Beautiful Planet is a documentary series that offers a look at some of the worlds most beautiful travel destinations. It is a guided tour through some of the most scenic and culturally important places in the world. Two of the sets offer up a look at some of Europe’s places to offer: England and the Low Countries and Germany and Austria.
In the episode where we visit England, you will see the Royal Botanical Gardens and Westminster Palace, also known as the House of Parliament. The Royal Botanical Gardens have a variety of scenes to offer, having been renovated, added to, and changed throughout the years. The Westminster Palace is the place in which all the Kings and Queens have been crowned since the 11th century. In the episode exploring the Low Countries, you will visit Brugge and Kinderdijk in Belgium. Brugge (Bruges) is considered to be the Venice of the north. It is not only beautiful but wonderfully preserved, giving you a real sense of what life has been like there for years. Kinderdijk has the distinction of having windmills that surround and protect the city. You will learn about the history of these wind mills as well as see what makes them so beautiful.
In the episode pertaining to Germany, you will visit the cities of Bamburg and Speyer as well as visit the historic St. Mary’s Cathedral. Bamburg is a city that is built on multiple hills and contains Germany’s historic center. Speyer on the Upper Rhine is a historically and culturally important city. While visiting St. Mary’s Cathedral you will learn that is is not only beautiful but also one of the largest Romenesque churches in the world. In the episode where we visit Austria, we will look at the Hallstatt region and Schonbrunn. The Hallstatt region offers various kinds of landscapes, all stunning in their own right. Schonbrunn offers, Schonbrunn Palace, which is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria.
Beautiful Planet is shot in High Definition, but there are times when it is not apparent. The execution of some of the shots takes away from the beauty of what is being shown. This is not to say that the pictures are not beautiful and thoroughly enticing, it simply means there is nothing overly amazing about the shots that were used. Perhaps a better way to describe it is to say it felt rushed. In light of the documentaries about the planet that have come out in recent years, we expect a lot from these and I was a little let down.
On top of this let down, the narration was utterly boring. The information given was interesting enough but the way in which it was presented was not. There were times that I wanted to just put the television on mute and watch the visuals. This would have been just as exciting. Instead it sounded as if the narrators were reading straight from a travel catalog, with no feeling behind what they had to say. There are many long running successful travel shows to choose from, many of which have most likely dealt with these same places. With this in mind, we needed to get more from the narrators of this series in order to make it something worth our time and money.