All of us remember the various nature shows on TV - at one time or another, we have seen the lions chase the Thomson gazelles or the humpback whales, all 30 tons of them, burst out of the sea and take to the air for just an instant before crashing back down with an explosion of water and sea foam.
The BBC's Planet Earth was one of the best, but there are dozens of nature shows on TV every year, from PBS's Nature to Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown. The best of these shows not only introduce us to the world we live in but rarely see, they also give us a sense of the community of all living things that inhabit our blue marble - anyone who was around in the late 60s knows when the environmental movement began, it was the day that the Apollo 8 astronauts sent back this photo of the earth, looking back from the moon - earthrise.
Our Planet, the new Netflix 8-part series narrated by David Attenborough, is to the usual nature show like Stevie Wonder is to the usual harmonica player - they're both playing the harmonica but Stevie is on a totally different level.
What makes Our Planet stand out is the incredible photography that will show you things you have never seen before. Oh, I know, you have seen it all - well, as Al Jolson use to say, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
The series' eight episodes of about 50 minutes each tells the story of our planet's incredible diversity and, also, its inhabitants' total interdependence by looking at the world through its large communities - Jungles, Coastal Seas, Deserts, etc.
Conveniently, the first episode is a preview of all that is to come, so you can take a look and see if this is your cup of tea. What you will see is a world where each plant and animal has found a place, a niche, in which to make a living, that is, to survive, but not independently. No, the wild kingdom ( remember, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler) is like a giant puzzle with each piece fitting precisely into his tailored spot.
In the Coastal Seas, when predators such as dolphins attack huge schools of anchovy or herring, above the sea, the hunting birds are all waiting for the feast to begin (no one knows how the birds know when to show up) as smaller fish rise up to the top of the sea to avoid the dolphins only to be in range of the cormorants or petrels which dive into the sea, snatch one up and fly away.
Or the courtship rituals of various birds, the nurturing instincts of wild hunting dogs, the journeys of elephants for water in the desert - the list of fascinating subjects is endless and all tell the same story - how a particular animal or plant has, over the course of millenia, adapted itself to an environment that is quickly changing and may be gone in our own lifetimes.
But Our Planet does not preach, it shows and tells. What it has to show and tell is extraordinary. Our planet has a diversity of life that is astounding - did you know there are spinning dolphins? The best way to convey to you the wonder of Our Planet is to show you the trailer - Take a look and I am sure you will agree. Our Planet is worth your time.