“This is not your mother’s nature series” and NatGeo couldn’t be more accurate in its logline for their new nature series ‘Hostile Planet.’ Encompassing 1,800 hours of footage while traversing all seven continents in 82 shoots over 1,300 days of filming, ‘Hostile Planet’ provides a look at natural history in such a raw and visceral way that has yet to be seen.
No longer will you be lulled to complacency with the familiar dulcet tones of Sir David Attenborough as you watch cute animals frolicking in their natural habitat (no disrespect to Attenborough intended). Instead, ‘Hostile Planet’ will be hosted by survivalist extraordinaire Bear Grylls, best known for his seven seasons on the Emmy Award nominated series ‘Man vs Wild.”
“What’s incredible about ‘Hostile Planet,’ says Grylls, “is that it’s never been done before. So many of the stories are so heartbreaking and it is an emotional thing watching [the series]. ‘Hostile Planet’ shows the dark side of living in brutal environments, but it also shows the light side — where animals learn to survive.”
What makes this show so unique is that it purposely focuses on the wonders of the animal kingdom and its determination to survive while living in the most extreme environments. Each episode centers on one region and the challenges the wildlife who call the area home are facing. Last week the series focused on life on mountainous areas while tonight’s episode will focus on wildlife in an oceanic setting, In the coming weeks, the series will also cover desert, polar, and grassland environments.
The footage is startling and is meant to evoke a response from you. After all, it is hard to be dispassionate after watching a barnacle geese chick survive a 300 ft fall only to be bird food or a baby seal pup be chased by a shark, seeing the shark bump the pup into the air, then watch the pup fall into the open jaws of that very shark before descending back into the ocean. Just rip my heart out right now, NatGeo.
And yes, the subject of climate change does pop up but rather than a preachy approach to the subject, ‘Hostile Planet’ instead shows the effects of climate change on animals. As executive producer Martha Holmes explained at this year’s TCAs, “We so often hear it from the human side of things. Our show wants to remind us that animals are out there and it’s affecting them.”
‘Hostile Planet’ is fascinating to watch but definitely not for the squeamish. The animals filmed have impressive abilities more so than some superhero films and that alone is worth to watch. Sometimes, science can be more fascinating than science fiction and ‘Hostile Planet’ has achieved just that.
Hostile Planet premieres on National Geographic tonight at 9/8c.