GroudokaHG’s review published on Letterboxd:
There are few series, few documentaries, few pieces of media as a whole that capture the scale of BBC's miniseries Planet Earth. Lasting 11 episodes and over nine hours in length, it's an experience that overwhelms the senses but never feels demanding. It's an educational piece, but it doesn't let that get in the way of its sheer brilliance and enjoyment. The entirety of our planet and the life within gets captured in this miniseries. Each species and piece of land are separate mini-narratives in a stream of many, weaved together by the masterful narrator David Attenborough. Planet Earth excels at living up to its title. The showcase of Earth is the only goal this miniseries has, and the footage displayed is all that's needed to create environmental messages.
Speaking of which, the footage and its production value are mindblowing. It's insane how much talent and dedication went into crafting each shot, and the work of all the cameramen speak for themselves. 21st-century technology gifts us with views of the world we'd never get to see without it, stunning overhead views and striking looks of animals and the terrain around them. It's a feast for the eyes, and it's one that wouldn't be possible without skilled creators and their unfathomable amount of patience. Capturing the wildlife displayed, especially majestic creatures like the Amur leopard, is a feat on its own. However, capturing all of these landscapes and animals in shots presented in Planet Earth is otherworldly.
The impact of these scenes rises thanks to the exceptional work of George Fenton and the BBC Orchestra, playing some of the most beautiful pieces of music to accompany the visuals. Planet Earth not only captures the world in a way never seen before but never heard before. It's gorgeous; it's intense; it's mystifying; the score of Planet Earth is a modern-day symphony. It's a harmonious collection of tracks that never dip in quality between each episode, and possibly the best score any series has ever provided. It only fits that my favorite score from any series accompanies Earth itself.
All that's left to accompany our planet in this series is legendary narrator David Attenborough. He brings a passion to each word he says, and he turns what could be a mind-numbing lecture into a literary work of genius. It's through him that the footage resonates, and the audience experiences the dangers of harsh climates, the despair of failed hunts, the terror of Cordyceps, and the gift of our world. He tells the tale of much of the world through the premiere, "From Pole to Pole." However, while much of the same footage gets reused from that episode later in the series, David Attenborough's narration prevents any of it from feeling repetitive or padding.
I can't think of a single series that remains as perfect through its entire running time as Planet Earth. It's an experience that instills the value of the world we've effectively conquered, and how crucial it is to keep it intact. The few times David Attenborough brings up the importance of preservation during this series hit home, especially his closure for the series. It's a love letter to the world, and it's the best love letter to it that I've seen thus far. We'll see how Planet Earth II compares shortly, on top of all the other related documentaries I hope to watch as soon as possible. I've already seen Life, but it doesn't hold a candle to this one. It's a magnificent series, and I recommend watching it on the highest resolution possible with the biggest screen available. It's an experience worth every episode and every hour invested.