Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, ‘One Planet’ is the first episode of Netflix’s new eight part nature documentary series, ‘Our Planet’. This original series endeavors to celebrate the wildlife that our planet supports, to educate audiences on how the world’s ecosystems are being destroyed and to inform them of the best ways to protect them. With the whole series available to stream on Netflix ‘Our Planet’ is just waiting to unleash a whole world of wonders right into your living room.
This series opener features an array of beautiful locations and wildlife spanning several different continents. The wide range of species showcased delivers an engaging introduction to what will hopefully be a powerful series. Whilst there’s countless sequences of remarkable footage it’s the rain forest section which proves the biggest highlight. It delivers some really amazing insights and an unexpected dose of humour thanks to its feathered inhabitants’ fancy footwork. Despite the many seemingly isolated moments throughout there’s a very clear theme running through this first episode; connection. It teaches audiences how damaging one ecosystem has a knock on effect on others, sometimes even those on the other side of the world. The inclusion and execution of this theme sets the foundation for the series and gives viewers a working knowledge of what the filmmakers are attempting to teach, no doubt helping with the greater and more specific focus to come in future episodes.
Although, before viewers can even begin to process this information there’s plenty to be enjoyed. ‘One Planet’ boasts such truly stunning visuals, capturing footage that feels somehow choreographed or digitally created. These striking scenes of nature feel utterly cinematic, at times unfolding like footage of an alien world rather than the one we all inhabit each day. Of course with the addition of Attenborough’s narration these scenes only gain more drama. His unmistakable voice enhances these specially captured moments in a remarkable way, giving each animal its own voice and bringing their unique story to life. His timing is perfect, achieving the desired effect in every instance whether this be to enlighten, to astound or even to make his audience laugh. More than this though, he’s a trusted voice and one that viewers will be happy to listen to. He’s the ideal captain to steer this ship and easily one of the strongest elements this series has on board.
So with such a respected and talented teacher narrating audiences through ‘One Planet’ this documentary series is off to the strong start necessary to encourage audiences to keep watching. Establishing a simple, yet vital base knowledge for viewers this initial episode manages to inform and educate whilst also entertaining. The colourful collection of creatures will keep nature enthusiasts satisfied yet this never detracts from the clear intentions the series has of discussing the urgent situation that our planet is in.
Written by Hamish Calvert
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