Review of season 2 of the Apple TV+ series ‘Prehistoric Planet’
A beautifully crafted and carefully researched speculative nature documentary on dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs are cool. Especially if you are an eight year old. when i was i came Jurassic Park outside. There is almost no better time, although I was actually too young. I became so obsessed that my parents had to read me dinosaur encyclopedias before bed. Unfortunately, today’s generation of young children have to make do with the weak substitute jurassic world and the still weaker follow him. Fortunately, there is also the beautifully made series. prehistoric planetof which the second season is now appearing.
Compared to the first season, the new five episodes offer more of the same: fantastic CG animations of dinosaurs, embedded with beautiful nature footage to make it all look like a nature documentary in the style of Planet Earth. To complete that illusion, David Attenborough introduces the series and comments on the images. His sonorous voice and his presence immediately endow the ensemble with a certain legitimacy and atmosphere of authority. Combined with the excellent computer animations and music by Hans Zimmer, he’ll almost forget that he’s not watching a real nature documentary.
prehistoric planet in the second season it also follows the pattern of the genre that Attenborough has presented for decades, with animals being introduced to their natural environment and doing two things: reproduce or eat. The latter also take two forms: herbivores in search of plants and carnivores that hunt other dinosaurs and/or other beasts. Because in addition to many dinosaurs, other prehistoric reptiles are also reviewed, as well as birds and amphibians that all lived about 66 million years ago.
Of course, the big favorites, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Triceratops, and the Velociraptor, are discussed, although the latter looks different from the Jurassic Park/Worldmovie series. already at the time of Jurassic Park it was known that the formidable carnivore with the great claw probably had feathers. Research over the past thirty years has only made this more plausible, turning it into the scientific consensus.
There’s even more new to see in this second season, in the form of many lesser-known dinosaurs and other beasts. For example, a lot of attention is paid to several different types of pterosaurs, huge flying dinosaurs that lived all over the world. But also by a prehistoric frog with the fantastic name of Beelzebufo, whose croaking is disturbed by noisy dinosaurs.
In terms of the behavior and movement of the animals, it always looks as if they are real. At least, by today’s standards of computer animation and effects. The scripts are well written in that sense, so the scenes are also convincing when the dinosaurs do weird things. Attenborough’s descriptions and comments also help, of course. But it must and cannot be forgotten that they are scripts, based on scientific research.
This is also recognized in the last scene of each episode, in which the scientists speak and a specific topic is highlighted. Sometimes even scientific discussion is discussed, or how the idea of advancement changed over the years, such as the question of whether Pachycephalosaurus used its large, hard skull to fight. These scenes give extra confidence that also the second season of prehistoric planet It is not just beautifully and skillfully made fiction, but a carefully grounded documentary of a speculative nature.
prehistoric planet can be seen in AppleTV+.