The Planet of Life

The Planet of Life

2003, Nature  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 7.79/10 from 61 users.

The Planet of Life is a scientific documentary that explores the characteristics necessary for life as well as characteristics of life itself. Appearances from professors with prestigious university affiliations, and use of relevant graphics throughout feel appropriate for the style of documentary, and the information is free of opinion or apparent bias.

However, at one point you might wonder whether or not the film's creators are trying to get audiences to arrive at a particular point, specifically when they suggest that the introduction of oxygen had been a "technical pollutant" that made earth an optimal place for the existing species (humans and animals). This feeling returns later in the film when the documentary's narrator suggests that we may consciously create a race of similar descendants in the future with mechanical integration capabilities.

As the film will show, the definition of life is a slippery concept to grasp, but what we can be sure of is that metabolism and genetics are both prerequisites for life. Information on the way things like bacteria and processes such as photosynthesis came to be and continue to be up to today will make you rethink those junior high school science facts that you take for granted, but that do remain relevant in each of our everyday lives.

New information on where life can be found and sustain itself is being discovered all the time, and what life is is a fragile concept, as stated earlier. Accepting that there are some questions that we must live with for the time being, the film explains concepts like the origin of complex organisms in a way that is both easy to understand and reiterate, but interesting nonetheless. Concepts like sexual reproduction, language, and other enduring but not exactly necessary functions of life are looked into as well.

The interconnectedness of all living organisms, presented as dependency in the film, is illustrated in a way that is straight forward and impossible to counter. You'll never once feel like a pseudo-intellectual for having appreciated any information you've either picked up for the first time, or have been presented with as a sort of refresher while viewing The Planet of Life.

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1 year ago

I liked the documentary, but the guy who designed the soundtrack and sound effects needs to be reprimanded/fired.

Why come with all this static noise and ominously themed music in something as wondrous as life?
It really bothered me during my viewing and decreased my viewing pleasure and sometimes even made the spoken info harder to hear, especially the static.

8 years ago

So Dawkins et al have nothing to say about anything but the physical. Moreover, it's our genes that play tricks on us emotionally; nothing 'emotional' is genuine, every feeling has an ulterior motive. What a bunch of dry husks such people are! They won't stand the test of time.

evolution girl
8 years ago

No NO and NOOOO.. oxygen was made from NOT trilobites (that are a cousin to horse shoe crabs) but from stomatoforms... tiny groups of plant like creatures. Look up evolution and oxygen formation. These mega structures can still be found today, living and also in fossil form !!!!

8 years ago

The very first comments are rubbish - oxygen took not thousands of years but BILLIONS to form the atmosphere, from the trilobites, the last remnants to be found in Shark Bay. Western Australia.. and it didn't kill off the single cells present in the ocean. I shut off within 2 minutes.

wiseman .
8 years ago

Just missing the facts no more theories from the same people that want to be admired because they think they are the only ones Intelligent In this planet but they forgot that we are in the age of the awakening no more ignorant people
no more brain washed with Theories Can't be proven.

the warden
8 years ago

Good doco, but why'd they have to make it so creepy?

8 years ago

2 errors: life complex proliferation started approximately 600 million years ago not 6 billion..., The human brain is more than 40% bigger than our nearest evolutionary relative (not 4%).

8 years ago

How different would this doc be if it was made 12 yrs later?