Our Planet is now streaming on Netflix.
[Ed. Note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]
By Chris Flanagan
Our Planet is another entry in the in-depth narrated look at what makes the planet we live on a sustainable place for both humans and animals to survive. Like many similar shows before it, Our Planet chooses to segment its episodes in order for each to focus on a specific portion of wildlife and the animals that live within that ecosystem. It’s narrated by longtime great, David Attenborough, who once again proves that almost everything in existence should be voiced by this man (leaving some opportunities for Morgan Freeman). Its 8 episodes span everything from jungles, tundra, freshwater and even the ocean floor with each choosing to showcase just how these locations have managed to adapt at the surrounding erosion of their way of life due to climate change or human influence.
The minor downside with Our Planet is that even through its incredible observations of nature’s increasingly evolving wonders it still maintains a feeling of repetitiveness as it offers a little more than what we’ve already seen in previous installments of shows featuring similar aspects of our world. That isn’t to say that Our Planet fails in any way, but moreover it forces the show to slightly pivot from that of just simply marveling at the world around us and instead causes it to place the message of how fragile these natural balances can be due to human’s ability to take them for granted constantly in its dialogue. If anything, Our Planet is better seen as a cautionary tale towards maintaining and preserving habitats that are on the brink of danger. Yet, there’s still hope as seen with its amazing look at the emergence of a forest among the ruins of Chernobyl, the nuclear blast site. Through that lens, Our Planet helps to differentiate itself from that of previous entries that touch on similar aspects of just how massive and unforgiving nature can be.
Our Planet is a wonderful viewing experience that continues to impress by showing the sheer large scale that nature can be witnessed in action while also being able to focus intensely on the very minor yet special things that can occur, almost without notice, on a daily basis in the wild. It makes its purpose very clear from the beginning – all of this could easily disappear if we continue on an irresponsible path. At times, Our Planet offers a truly incredible and beautiful observance at how nature has been forced to leapfrog man’s efforts to slowly help and find a way to adapt in order to survive. Up close, nature is punishing and brutal and yet continually breathtaking and gorgeous. While similar to previous entries, Our Planet offers enough to differentiate itself from them while also successfully establishing its message of caution and hope.
I give Our Planet a B+.