Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’: 2019 Release Date for WWF Collaboration From Creators of ‘Planet Earth’

The follow-up to Planet Earth is coming, and this time it’s on Netflix. On Thursday, the streaming service said a new documentary series, Our Planet, will premiere worldwide on April 5, 2019.

The eight-episode series will “showcase the planet’s most precious species and fragile habitats” in 4K resolution, according to a press release.

The series reunites the team behind the landmark BBC documentary series Planet Earth and Blue Planet, including director Alastair Fothergill and David Attenborough, whose voice has become synonymous with all those animals doomed to extinction because of our inaction on climate change.

Originally announced in 2015, the new show was filmed in 50 countries, with shooting days totaling over 3,000. Like Planet Earth, Our Planet focuses on a multitude of habitats, specifically the Arctic, deep oceans, Africa and the jungles of South America.

Our Planet is our most ambitious endeavor to date. We hope it will inspire and delight hundreds of millions of people across the world so they can understand our planet, and the environmental threat it faces, as never before,” Fothergill said.

The show was created in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature. “We’re the first generation to know the full impact of what we’re doing to our planet, and the last that has the chance to do anything about it,” WWF-U.K. Executive Director Colin Butfield said.

Attenborough echoed the sentiment at WWF’s State of the Planet event. “Today, we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home, but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now. We need the world to pay attention. Our Planet brings together some of the world’s best filmmakers and conservationists, and I’m delighted to help bring this important story to millions of people worldwide.”

But while Our Planet seems certain to be a must-see documentary series, the jury is still out on how effective stunning nature footage and awareness can be in combating climate change. Some conservationists argue that series like Planet Earth spread complacency by depicting an unspoiled natural world.

“If you just see a documentary that shows beautiful, untouched forests, animals living wild, untouched lives, you tend to think, Well, everything is OK,” primatologist Jane Goodall told Australia’s ABC. “But everything is not OK.”

Given the confounding factors, judging the empirical effect of nature documentaries on conservation efforts offers no clear picture. However, both views on the merits of documentaries like Planet Earth may ultimately be beside the point. Since just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions, individual awareness simply won’t cut it. More necessary is the political coalition-building required to radically change the global economy on both a national and international scale.


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