From The Princess to The Donut King: The best documentaries to watch on NOWAug 12 | 7 min read
Our Planet: Three reasons you must watch Sir David Attenborough’s breathtaking new series
Netflix team up with Attenborough, Silverback Films and the WWF to create a series with an important conservation message about saving the planet we call home.
Sir David Attenborough's position as the king of nature documentaries is undeniable. The naturalist's voiceover is not just a seal of quality for a TV programme, it's a solid-gold guarantee that the show you're about to watch really matters.
Speaking in 2013 about why he's never taken a load of cash to front a TV advertising campaign, Attenborough explained that it wasn't about being "highfalutin" or "principles", but rather for "one good practical reason".
"My stock in trade is dealing in the truth as far as we can see it," said the broadcasting legend. "If I say that dinosaurs have feathers, I hope people believe me. So if, in the next five minutes, people hear me telling them to buy a brand of margarine, they'll probably presume, I'm telling lies about one of these things."
Bad news for advertisers of butters and spreads, great news for us TV viewers.
He may be 92 years old, but rather than considering retirement, Attenborough is stretching his wings in 2019 to join the Netflix family.
He's still on the BBC - One Planet, Seven Worlds is on BBC One – but the central idea behind Our Planet meant that Netflix's global reach was vital.
The eight episodes of Our Planet feature the sort of breath-taking footage we've seen previously in Blue Planet, Frozen Planet, Africa and so many of Attenborough's classics.
But underpinning each episode is a message about the clear and present dangers threatening the landscapes and wildlife captured on film.
From the jungles of South America to the frozen Arctic wilderness, the series will pinpoint how we're at a crucial and dangerous moment in the history of the planet. We have to act now or face catastrophic consequences.
Hopefully, the series will have a global impact similar to the response to Blue Planet II's warnings about the dangers of plastics, which kick-started a fresh approach to recycling from millions of viewers.
Here are three reasons not to miss Our Planet...
1. David Attenborough gets super-sized
The BBC's annual Attenborough extravaganza is always a massive TV event. But as a BBC production, there are always limits: financially on the scale of the show and logistically in the number of countries it can be shown in at the same time.
With Netflix going all-in on Our Planet, this is a worldwide project that takes documentary-making to a whole new level.
Filmed over four years with 600 crew members and the most sophisticated 4k camera technology available, this is cinematic, beautiful television on an unprecedented scale.
2. All the behind-the-scenes footage you love
Rather than moving you straight on to the next instalment as an episode ends, Netflix will give you the option to go behind-the-scenes on Our Planet.
The short films that explain the intricate shooting techniques, showcase the dedication of the technical crew and pull back the curtain on the magic of how these shows are made have become one of the most popular elements of David Attenborough's series.
Alastair Fothergill (Blue Planet, Planet Earth), Keith Scholey (Life of Birds, Wild Africa) and the team at Silverback Films are the best in the business, so prepare for your jaw to hit the floor as they reveal how Our Planet was made.
3. A warning about Our Planet
"I never imagined there would be quite so many of you who would be inspired to want change," Attenborough said about the impact of Blue Planet II.
The passionate and heartfelt messages from the presenter and the shocking footage revealed across the series about the damage that we’re having on our oceans and its wildlife had a visible and tangible impact on the way millions of us approach recycling and led to many companies and individuals reducing their use of single-use platiscs.
Each episode of Our Planet pulls together incredible footage of wildlife and landscapes and explores the finely balanced connections holding everything together – and the devastating impact of mankind threatening to destroy it all.
Our Planet is streaming now on Netflix.
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