DINOSAURS, like you’ve never seen them before.
That’s basically the pitch for David Attenborough’s new Apple TV+ series, and it’s spot on.
Episode one features a pregnant TuarangisaurusCredit: Apple
Pterosaurs fight for mates over the deserts of North AfricaCredit: Apple
The new BBC-produced natural history show animates dinosaurs in spectacular quality.
It’s helmed by Jon Favreau (Marvel Studios, The Lion King), and had a team of 10 palaeontologists fact-checking every last detail.
The Hollywood-grade visuals and storytelling showcase some of Earth’s most iconic (but long-gone) creatures over five episodes.
I got a chance to watch two episodes before the May 23 debut on Apple’s streaming service.
It brings dinosaurs to life with compelling stories that show how all of their lives were so deeply interlinked.
And we place them on Earth with real location footage, transporting us through history like never before.
Even the series opening is spectacular.
The first episode is focused on coasts, and we see a gargantuan Tyrannosaurus rex swimming across the ocean.
It’s not usually how we imagine the T-rex, so it’s already clear this series is dealing differently with dinos.
We see heartwarming footage – that you’d think was real if logic didn’t tell you otherwise – of the daddy T-rex flanked by its babies.
They’re desperately racing to shore to find a meal, but an even bigger predator lurks below.
I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a cracking (and very intense) opening.
The second episode moves to deserts – barren wastelands of prehistory made thrilling by the hardy dinos that once occupied them.
We see the brutal lives many dinosaurs endured, and how these magnificent creatures survived against (almost) all odds.
You spend a lot of time wondering how they could possibly know some of the details.
Admittedly, some of what we see will be pure educated speculation.
But modern science allows us to know much more about these creatures than ever before.
It’s very more-ish, and is ruddy good entertainment too.
David’s familiar and trusted voice really bolsters the project.
It makes these often-alien creatures seem like you could just stumble upon them in the real world – just like any of his fantastic nature docs.
The music is gorgeous and suspenseful. You’ve got Hans Zimmer (Lion King, Inception) to thank for that.
If you’ve got any interest at all in dinosaurs, nature or science, you will love this show.
In fact, it’s such fun that simply being alive is probably all you need to have a brilliant time watching Prehistoric Planet.
It’s hard to say what the end message of the series will be.
I suspect it will be something along the lines of: we lost all of this majestic life through a freak accident, so let’s take better care of the animals we still have – while we can.
But maybe they’ll go full Jurassic Park and advocate for the revival of dinosaur life.
Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing? The baby T-rex were very cute…
Prehistoric Planet debuts on Apple TV+ on May 23, with a new episode released each day.
- Apple TV+ for £4.99 a month (7-day free trial) – buy here
Episode three will introduce us to the feathery duck-billed DeinocheirusCredit: Apple
Episode five follows a young Triceratops separated from its mother in North AfricaCredit: Apple
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