Streaming globally, the show transports viewers through Earth's previous mass extinction events, each recreated with computer-generated visual effects.
Netflix and Steven Spielberg’s new natural history series, Life on Our Planet, will tell the entire dramatic story of life on Earth in a serialised, “binge watch” format. The 8-episode series, narrated by Morgan Freeman, started streaming globally on October 24, 2023. In each episode viewers will be transported through Earth’s five previous mass extinction events, each recreated with computer-generated visual effects.
According to the show’s producers, the format is “possibly a world-first in the natural history space”. Speaking about the format of the series, showrunner Dan Tapster said: “What we wanted to do, our intention at the very beginning, was to serialise the story of life. Make it a kind of binge watch. Because the story is so dramatic.”
Aside from a series of cliffhanger finales, Life on Our Planet finds dramatic tension with a series of ordinary, loveable underdogs who “win” evolution against the odds — at least for a few hundred million years.
The series employs visual effects from Industrial Light & Magic, the company established by Star Wars creator George Lucas. Monsters of the ancient past, from dinosaurs to the far earlier, sea-dwelling Cameroceras with their giant 25-foot (eight-metre) shells, are rendered over the top of real backgrounds shot by the filmmakers.