The Green Planet (TV) (2022)

247 min. Director: Mike Gunton. Cast: David Attenborough.


Shot in twenty-seven countries over three years using cutting-edge technologies, BBC One's The Green Planet focuses on plants, their livelihood amidst growing climate challenges, and their relationships with other species, our own included. The series maintains the standard set by BBC Studios' Natural History Unit for their family-friendly Planet franchise, a brand defined by astonishing modern ultra-high-definition photography and oodles of fascinating science facts, comfortingly presented (as ever) by narrator David Attenborough in the warmest and plummiest of tones.

The series comprises five episodes originally aired on BBC One: "Tropical Worlds" (looking at tropical rainforest plants racing for the chance to claim sunlight after an old tree dies and falls; leafcutter ants at work; the world’s biggest flower, the corpse flower; and the seven-hour flower, which bats feed on, among other topics), "Water Worlds" (including “the most beautiful river in the world”; mosaic plants; the giant water lily; mossy balls called marimos; the probing stem of the bladderwort; and predatory plants with hair triggers, like the Venus flytrap), "Seasonal Worlds" (the Boreal Forest, the largest forest on Earth; the orchid in the wild; the fire lily, which flowers after wildfires; the dandelion; the sequoia, et al), "Desert Worlds" (varieties of cacti and succulents; coyote tobacco; seed storms; and “the tree of life,” the baobab, among others), and "Human Worlds" (proving its point that “We rely upon plants for everything…” by looking at weeds and invasive species like miconia, crops, trees, flowers, the work of bees, and the efforts of humans to preserve plant life).

The series opens with the line “The biggest living thing that exists on this planet is a plant” (for the record, it’s the giant sequoia tree of California), and ends on the note "together, we can make this an even greener planet." In between, the filmmakers employ new time-lapse technology to illustrate the otherwise imperceptible movement strategies of plants, as well as using drones and nimble new camera rigs able to get smooth close-up photography even in tight spots. Masterfully produced all around, the Planet series set the high water mark for nature documentaries and, by now, qualify as a cultural institution.

BBC's 4K set presents the series on two 4K discs and two Blu-ray Discs. Naturally, the series looks especially good in 4K: with brilliant color, vivid details, and Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 options, these will become your new reference discs to show off your 4K TV and/or home theater.

The second 4K disc and the second Blu-ray Disc include the bonus "The Green Planet: On Location" (41:21), which goes behind the scenes of the series' production, new technologies, and craftspeople.

Aspect ratios: 2160p

Number of discs: 4

Audio: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS-HD Master Audio

Street date: 8/9/2022


Review gear:

  • Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT30 55" Plasma 1080p 3D HDTV
  • Oppo BDP-93 Universal Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
  • Denon AVR2112CI Integrated Network A/V Surround Receiver
  • Pioneer SP-BS41-LR Bookshelf Speaker (2)
  • Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker
  • Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer