'not enough info is given to combat climate change' is a truism as, again, quite simply because this is not a series on climate change, and climate change is complex and controversial, so a series devoted to climate change would be necessary, and this series should be applauded for not pushing any political agenda down the viewer's throat.In short, by all means listen to what the people who gave the series negative views have to say. But any reasonably intelligent person who watches this absolute triumph of a piece of film making, should be able to make their own decisions, and, I think, will see it for what it is - a fantastic introduction to nature and the many of the Earth's current inhabitants!
The most vivid picture of earth to date.---This series is incredible. It took 5 years to shoot the footage, and it really shows that they took their time with it. I bought the DVD recently, and its full of "firsts" in nature photography, including a snow leopard kill and a blue bird of paradise mating dance, both of which are incredible. Everything is shot with crystal clear quality and the score is at times epic, and fits the video very well. "Ocean Deep" features camera-work from two miles below the earth's surface and shows some truly tremendous life forms. This is basically the place to start if you're interested in nature at all.The only thing that ever bothers me about this show is that some of the episodes seem to have a jumpy or non-existent theme, and it makes it hard to remember which episode certain amazing clips are from.
The Greatest Series Ever---Simply put, I have never seen a better series, or film for that matter. After re-watching the entire series for the 5th or 6th time this past week, I continue to be in awe. From the deepest oceans to the highest peaks, the coldest winters to the hottest deserts, Planet Earth makes you feel like you are there, experiencing the most incredible things are planet has to offer. From rare animals rarely spotted in the wild to incredible time lapses to beautiful panoramic shots from space, the film provides some of the most humbling images I have ever seen. Coupled with an AMAZING score and humble, sincere, and informative narration by David Attenborough, this epic piece of film making is Perfect in every way. Everyone I have ever shown it to is at the very least impressed, and usually in Awe. From nature lovers to computer nerds and jocks, the humbling images shown in Planet Earth makes everyone a believer in the power of nature once again. An Incredible series that should be included in all talks for the "Greatest of All Time".