Nature documentaries are boring. Most of them are just cute animals walking around with some half-hearted monotone narration. BBC’s “Round Planet” is different.
“Round Planet” is a nature documentary voiced by Matt Lucas that is available on Netflix. Matt Lucas is the voice of Armstrong Wedgewood, the narrator of each episode. His take on nature is irreverent, but absolutely hilarious.
Lucas plays an unreliable narrator who breaks the fourth wall so often that it was shattered by episode one. He speaks casually to the audience and even stops the show in order to take a call on his phone or brings his loud dog to work.
He also interrupts the narration to speak to the other people in the booth, such as Tabitha, an employee who needs to try and keep him on task. He also talks about Garth the cameraman in order to explain why they have more or less footage than expected.
The lack of professionalism gives a unique spin on nature documentaries, which are typically called boring. The scenery continues even when Lucas goes on a tangent, which makes a very interesting documentary with plenty of jokes that appeal to all audiences.
The show has only one season of ten episodes, but the original commentary keeps it engaging enough that fans are clamoring for another season.
The cinematography distracts from the unreliable narrator when he talks about the recording studio rather than the actual footage, and it enhances the film when he talks directly about it. For example, he suggests that the audience should skip parts of the video when he brings up spiders and refers to jellyfish as “haunted marshmallows.”
This commentary and cinematography work together to create an interesting show. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good nature documentary with a bit more humor.