If you’re planning on watching Jurassic World: Dominion this weekend in order to get your dinosaur fix, I’m here to tell you that there’s another, better way. That better way is none other than Apple TV’s Prehistoric Planet.
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough himself, Prehistoric Planet is a nature documentary about the lives of prehistoric creatures, with each episode exploring how they co-existed in different environments. Imagine any dinosaur documentary you would watch at a natural history museum, then add Apple’s budgetary power, and you’ve got a gorgeous, engrossing look at the creatures who used to roam the earth.
Prehistoric Planet is Planet Earth with dinosaurs
Credit: Apple TV+
In many ways, Prehistoric Planet is the spiritual successor to Planet Earth. It weaves stories out of the lives of its subjects, accompanied by stunning visuals and the dulcet tones of Attenborough’s voice. However, while the footage in Planet Earth is real, the footage in Prehistoric Planet is created from CGI, as our dinosaur friends died out millions of years ago.
You’ll have to keep reminding yourself of that fact as you watch the show. Prehistoric Planet‘s visual effects are so spectacular and life-like that you may wonder, “Huh, has David Attenborough been hiding live dinosaurs from us this time?” Seriously, every dinosaur we encounter, from Tyrannosaurus Rex to Triceratops, feels like it’s right in front of us. It’s enough to make you worried for the people behind the cameras!
And it’s not just the dinosaurs that look awesome. The environments they inhabit — from prehistoric oceans to scorching hot deserts — come to vivid life. If you’re looking to be as immersed in dinosaur land as possible (without playing God), this is sensational series will do just that.
Prehistoric Planet eats Jurassic World: Dominion for breakfast
Credit: Apple TV+
Don’t let Jurassic World: Dominion‘s promise of cool new dinosaurs fool you — the sixth entry in the Jurassic Park franchise drastically underutilizes its main draw, focusing instead on its boring human characters. Meanwhile, there’s only room for one human on Prehistoric Planet, and that’s Attenborough (who deserves to live in all the cool places).
Attenborough’s legendary narration guides us through stories with high stakes and fascinating characters — characters who don’t even have to say a word for us to get invested. In the show’s very first episode, which focuses on prehistoric creatures living on coasts, we see a pregnant Tuarangisaurus struggling to guide herself and her calf through danger-infested predators. When a predator looms into view, it’s genuinely terrifying — both because it’s a giant creature with scary pointy teeth, and because we want the mother to make it out alive. Later, when two massive Dreadnoughtus clash on a desert mating ground, you’ll find yourself leaning forward to catch every blow.
There’s something kind of funny about documenting these encounters between two scripted dinosaurs as fact, but that’s all a part of Prehistoric Planet‘s charm. It’s earnest and educational, plus it gives us drama, a surprising amount of character development, and kick-ass dinosaurs. That’s far, far more than we can say about other dinosaur-related entertainment being released now.