Series / Planet Earth

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/planet_earth_6919.jpg

Planet Earth is a Nature Documentary series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Presented by David Attenborough, this documentary aims to capture the many habitats and biomes of life on Earth, showing off diverse phylums of animals, plants, and fungi and even rare species never before captured on camera. It was the first documentary by the BBC that was filmed (nearly) entirely in High Definition.

Presented in 2006, the series has been critically acclaimed and is one of the top five highest rated television series on IMDb. A sequel series, Planet Earth II, aired in 2016.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Male birds of paradise have bright feather display to attract their mate.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: Played through clever editing with the capybara in the third episode of Planet Earth 2, after it sees the male jaguar kills a caiman.
  • Anthology: The series format follows several animals in different location based on the episode theme. This format has already used before and reused again in following BBC blue chip documentary
  • Badass Crew: The lions and wild dogs hunt in group and capable to bring down prey several times bigger than themselves.
  • Bears Are Bad News
    • Grizzly bear appear in the "River" episode, hunting on salmon alongside other predators.
    • Subverted with the polar bear from episode 6. While its still a dangerous predator, the walrus herd is just way more powerful and the bear is weak due to starvation.
  • The Determinator:
    • The wolf that chases a young caribou in the premiere. The two just won't give up. Until the caribou finally runs out of stamina...
    • From episode 6, a starving polar bear attacks a group of walrus despite being outmatched and too weak. It doesn't end well.
    • From Planet Earth II, the marine iguana hatchling running away from the racer snakes. Not even getting rushed by dozens of the things stop it from running.
  • Endangered Species: Every episodes from both series always feature vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered species.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock: Happen every time a predator is detected, especially near the water hole.
  • From Stray to Pet: Averted with the hyenas from the "Cities" episode. They come every night to a village to be fed by the villagers. Sure, they might act friendly, but they are still wild and dangerous predator. Though it doesn't stop one particular villager to befriend them and feeds them directly from his hand every time the hyenas come.
  • Giant Flyer: The albatross and large birds of prey such as the golden eagle comes pretty close.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Played straight most of the times. Though some species might be aggressive and can be very dangerous if provoked, such as the elephants and cape buffaloes.
  • Imprinting: Young birds do this in several episodes to learn how to survive from their parents. Notably the ducks from the first episode. Several primates also do this as well.
  • Intellectual Animal: Primates and dolphins show their intelligence by using tools or using unique tactics to get their food.
  • Interspecies Friendship: More partnership than friendship. Usually different species of animals work live together as a form of protection, such as the deers that rely on the monkeys as a warning system if predators like tiger approach. The "Shallow Seas" episode also show a rare version where predators of different species work together to get their meal.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Played with the "Cities" episode from Planet Earth 2. We see various animals that are not supposed to live in or near the city, such as leopards, hyenas, sea turtles, and giant catfish.
  • Mood Whiplash: A particularly jarring one in the "Ice Worlds" episode, where we go from a heartfelt and touching scene of newly-hatched baby penguins interacting with their new world to a scene of a large group of baby penguins lost in a blizzard.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Ducklings jumping out of a tree in slo-mo with dramatic music in "Seasonal Forests".
  • Nature Documentary
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile:
    • The nile crocodile and the caiman make an appearance in the series.
    • The mugger crocodile tries to play this trope, but the otters it tries to attack prove to more powerful than they look.
    • The caiman from Planet Earth 2 at first seems to play this trope, only to be easily caught and killed by a male jaguar.
  • Noisy Nature
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The komodo dragons from the second series. They might be incapable of breathing fire, but that doesn't make them any less deadly.
  • Panthera Awesome: From the infamous lion and tiger, to the rare Amur leopard and snow leopard. The snow leopard in particular is harder to film than any other creatures in the series.
    • The second series also feature jaguar and Indian leopard.
  • Predation Is Natural
  • Predators Are Mean: Averted, as while sometime they act as an antagonist to the focus animal, they are shown as merely trying to survive. They also being portrayed sympathetically when they are the focus animal.
  • Professional Killer: Ambush predators such as carnivorous insects, big cats and snakes act as this. Their prey often never see them coming before its all too late.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Usually averted being a nature documentary, but the racer snakes hunting the baby iguanas from the first episode of Planet Earth 2, are easily one of the most terrifying creature of the entire series.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Too many to count!
  • Seldom-Seen Species
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, so much.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The wolf from the first episode, just won't give up...
  • The Catfish: Giant wels catfish shows up in the final episode of Planet Earth 2. We learn that they have exterminate the local fish species and later begin to target bathing pigeons and catch them from the shores.
  • The World Is Just Awesome
  • Threatening Shark: The great white shark makes an appearance in the premiere and latter in the Shallow Seas episode. Other species of sharks also appear in the final episode.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In Planet Earth 2 snakes chasing newly-hatched Iguanas was worthy of any horror movie.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • The African painted dog, lions, dolphins, sea birds and the carnivorous fish from the Amazon river use this tactic to kill their prey.
    • The sea snakes from the Shallow Seas episode also use this tactic and work together with a group of predatory fish.
    • Racer snakes trying to catch marine iguana hatchlings. It's not a coordinated effort, but because food is so scare on such small islands the snakes will do anything to get one meal.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/PlanetEarth?from=Main.PlanetEarth