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Discovery Drops Celebrity Narration For 'Human Planet'

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Discovery Channel announced yesterday the premiere dates for its next big nature series Human Planet – but unlike its previous flagship shows like “Planet Earth” and “Life”, this one won’t have any celebrity narration.

But first, let’s talk about the show – which took more than four years to make and will once again feature gorgeous high-definition video. According to the release, “Human Planet” is a “majestic portrait of people’s incredible ability to survive and thrive in our planet’s most extreme environments.” Over 70 locations, featuring nearly every habitat (Arctic, Rivers and Oceans, Mountains, Grasslands, Jungles, Deserts, etc.) will provide the backdrop for “intensely captivating stories of human perseverance and survival.”

The series already ran its course earlier this year on BBC TV, with one reviewer calling it “beautifully executed”. That particular version is narrated by actor John Hurt (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) – a marked departure from the voice of David Attenborough, who narrated the UK versions of both “Life” and “Planet Earth”.

So it’s interesting that Discovery has chosen not to add an iconic voice to their own rendition of “Human Planet”. The first though that comes to mind is that last year’s heavy criticism of Oprah Winfrey’s narration for “Life” left something of a mark. That, or the whole celebrity voice thing has proven to be too much of a distraction from the final product.

But seriously, why get rid of Hurt’s great narration to begin with?

Check out this incredible clip from the BBC’s “Human Planet” below. I’ve included the gorgeous trailer as well. The series debuts on the Discovery Channel Sunday April 10, 17 and 24, with two episodes airing from 8-10PM ET/PT each night.

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