Sir David Attenborough is like a father figure to our incredible planet, and his latest BBC series, A Perfect Planet, has arrived on 4K Ultra HD. So, how does it shape up? Is it sunny, or a bit wet?
The story: Despite our best attempts to destroy it with global warming, overpopulation, mass consumption of finite natural resources and often just general idiocy, Earth is a remarkably resilient place. This latest series from Attenborough and the BBC team celebrates all that really is rather perfect about our home, over five episodes. Variously titled Volcano, The Sun, Weather, Oceans and Humans, we’re treated to incredible photography of creatures in their natural habitats, from all manner of monkeys (they obviously rate well) to the teensiest bugs and the biggest predators. And snakes. We really could do without them.
“There is one planet where everything has fallen into place perfectly – planet Earth.”
The 4K disc: If you have ever witnessed a 4K Ultra HD release of one of Attenborough’s previous BBC documentaries then you’ll go into this one with lofty expectations of sumptuous, near-perfect vision. Worry not, for those expectations are met in A Perfect Planet. For the most part the vision is of the “So clear it’s like you’re there” variety, with only some really zoomed-in footage sometimes being slightly less pin-sharp. We’re talking the likes of infinitesimal 2mm long insects that are filling our giant 4K screen – it’s pretty astounding stuff. The application of HDR just adds to the glorious proceedings, with its array of brighter whites, deeper blacks and wonderfully poppy colour.
Two English audio tracks feature, one 5.1 and one Dolby Atmos. Strangely, the discs default to the former, so if you are equipped to take in all of the aural splendour that Atmos has to offer, then make sure you select it in the setup menu. Regardless of which one you opt for, the sound is quite lovely – well, technically, as the sounds of various forms of wildlife chowing down on others and suchlike probably isn’t best described as “lovely”. The Atmos mix wins out by using the extra speakers subtly but effectively, creating that atmospheric sound bubble that makes us feel more a part of the action. Sadly, even when snakes are featured.
This two-disc set only features 4K Ultra HD, so no bonus standard Blu-rays, however good news for fans of extras is that the second disc packs an almost 50-minute long Making of A Perfect Planet featurette. This features everything from bits that didn’t make it into the main episodes to the odd blooper. Also, joy of joys, the package includes a full colour 12-page (and rather pleasant smelling) booklet, with very readable summaries of each of the five episodes.
Release date: July 7, 2021
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Sir David Attenborough, Earth
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.