Our Planet: 14 Mind-Blowing Facts About David Attenborough's New Netflix Series

All eights episodes are available to watch online now.

After years in the making, Sir David Attenborough’s new series, Our Planet, has finally dropped on Netflix.

As the title suggests, the eight-episode series focusses on human impact on the globe, its eco-systems and the other species we share it with.

To mark its release, here are 14 jaw-dropping facts about the making of the show and the environments it features, compiled with a little help from series producer, Keith Scholey, and camerawoman Sophie Darlington....

1. The series producers first thought up their plan for the programme six years ago

Keith told HuffPost UK that he and fellow executive producer Alastair Fothergill first decided to make another global natural history show back in 2013.

“We thought, ‘This time, it’s got to be relevant to our time and have the story of what’s happening to the natural world’,” he explained.

They then took the idea to Netflix in 2014.

Sharks in French Polynesia
Sharks in French Polynesia
Gisle Sverdrup/Silverback/Netflix

2. There’s a stunning glacier shot which was all filmed in one 20-minute period

We’re not going to spoil what it is, but the action was all captured on the last day of filming, after a team of six had sat watching the ice for around three weeks.

3. The ratio of minutes shot to ones that make it on screen is “between 500 and 1,000 to one”

Yes, really. For every 1,000 minutes shot, Keith estimates we see just one. This is because camera crews often have to film for hours while waiting for one specific event to take place (which was the case with the glacier scene).

Keith said: “When you’re waiting for that moment, you have to film a lot of build up. Then when it does happen, you record lots and lots of film.”

4. Sometimes they come back with nothing useful

One filming trip resulted in zero footage. Watch the behind-the-scenes programme, which accompanies the main series, to find out what happened.

Icebergs must be approached with extreme caution during filming
Icebergs must be approached with extreme caution during filming
Oliver Scholey/Silverback/Netflix

5. More than 600 people worked on the series

This includes everyone from Keith and Alastair overseeing the series to researchers, runners, camera people and logistics managers.

6. They filmed in 50 countries

In doing so, they managed to capture a number of things on camera that have never been seen before.

7. The score takes roughly four weeks

Steven Price is in charge of writing the music that accompanies the show. He’s previously scored numerous other films by Keith and Alastair’s production company, Silverback, as well as films including Oscar-winner Gravity.

8. Over 70% of Borneo has been deforested

Our Planet reveals numerous shocking facts about the human impact on the natural world, and Keith admits this is one of the ones which stunned him the most.

9. Sir David Attenborough isn’t the show’s only famous narrator

Our Planet features 10 local narrators in other languages, including Spanish-language narrators Penélope Cruz for Spain and Salma Hayek for Latin America.

10. One scene features 500,000 birds

Sophie Darlington filmed the Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska, as 80% of the world’s population of the birds arrived on a 75-mile stretch of river.

“It’s properly one of the best things I’ve ever seen,” she said. “Hundreds of thousands of these birds, the noise and spectacle was just breathtaking and absolutely beautiful.”

A green turtle glides over the pristine reefs of Heron Island, on the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
A green turtle glides over the pristine reefs of Heron Island, on the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Oliver Scholey/Silverback/Netflix

11. And another has 100,000 walruses

This features in the Frozen Worlds episode, as the team headed to Russia.

12. Around 20 metres is the perfect distance for a long lens camera

“That’s not particularly close and you can still be pretty quiet,” Sophie explains.

13. There are just 550 Amur tigers left in the world

Growing concern for the environment is front and centre of the series and this fact means their success in capturing one on film is even more incredible.

14. The series is available to watch in 190 countries

Part of the attraction of working with Netflix, Keith says, was the ability to have a huge global release.

Our Planet is available to watch now on Netflix.


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