Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#SteveReviews: Our Living World

A dominant voice in the world of nature documentaries is that of Sir David Attenborough, who has been on our screen for 70 years. It is therefore unusual and a little novel when you find a landmark nature series without such a recognisable voice. Our Living World is the the latest documentary series on Netflix that appears to be planning for that time when Sir David is unfortunately no longer with us. Narrated by the talented Cate Blanchett, the series stands out for its captivating storytelling, stunning visuals, and profound message of conservation. The series is a mesmerizing journey through the intricate and breath-taking beauty of our planet, helping to foster an awe for the natural world. Blanchett’s narration is a standout feature – her voice is both soothing and authoritative, that brings an added layer of gravitas to the series. She guides viewers through diverse ecosystems with a blend of empathy and wonder, making the complex and often harsh realities of nature accessible and engaging. Blanchett’s nuanced delivery adds emotional depth, making the viewer feel connected to the wildlife and environments showcased.

The cinematography in Our Living World is nothing short of spectacular. Each episode is a visual feast, capturing everything from the grand sweep of savannas and oceans to the minute details of insect life and plant growth. The use of cutting-edge filming techniques, including time-lapse and macro photography, allows for an immersive experience that highlights the intricate details and dynamic processes of natural habitats. It always amazes me how much technology has advanced between the filming of such series, even if there are only four episodes. The series covers a broad range of ecosystems, from the depths of the ocean to the highest mountain ranges, and explores the interdependence of species within these habitats. It doesn’t shy away from the challenges facing our planet, addressing issues such as climate change, habitat destruction, and species extinction. However, it balances these sobering themes with stories of resilience and hope, showcasing conservation efforts and the incredible adaptability of nature.

Our Living World is not just visually stunning; it is also highly informative. Each episode is packed with fascinating facts and insights into the behaviour, survival strategies, and unique characteristics of various species. The series succeeds in educating viewers about the importance of biodiversity and the urgent need for conservation in an engaging and accessible manner. You may also be able to spot my name in the credits of one of the episodes (I’ll leave it to you to find it), where I helped as a scientific consultant for one of the sequences. Thank you to the team behind the series for the opportunity, and I hope we can work together again in the future.

While some viewers might find the pace a bit slow at times, and the focus occasionally shifting too quickly between subjects, these minor issues do not detract significantly from the overall impact of the series. Our Living World is a triumph in nature documentary filmmaking, reminding us of the wonders of our planet and the crucial need to protect it. In my mind is a must-watch for nature enthusiasts and anyone interested in the beauty and complexity of our planet. Sit your family down in front of the series and allow them to absorb the majesty of our planet in a small number of bite-size chunks. It combines amazing visuals, powerful storytelling, and educational content in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Cate Blanchett’s narration elevates the series, making it a poignant and memorable viewing experience.

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