Planet Earth (2006)
3 user 1 critic

Great Plains 

A quarter of the earth's land mass, from arctic to tropical, are open plains consisting of lowland as well as highland plateaus. Here grows virtually indestructible, fast-growing grasses of... See full summary »


Gary Parker (additional writer)

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Episode credited cast:
David Attenborough ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Sigourney Weaver ... Narrator - US Version (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Justine Evans Justine Evans ... Herself
Jonathan Keeling Jonathan Keeling ... Himself (as Jonny Keeling)


A quarter of the earth's land mass, from arctic to tropical, are open plains consisting of lowland as well as highland plateaus. Here grows virtually indestructible, fast-growing grasses of all sizes that feed the planet's largest herbivore populations, the preys to solitary and social carnivores. Spectacular elements of the seasonal cycle of life can include mass migrations, monsoons, drought and great fires. Written by KGF Vissers

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fire | earth | See All (2) »




TV-PG | See all certifications »


Release Date:

8 April 2007 (USA) See more »

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[first lines]
Narrator: Vast open plains. Immense spaces. Eerie silence. But any feeling of emptiness is an illusion.
Narrator: The plains of our planet support the greatest gatherings of wildlife on Earth. At the heart of all that happens here is a single living thing. Grass. This miraculous plant covers a quarter of all the lands of the Earth. Grasslands exist wherever there is a little rain, but not enough to sustain a forest. Some are huge. The Central Asian Steppe alone extends one third of the way around our ...
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Planet Earth End Theme
Written by George Fenton
Performed by BBC Concert Orchestra
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User Reviews

Grassland greatness
13 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Absolutely adore 'Planet Earth', one of the best documentaries ever made and actually is more than that. Have remarked a few times that it and its recent follow up (every bit as good) did for nature and out planet as 'Walking with Dinosaurs' did with the dinosaurs. David Attenborough is widely considered a national treasure for very good reason, no matter how much he himself dislikes the term.

"Great Plains" lives up to its name and actually even exceeds it. It perfectly lives up to the never less than great quality of the previous six episodes of 'Planet Earth' and is a great representation of what Attenborough is all about and what a good documentary should be like. "Great Plains" throughout, as with the previous six episodes and with Attenborough at his best, an awe-inspiring, utterly transfixing experience where one forgets they're watching a documentary and instead feeling like they're watching art. This may sound like extreme hyperbole, but to me and many others 'Planet Earth' is completely deserving of its praise and even deserving of more. To me as well, it is easily one of the best the BBC has done in years.

Where to start with the praises for "Great Plains"? It for starters looks amazing. It is gorgeously filmed, those aerial shots are awe-inspiring, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The grassland scenery is some of the most breath-taking personally seen anywhere, whether in visual media and real life and the rich colours positively leap out. The music is epic but has just as many quieter moments that speak just as much. The main theme is unforgettable.

Regarding the narrative aspects, "Great Plains" can't be faulted there either. The narration has a great well-balanced mix of facts that will be familiar to the viewer and others that will induce the right amount of surprise. In short, it's just fascinating, informative and thoughtful, have never learnt so much about grass and found myself appreciating it more. Everything is intriguing and illuminating, with as much for children to be inspired by as well as adults, and there is just enough freshness to avoid it from becoming stale. Attenborough delivers it beautifully, there's a soft-spoken enthusiasm and precision about his delivery and he never preaches.

The animals themselves are a wonderful mix of the adorable and the dangerous.and their struggles in the habitat and how they adapt feel very real. What also stands out in "Great Plains" is its sense of awe and emotional impact. The lions and elephants scene is indeed spine-chilling and also quite devastating.

Nothing episodic or repetitive here either. Despite covering a lot, there is a real sense of the episode having its own individual story with real, complex emotions and conflicts and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.

Concluding, brilliant once again. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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