“Our planet is still full of wonders. As we explore them, so we gain not only understanding, but power. It’s not just the future of the whale that today lies in our hands: it’s the survival of the natural world in all parts of the living planet. We can now destroy or we can cherish. The choice is ours.” – Sir David Attenborough
Those powerful words drew to a close the first season of BBC’s Planet Earth in 2006.
It was a masterpiece: landscapes so vast one can’t help but feel confronted; a polar bear leading her cubs on a pilgrimage across the Arctic circle; lions watching on as wildebeest sipped from a watering hole.
Planet Earth was eye-opening.
In our homes, David Attenborough informed us without patronising; he enriched our lives by pulling the curtain on a natural world within our own - one we were previously blind too.
Ten years later, in 2016, Planet Earth II premiered. And it was every bit as awe-inspiring as the first
No doubt much of the series' success lies in the cinematography: the cameramen and women laying still for hours, waiting for an act of nature - a behaviour within a species - to unfold.
Watch: David Attenborough narrates a powerful battle between predators and prey in Planet Earth II. Post continues after video.
However the Planet Earth series goes hand-in-hand with Sir David Attenborough's narration. The smooth Attenborough voice is a critical to any animal documentary as the camerawork is.
He's irreplaceable. Without Attenborough, it simply doesn't feel... right.