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TV shows we love: The Green Planet by Alix Norman

screenshot 2022 02 07 114556

David Attenborough has given us Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Our Planet, and Frozen Planet to name a few. And as of January 2022, the world’s best-loved broadcaster is back, taking us into a world where a single life can last a thousand years – or mere minutes. Welcome to The Green Planet!

Using the latest in camera technology, this five-episode series covers everything botanical. ‘See things no eye has ever seen’, entices the tagline, as it tempts us to ‘discover the dramatic, beautiful plant life of Earth’ and get closer than ever to the unique challenges of life in the wild.

From tropical toilers to desert brawlers, Arctic stayers, and seasonal survivors, ‘battlefield’ is the key word in this series: both in terms of the way the material is presented, and Attenborough’s message of environmental protection.

In the first episode alone, you’ll discover the jungle warzone created by a fallen tree; strangling vines that slowly stifle their competition; and a zombie fungus that slaughters its host. And each show ends with the presenter’s ever-present warning: if we don’t look after our planet, we too will become victims…

To date, three episodes have aired: Tropical Worlds, Water Worlds, and Seasonal Worlds. And each Sunday will bring us another, roughly hour-long, view of vegetal variety.

Perfect edutainment for any age (though the squeamish may have to turn away from the gory corpse flower), this latest from the BBC portrays our planet’s plant life in scintillating detail.

As always, Attenborough – who has been making dazzling documentaries for two-thirds of the BBC’s entire broadcasting history! – enchants: more on-screen than in previous series, his delight in the natural world is infectious.

And he’s supported by a behind-the-scenes cast of incredible technical talent: camera men and women who bring us thousands of hours of fascinating footage, which reveals the artillery fire of exploding seedpods, leaves unfurling like the lash of a whip, and saplings campaigning for every inch of territory…

Underneath our feet, in our gardens, across the entire planet, there’s a secret war being waged. And in The Green Planet, 95-year-old Attenborough becomes the correspondent reporting from the very front lines of this botanical battle.


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