Ok, so, we’re about midway through watching The Green Planet, and if you haven’t started watching it, I highly recommend it. Why? Well for starters:
David Attenborough, Duh:
The king of narrators has to be one of the biggest sells for getting stuck into any documentary. He gives voice to the amazing scenes and species that we encounter in the show and his soothing voice and strong narrative style set us up for an exhilarating journey through all that is The Green Planet. For me, focal moments in the series that occur with Attenborough that make it just delightful are when he gives us a demonstration on the explosive seed dispersal of an ecballium seed pod, in episode 3, and where he encounters the most dangerous plant on the planet, in episode 4, when he showcases how the cholla plant’s buds latch onto just about anything.
Wow wa weeza. The plants that were filmed for this documentary range from every locale and climate. You have huge water worlds with pink lakes, big rolling moss balls and carnivorous swamps and then there are frozen landscapes with iced over trees and tropical jungles with monster flowers. Not only are the plants themselves beautiful to behold but they keep you locked in with their weird and fascinating characteristics. In the episode titled ‘Seasonal Worlds’, we learn about the Fire Lily and how its bulb only starts to shoot out growth a few days after a fire has torn across the landscape above it. I’m not even going to ask how a plant knows that a fire has been and gone. Just mind blowing stuff.
BBC documentaries really are some of the best, and at the end of each episode, we hear a bit more about how the certain challenges were met. One realises that there is a lot going on behind scenes- the filming for this series already started in 2019 and much of the research and planning started even before that.
Series producer, Rupert Barrington had this to say about the filming process: “There was a feeling that because plants don’t move, they’re probably easy to film…” “… making the series has shown that plants are much, much harder to film than animals. This is partly because they don’t move on our timescale, so they’re much more complicated. Any piece of behaviour which might last five minutes for an animal could last three months with plants.”
Armed with state of the art tech and an amazing know-how, this series produces never seen before visuals and is an absolute feast for the eyes.
Where to watch it
Lucky for us South Africans we’ve got some easy access to watching this beautiful series. 4pm every Sunday from (13 February – 13 March) at 4pm on DStv channel 184. BOOM. Now you’ve got no excuses. Let me know if you’re enjoying it as much as I am!