A Perfect Planet – Great UK Television

For all you UK TV watchers then it’s time to fire up that VPN and enjoy one of the best shows you’ll see in 2021.  Yes, I know it’s a little early but this documentary series is that good.  It’s certainly worth the subscription cost of my NordVPN subscription on it’s own! The United Kingdom may not be the best example of how to fight a global virus, but when it comes to nature documentaries there’s almost nothing that comes close to those from the BBC.

The programme, as always, is presented by the UK’s national treasure David Attenborough.  He’s going to be 95 years old this year so obviously doesn’t run around with the cameras but his presence is still important.  His narration is wonderful and commands your attention, when David Attenborough speaks about the planet – people listen.

Here’s the initial extended trailer to give you a taste of this marvellous show –


Every documentary the BBC and David Attenborough produce seems to outdo the last.  That’s no mean feat as over the last decade they have produced some of the most important and wonderful documentaries ever brought to our screen.  The camera work and cinematography is mind blowing and if you ever wanted an excuse to upgrade your TV to that latest super HD model then look no further.  Forget football matches and sports events, the footage from this show are incredible, the panorama of the tropical atolls and volcanoes here will blow you away.

There has always been a danger that these nature shows would become more and more politicised.  It’s definitely something the programme makers have thought long about. One of the successes of Perfect Planet is that it walks that difficult line between education and entertainment perfectly.  When the first episode on Volcanoes finished I was convinced that they’d got it just right.  It was entertaining to watch, yet the points made about the Earth’s atmosphere and it’s temperature where still well made.

The basic premise of this series is to cover each and every force of nature that produces the planet we live on.  The theme is that we do live on the ‘perfect planet’ – the only one so far to our knowledge to support life.

Perfect Planet Otter

Although the focus of these programmes is the various forces of nature, there’s plenty more for nature lovers to enjoy.  Check out the Vampire Finch on the Galapagos islands, who feats on the blood of larger living birds like some avian mosquito.

There’s loads more too, as the documentary examines the habitats and how nature had moulded them.  You can see some great footage of bears, giant tortoises, iguanas and loads more.   There’s even some otters which are notoriously difficult to film.  If you like Otters, check out another current BBC documentary on the Shetland Islands.  It’s called Simon King’s Shetland Adventure and you can stream the episodes on BBC iPlayer as they are broadcast.  It’s about a wildlife photographer and his family who live on the remote islands to try and film some of the island’s natural inhabitants.  It’s not taxing stuff and to be honest I did find the section where the placed cameras on cliff a bit silly.   They put dramatic music in the background as the team rushed to get back erm before it went dark.  There was the suggestion of peril and danger, except their wasn’t really any !

Still it’s got some wonderful scenery and great camera work as usual from a BBC nature documentary.  If you like these sort of shows, then also Wonders of the Coast Path should be accessible on your VPN too through the ITV Hub.

Back to the Perfect Planet, then I’d urge anyone to watch it whether you like nature documentaries at all.  Sure there’s some climate change and educational stuff, you can’t really cover these subjects without mentioning the dire situation we’ve put ourselves in. However it’s not preachy, it’s not condescending or lecturing – it is breath taking and inspiring entertainment.   As one reviewer mentioned, if it’s a perfect planet then we need to David Attenborough to be on it, please make sure he’s vaccinated !

 

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