David Attenborough — or Sir David as he is known in the UK — is the English language narrator for the Netflix series Our Planet. [Salma Hayak provides the vocals for Mexico and Latin America. Penelope Cruz is the narrator in Spain.] The eight-part series took four years to complete. It was filmed in 50 countries around the world and involved the efforts of 600 people. It is far and away the best viewing you are likely to see this year or any other year.
Produced by the same team responsible for the BBC nature series Planet Earth, the series focuses on the diversity of animal habitats around the world including the Arctic wilderness, the deep sea, the vast landscapes of Africa and the diverse jungles of South America.
The series demonstrates the interconnectedness of all living species on Earth. If viewers should get the idea that the destruction of some species could lead to the extinction of others — humanity included– that is precisely the reaction the producers are hoping for.
The message is hidden within some of the most awesome video ever recorded. Time and again, the viewer is moved to exclaim, “How in the world did they film that?” Whether it is a sleepy walrus opening one eye to watch a penguin tiptoeing by or a glacier breaking away and plunging into the sea, the photography is somewhere on the spectrum between “superb” and “stunning.”
The series debuted on Netflix on April 5 and has already been viewed millions of times. Attenborough never preaches, although his opinions on climate change are forceful. See the clip below for his latest plea for sanity from the developed world as humanity marches lemming-like toward a climatological disaster during the Our Planet opening ceremonies.
There are no political rantings in Our Planet. It’s programming you can share with your friends without worrying they will take offense. The hope is that people of ordinary intelligence will view it, internalize the message it presents, and act accordingly. If you are a member of the CleanTechnica community, the chances are excellent you will thoroughly enjoy this timely, insightful, and deeply moving series.
It may not have the raw emotion of Real Housewives of Sheboygan or the heart pounding pacing of CSI Boise, but it will reward you with a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between humanity and the species who share our world and make it a unique — and ultimately fragile — place floating all alone in the vastness of the cosmos.