Another year, another David Attenborough series. It’s become as much a marker of the passing of time as buying a new calendar. I don’t know how the man finds the time. Planet Earth, Blue Planet, The Mating Game, Seven Worlds One Planet, Dynasties…They just keep coming! But those who enjoy the beautifully-shot and charmingly-narrated programmes will certainly be satisfied with this, another five hours of what is fundamentally the same as what has come before it.
Moving away from the usual focus on the animal kingdom, The Green Planet is a journey through the world of plants. Packed with the usual gorgeous visuals – especially in 4K UHD – the series is certainly a feast for the eyes. And with less adorable animals to look at, we have an adorable Attenborough. Yes, Big David himself takes more of a visual presence here, rather than remain strictly in the narrator’s chair. It’s lovely to see his passion and joy, making his presentation even more enthralling than usual. Across five episodes; exploring Tropical, Water, Seasonal, Desert and Human worlds, The Green Planet offers more of the accessible, educational entertainment that the various Attenborough-fronted series are known for. And, as has become the norm for these series, each episode is capped with an excellent behind-the-scenes segment on how the beautiful footage was achieved.
To review The Green Planet is to review any of these shows. They’re all very much of a muchness in their style and delivery, and I doubt there’s a single person out there who doesn’t know what to expect. This latest certainly isn’t going to win over anyone who hasn’t enjoyed previous entries in the Attenborough nature documentary universe, and there’s always a chance that even fans could begin losing interest – with each series, the footage certainly becomes less extraordinary. When Planet Earth launched, there had been nothing like it before. Now, its style is becoming the norm and these programmes run the risk of losing their power. But for now, there’s still enough awe-inspiring footage to remind viewers why nobody does it like the BBC when it comes to nature docs. The series looks absolutely astounding.
The Green Planet is another jewel in Attenborough’s crown, taking viewers on a spellbinding journey through the world of plant life like never before. And boy, does it look breathtaking in 4K.