When BBC's Planet Earth debuted in 2006, the documentary series was praised for its thrilling footage of flora and fauna from around the world. Hosted by famed naturalist David Attenborough, this project has aimed to showcase the beauty and diversity of the natural world; and, by doing so, it has called urged the public to take care of our planet. Fast forward 17 years, and the third installment of the series—Planet Earth III—has made it to the airwaves. While the sweeping vistas are still there, a warning about the current state of the natural world seems to loom over the series.
A few weeks ago, BBC shared a trailer of Planet Earth III ahead of the premiere of the first episode. Whales swim across the ocean, wolves walk over a frozen body of water, and a group of cheetahs bask under the sun. And while there are some anxiety-filled encounters, like a crocodile opening its mouth to try to eat a couple of deer, the video makes sure to point out who the real threat is. Trees are taken down, seals are trapped by fishing nets, and primates cautiously cross a road where cars are zooming by. New kinds of danger have come to shape their lives.
Now, critics who have seen the first episode point out that, while the footage is breathtaking, there's a layer of heartbreak to it. Some of the species featured have had some positive developments over the last few years, like desert lions returning to the Namibian coast for the first time in 40 years thanks to their now-protected status. But while inspiring, the show also depicts how other creatures have had to adapt not only to climate change, but also to the direct effects humans have had on their habitats. Echoing Attenborough's urgent plea from 2022, Planet Earth III depicts the hardships these creatures face and also reminds the audience why they're worth fighting for.
Planet Earth III premieres on BBC America in the U.S. on November 4. Watch the trailer below and stay up to date by following BBC America on Instagram.
Watch the trailer for BBC's Planet Earth III:
h/t: [The Guardian]