Sir David Attenborough travels across the globe to explore the strange and wonderful world of plants like never before in a new five-part series, The Green Planet, on BBC One.
What is The Green Planet all about?
Visiting 27 countries in total (filming began a long time ago before Covid), David Attenborough travels from the USA to Costa Rica and Croatia to northern Europe, to gain a fresh understanding of how plants live their lives.
Four years in the making, the series documents plant life in and across tropical forests, deserts, freshwater, the seasons, and the human world. David meets the largest living things that have ever existed, from trees that care for each other to plants that hunt animals, all captured using pioneering new filmmaking technology and the very latest science.
‘Plants live secret, unseen lives. But they are as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as animals – locked in life-and-death struggles for food and light, taking part in fierce battles for territory, and desperately trying to reproduce and scatter their young,’ the BBC describe.
Some 26 years after The Private Life Of Plants aired on BBC One, The Green Planet is a new, modern window into how science and technologies have advanced, and how our understanding of the ways in which plants behave and interact has evolved.
Why should I watch this series about plants?
It is not a gardening show, but as the world has become plant conscious, viewers will no doubt be gripped by this fascinating series made by BBC Studios’ world-renowned Natural History Unit, and presented and narrated by David Attenborough himself.
‘The world depends on plants. It’s a cliché now, every breath of air we take, and every mouthful of food we eat, depends upon plants,’ David says. ‘I also think that being shut up and confined to one’s garden, if one is lucky enough to have a garden, and if not, to having plants sitting on a shelf, has changed people’s perspective.
‘And an awareness [has grown] of another world that exists to which we hardly ever pay attention to in its own right. Of course, we do gardening programmes and have done since the beginning of television. But this is not about gardening, this is about a parallel world, which exists alongside us, and which is the basis for our own lives, and for which we have paid scant attention over the years.’
Above all, The Green Planet is a great passion project for David, airing at a critical moment, ‘just as our green world stands on the brink of collapse’.
When does The Green Planet start?
• Episode one: Sunday 9th January at 7pm, BBC One (Tropical Worlds)
• Episode two: Sunday 16th January at 7pm, BBC One (Water Worlds)
• Episode three (Seasons, TBC)
• Episode four (Deserts, TBC)
• Episode five (Human World, TBC).
What happens in each episode?
Episode one: Tropical Worlds
David Attenborough explores the plant battleground in the tropical rainforests, where more kinds of plants are crammed together than anywhere else on Earth. Thanks to new filming techniques, we get to enter the plants’ world (from fast-growing trees to flowers that mimic dead animals), seeing life from their perspective and on their timescale.
Episode two: Water Worlds
David introduces us to the world of water plants, which create some of the most beautiful, bizarre and important habitats on earth. To hold on in torrents, water plants use a kind of superglue – some are armed with vicious weapons to fight titanic battles for space, and where nutrients are washed away, plants turn into hunters of animals, laying traps and even counting to ensure their success. We see brilliantly coloured flowers smother lakes, and in one magical river in Brazil, the water bubbles up like champagne as the plants create the atmosphere.
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