David Attenborough discusses the biomass and life in a variety of eco-systems spanning many of the environments found on Earth (from tropical to polar).
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1  
1984  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Life on Earth (TV Mini-Series 1979)
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David Attenborough's groundbreaking study of the evolution of life on our planet.

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The Trials of Life (TV Series 1990)
Documentary
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Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction.

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The Private Life of Plants (TV Series 1995)
Documentary
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David Attenborough's study of the world of plants, which demonstrates, with the aid of time-lapse photography, the rich and varied ways in which they flourish.

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Life in the Freezer (TV Series 1993)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Series exploring the natural history of Antarctica.

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Summer's Lease (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

From the DVD box: The minute she sets eyes on it, Molly Pargeter knows that the Tuscan Villa she has found to lease is perfect for her family's summer holiday. She is powerfully drawn to ... See full summary »

Stars: Susan Fleetwood, John Gielgud, Michael Pennington
The Life of Birds (TV Series 1998)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

David Attenborough's comprehensive and richly detailed study of birds, examining the variety of different species and their ways of life.

Stars: David Attenborough
Life in the Undergrowth (TV Mini-Series 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

David Attenborough's ground-breaking exploration of a group of organisms that are vast in number, yet often too small to be noticed: the invertebrates.

Stars: David Attenborough
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, that looks at the evolution and habits of amphibians and reptiles.

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The Life of Mammals (2002–2003)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

David Attenborough's comprehensive study of how a remarkable group of animals evolved - a group that includes ourselves.

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Full Circle with Michael Palin (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Adventure | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Michael Palin embarks on another epic journey of exploration and adventure, this time 15,000 miles through 18 countries around the Pacific rim.

Stars: Michael Palin, Rob Hehnlin
Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives (TV Series 1989)
Documentary
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David Attenborough's comprehensive study of fossils, which give many clues to how life existed on pre-historic Earth.

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State of the Planet (TV Series 2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

David Attenborough investigates the latest scientific research to discover whether or not there is a global environmental crisis, and, if so, what solutions there are to it.

Stars: David Attenborough
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Storyline

David Attenborough examines the ecology and biodiversity of each of Earth's major biomes, and warns of the dangers of humanity's current industrial life. Camera work is extraordinary, and all continents are visited at least once. Written by Jason A. Cormier

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natural history | See All (1) »

Taglines:

A Portrait of the Earth

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Documentary

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Release Date:

19 January 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth  »

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(12 x 55 mins episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Additional item included on the UK DVD is "The Making of the Living Planet". Presented by Miles Kington it shows the trials and tribulations of the film crew in capturing animal behavior together with a humorous interview with David Attenborough (at around 39 mins) See more »

Connections

Followed by The Trials of Life (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The awe inspiring Living Planet
27 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

David Attenborough is nothing short of a national treasure. He may apparently dislike the term, but it is hard to not say that about such a great presenter who has contributed significantly to some of the best programmes (of the documentary genre and overall) the BBC has ever aired/produced.

It is really hard picking favourites, let alone a definite favourite, among what Attenborough has done because he has done so many gems, it is the equivalent of trying to choose your favourite ice cream flavour or your favourite operatic role (for examples) and finding you can't pick. To me though, 'The Living Planet' is not just one of Attenborough's best and most ground-breaking it's also one of the best documentaries of its kind ever viewed by me. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful, hence some of the reiteration of my recent reviews for some of his work (being on a nature documentary binge in my spare time), and deserves everything great that has been said about it.

First and foremost, 'The Living Planet' looks amazing. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the invertebrates), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic with some of the shots being unique for a documentary series, making one forget that it is a series. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery of all the continents is pure magic.

The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.

Again, like so many Attenborough nature/wildlife documentaries, 'The Living Planet' fascinates, teaches, moves, entertains and transfixes. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown, some facts being familiar to us while also dealing with very complex and very much relevant issues with tact.

Narration by Attenborough helps significantly. He clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He delivers it with his usual richness, soft-spoken enthusiasm and sincerity, never talking down to the viewer and keeping them riveted and wanting to know more. The "behind the scenes/making of" scenes too gave some humanity to the series and allowed us to get to know those behind the camera as well as in front.

'The Living Planet' is not just notable for looking amazing and being informative. It also displays a wide range of emotions and found myself really caring for everything that was shown to us on screen. The conflict has genuine tension and suspense, there is some fun and a lot of emotionally powerful moments done with a lot of tear-jerking pathos. Found myself really caring for what we're told.

Like much of Attenborough/BBC's other work, each episode doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like the best nature documentaries each feels like their own story and journey, with real, complex emotions and conflicts.

Overall, awe inspiring and a requirement for Attenborough fans. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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