Critical Condition: Our Planet

Our Planet | Netflix, from Friday

☆☆☆ “With a Hollywood-scale budget (Netflix isn’t divulging how much but we can assume it is gargantuan), an Ellie Goulding theme song and the support of the World Wildlife Fund, Our Planet is epic in scope and visually dazzling. But in other ways the eight-part series falls down. It is clichéd in its portrayal of life on earth as a slow motion ballet of tooth and claw … In short, the innovations that made Attenborough’s previous series so sensational are conspicuously absent.” — The Daily Telegraph.

☆☆☆☆ “The WWF part is particularly important: rather than the BBC’s practice of guiltily slipping in five minutes of a turtle caught in plastic at the end of 40 minutes of HDR wildlife porn, Our Planet puts human impact front and centre. The result – far from it being ‘lecturing’ or ‘preachy’ – simply makes you acutely aware how incredibly odd most of the BBC’s flagship natural world shows are: documentaries that document the Titanic by focusing on the on-board entertainment.” — GQ.

☆☆☆ “Watching nearly 75 million tons of ice break free from a glacier and spill into the ocean is both a grand spectacle and a powerful call to action. Though it delivers some truly breathtaking, informative, and entertaining footage of the natural world and its myriad inhabitants, the explicit environmental message may well be the series’ biggest and most important selling point.” — ScreenRant.

☆☆☆☆ “You will see that serious money has been spent here. In episode one is a vast scene of a seabirds’ feeding frenzy which is so textured and lush it almost looks like Hollywood CGI. The camera-work and the colours are exquisite …  It is at times a touch whistlestop and it lacks the precise focus we saw in say Dynasties or Blue Planet II… But it has a valid point: everything is connected and interdependent and these connections are being disrupted.” — The Times.

☆☆☆☆ “The footage is glorious, especially the side-on tracking shots of the birds and the hunting, where it is as if the cameramen were able to set up a rail along the ocean. Most spectacular of all is the sequence of a glacier collapsing into the ocean, where 75m tons of ice being sloughed off in less than 20-minutes. But at times Our Planet feels a little unfocused … more of a greatest-hits parade, with overblown orchestral soundtrack and ponderous intonation.” — The Independent.

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