Not only is Planet Earth one of the most jaw-dropping, ambitious, nature documentaries the BBC has ever produced, it’s now taken on another role: as a superb demonstration disc for the strength of and Blu-ray.
Spread over a good ten hours, the series charts life and nature in dozens upon dozens of differing locations around the earth. Diligently and warmly narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Planet Earth calmly goes close in on its subject matter when required, and then pulls out some stunning perspective shots that are simply breathtaking. It’s hard to come up with the right superlatives to do the photography on the programme any kind of justice, and that it’s married to such fascinating subject matter is all the better.
And if you think the original broadcast of Planet Earth was something special, or you were gobsmacked by the picture quality on DVD, just wait until you see it in 1080i HD glory. Particularly some of the broader shots here are all but without parallel, and it’s a real reward for those who have invested ahead of the crowd in high definition technology.
Presented over five discs, and matching wonderful content to spot-on visual presentation, Planet Earth is now not just a landmark in nature documentary film making. It’s also a chartermark of quality for just what HD DVD and Blu-ray can offer. A stunning release, in more than one sense. --Jon Foster