Critical Condition: Planet Earth III

Here’s what British critics said about the latest Sir David Attenborough spectacular, Planet Earth III, which launches today on TVNZ 1 and TVNZ+ (or to binge it in 4K, import the UK UHD disc):

“The third entry in a trilogy is often where the wheels come off. You only have to think back to the underwhelming The Godfather Part III. Or Return of the Jedi … But this eye-poppingly beautiful natural history series also proves that sometimes the third time can be the charm. It packs the sort of dazzling visual punch of which Hollywood could only dream, with languid overhead shots of flapping flamingos and their young who struggle to survive in the freezing rain.” — The Daily Telegraph.

“Recent reports revealed that the film crew for Planet Earth III broke their golden ‘non-intervention’ rule to rescue trapped turtles and sea lions while filming its new series. Good for them. Who wouldn’t help a suffering creature? … I do understand why film crews wouldn’t intervene on a kill. One saved zebra equals lion cubs unfed — the food chain must do its work (although I don’t necessarily want to watch it, thank you). But rescuing a sea lion from man-made fishing nets as reportedly happens later in the series? It’s the least we can do for polluting the planet.” — The Times.

“It should be alarming that, in the six years since Planet Earth last appeared on our screens, this third series finds itself in a darker mood. As always, these documentaries narrated by Sir David Attenborough are a testament to the wonders of the natural world. The footage, gathered over five years across 43 countries, is astonishing and awe-inspiring.” — The Guardian.

“At a time when the news reveals the world to be a dark and ugly place, Planet Earth stirringly reminds us of its overwhelming beauty.” — Financial Times.

“This new series’s approach is to ‘see how animals are adapting in extraordinary ways, to survive the new challenges they face’. The eight-parter, which was shot over five years, hasn’t lost any of its scope, transporting audiences to 43 countries. It presents a series of intimate stories and remarkable feats by animals big and small, to portray a sense of the magic of life on our planet – and how close we are to losing it.” — Evening Standard.

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