Prehistoric Planet – Episode 2 – Deserts

Prehistoric Planet episode two Deserts excels in making the past come to life.

Prehistoric Planet episode two Deserts, and episode one Coasts, were screened as part of the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2022 but this was written entirely by Cinamore.

Prehistoric Planet directed by Adam Valdez and Andrew R. Jones continues the marvel of the series with a breathtaking barren landscape setting the scene for the dinosaurs to come to life.

Episode two in fact achieves more than its debut episode, with the audience able to see clearer parallels between the natural world and the prehistoric.

Similarly, Prehistoric Planet episode two Deserts with scientific accuracy shows a veracious version of velociraptors first introduced to a mass audience in Jurassic Park.

I believe this could be why the episode felt more enjoyable. The wide landscape beauty was partnered with the familiarity of recognisable creatures, beasts and dinos with evolutionary traits recognisable in today’s ecosystem.

What is most interesting though, is that, unlike typical documentaries that portray a narrative of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, Prehistoric Planet does so through an observational lens.

We, the audience are merely spectators of a time gone by, as if the crew time-travelled in an H.G. Wells invention with drones, GoPros, and the latest in camera equipment to capture what really happened.

Unlike Hollywood depictions of dinosaurs, where they’re made to be feared, or toyed with for scientific experimentation, in Prehistoric Planet they are the beauty of observation.

Though the camera is rarely seen or observed by the creatures, we are aware that we are a spectator of their existence. Never interfering, never interacting, and going mostly unnoticed.

Additionally, with its snappy 40-minute runtime, and spectacular visuals, Prehistoric Planet is a clear labour of love from both BBC Studios and Apple TV+.

While many may imagine Prehistoric Planet episode two set in deserts to be lacking in visuals with its monochrome amber, instead, what this allows is the contrasting saturation of the dinosaurs to leap from the screen.

The texture of the scales, the hair, and the layers of calcium that make up their claws are pin-sharp.

Each harmonises with the individual grains of rock as the desert winds of episode two create dunes and inhabitable environments for the ecosystem we’re viewing.

Similarly, when partnered with Hans Zimmer’s breathtaking score, it is evident just how strong Prehistoric Planet is at creating something special.

All episodes of Prehistoric Planet will be available to stream exclusively on Apple TV+ from Monday 23 May 2022, with every episode released daily after.

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By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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