Planet Earth features many "firsts" that no other series had managed to do before that. Bactrian camels are seen eating snow, a piranha feeding frenzy is caught in action, canine hunts are captured from the air, and there is even a glimpse of the extremely rare oceanic whitetip shark. These should easily be enough motive for any nature lover to own this set. It is also the first such series filmed in HD.
Some of the features in the Special Edition of Planet Earth can be found in earlier versions of the DVD sets, while others are only available in recent releases. Any version labeled "Special Edition" should have all of these.
Audio commentary is included for "Pole to Pole," "Mountains, "Caves," "Great Plains," and "Shallow Seas," each with a different person doing the talking. A featurette called "Great Planet Earth Moments" is exactly what the title implies. Disc five boasts "Planet Earth: The Future," which is a three part series about conservation. Each part is an hour, and discusses how to save the environments depicted in Planet Earth. Sure, the concept is a little preachy. But after having just witnessed the wonders this rock has to offer, who is going to complain about efforts to preserve such amazing things? It's the perfect time to argue the message, with the ideal audience already in place.
The final disc has three new specials. "Snow Leopard: Beyond the Myth" delves into this particular strain of feline with gusto. "Secrets of the Maya Underworld" spills the beans on some lesser known items about the ancient civilization. "Elephant Nomads of the Namib Desert" looks at a culture that may not dwell in buildings, but is pretty advanced for the animal kingdom. There is also a sneak peek of Frozen Planet, a series currently airing on Discovery Channel in the U.S.
Galapagos looks at the Galapagos Islands. Once called The Enchanted Islands, the Galapagos happen to be located right where four different ocean currents collide. Some of the islands are sinking, some are rising. New animals are being created, while others are going extinct. Full of active volcanoes, lava fields, sandy beaches, and cacti-filled deserts, the Galapagos is a rare and unique setting in which to film a special.