Will Smith, yes that Will Smith of Fresh Prince and Seven Pounds, has teamed up with director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”, “The Wrestler”) to bring us the documentary series, Welcome To Earth.
Titled, apparently from Will Smith’s phrase when he punches an alien in Independence Day, Welcome To Earth sees Will travel to some remote areas of the world, to witness the wonders and delights of what mother nature has to offer.
The first five episodes each cover a certain element: Sight and colour, Sound, Scent, Speed and Swarm. Each time Will and a fellow explorer will show us a particular scene from nature, beautifully shot and soundscaped, interspersed with talking-head monologues and cut-aways to other things in nature performing a similar feat.
In this episode Will, along with a bunch of photographers, marine biologists etc, show us the colours of nature. Will kicks things off by heading 3,300 feet to the bottom of the ocean in the Bahamas.
There’s three of them, crammed into a tiny submersible: Will, Diva Amon and the pilot of the sub and as they descend they begin to lose the spectrum of light, blue the last one remaining, before it goes completely black.
Oh, and here’s the thing, Mr. Smith, it transpires, in real life, he doesn’t like water. His fear is palpable, writ large across his face before they even begin.
Even down at these depths though, we see the stunning spectacle that nature hides from us as, due to the lights on the submersible, the sea life bursts into colour. From jellyfish to the headless chicken monster, there’s the weird and the wonderful.
Elsewhere other explorers and photographers show us how nature can hide colour in plain sight. A man photographs a moonbow, a rainbow, but made by the moon, whilst a woman kayaks on a river that, all around her, bursts into bright blue every now and again, despite it being pitch black.
Then there’s the more simple approach, an ecologist and a photographer head out to some woods in Wisconsin and find some squirrels. They turn off their torches and shine a UV light at them and they explode into colours you never thought possible from squirrels.
This, Will tells us in voice over, is the latest thing, scientists everywhere rushing out with random coloured lights shining them on animals, insects, whatever they can, to see this wonderful, colourful world, hidden in plain sight.
This is a spectacular episode, the colours are vivid and unreal at times whilst the sounds draw you in. Watch it on the biggest screen you can with the best sound system. Wonderful stuff.
12th August 2021
THE QUICK SELL
In a deep-water submersible, Will Smith descends 3,300 feet to the bottom of the ocean, where even fewer people have gone than outer space. Along the way down, Will and explorer Diva Amon investigate how color is used in the natural world.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM