Now two episodes into a run of five, everyone I know who has seen the BBC's phenomenal Planet Earth has been blown away by its astonishing photography. Four years in the making, the ground-breaking camerawork is some of the best ever put on screen, including never before seen aerial views of Mt. Everest, shot onboard a Nepalese army spy plane. It's easily on par with recent Oscar-winner March Of The Penguins, and as mesmeric as those non-verbal classics Baraka and the Qatsi Trilogy. With narration by Sir David Attenborough and a musical score from George Fenton it could well become the benchmark for nature documentary.
If you can't tune into BBC1 on Sunday evenings there are a couple of other ways to appreciate the extraordinary lengths the Planet Earth team have gone to. The series is backed by an extensive website (although parts of it are restricted to U.K. users). The Discovery Channel is one of the series co-producers, and is set to air it in the U.S. in March 2007. In the meantime, a theatrical feature called Earth has been developed in tandem, featuring lots of extra footage. It's expected to debut at Cannes in May, and I suspect will be well-worth looking out for after that.