As befits the BBC's reputation for producing some of the world's best nature documentaries, Planet Earth is an epic travelogue, focussing on different ecologies and the unique animals that inhabit them. Once again, Sir David Attenborough provides the narration, as the cameras fly across the surface of the earth, zooming in to give us a bug's eye view one minute, zooming out to give us an eagle's perspective the next. The BBC's cameramen filmed more than 200 locations, resulting in some truly spectacular footage, much of which has never before been seen--such as the rare sight of an endangered snow leopard hunting in the Himalayas, or great white sharks leaping from the water as they hunt. The creators of Planet Earth endured some of the world's most hostile environments, from the deepest ocean depths to an Antarctic blizzard to a fetid, cockroach- and bat-infested cave, just to grab a few moments of film; it's worth watching the "Making of" shorts that accompany each episode, in order to see just what lengths they had to go to. The three extra episodes here--Planet Earth: The Future--provide a sobering finale, as Sir David practically pleads with viewers to cherish the animals that we share this planet with, before it's too late. --Ted Kord
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