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  • Executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, and made by Will Smith's production company (Smith is also the presenter), One Strange Rock is essentially about the experiences of eight astronauts, and how their time in space led them to see Earth with new eyes. That, in turn, is used as a jumping off point to examine several different branches of Earth Science, with each episode focusing on a specific astronaut and dealing with a specific topic; the planet's respiratory system, the Theia Impact theory, how the planet protects us from the sun, the origin of life, the Permian-Triassic Extinction, the possibility of colonising another planet, how life has both transformed the Earth and been transformed by it, the evolution from single celled microbes to complex organisms, the development of the human brain, and the concept of Earth as home.

    Along the way, the show throws up a litany of hard to believe facts. To give just a sampling; the Amazon produces twenty times more oxygen than all of humanity could use, but none of it leaves the Amazon Basin, as it is used by the animals living there; the magnetic field generated by the planet's core stretches for 400,000 miles into space in every direction; every strand of DNA in the world contains billions of carbon atoms to bind it together; the human body has 37 trillion cells (more than the stars in the galaxy); tropical islands are composed of up to 70% parrot fish excrement; photosynthesis generates 100 terrawatts of energy per year, six times more than humanity could use; the human brain is the most complex object in the known universe; 95% of all animals that have ever existed are extinct. Easily my favourite take from the show, however, is that it's 250,000 miles to the moon, 700 million miles to Saturn, 9 trillion miles to the edge of the solar system, 24 trillion miles to the nearest star (with our current technology, it would take 17,000 years to get there), and 25,000 light years (150,000 trillion miles) to the edge of the galaxy. That's a whole lotta miles!

    Very enjoyable stuff. My one complaint would be that most of the episodes feel a little padded, with each one containing two or three diversionary stories only tangentially related to the core theme. But it's still well worth watching; terrific visuals, great sound, experts who know what they're talking about, and mind blowing information, if the goal was to make the viewer look at Earth in a new manner, they certainly succeeded with me.
  • Gives you a deep appreciation for earth and all of its complexities. Videography is simply stunning. An absolute MUST watch!
  • kalibeans7 April 2018
    Oh if only more TV was this quality! Well shot, well produced, execellent narrative, meaningful. Every bit as good as Blue Planet. For every age 3-103. Thank you to all who labored to bring us this incredible program. I hope it is long lived.
  • As an Earth Science teacher in an urban school district I was very happy with my students engagement in the first episode of this series. Although just one episode I would rank this with the best episodes of cosmos, planet earth, and blue planet for student interest and behavior. I personally enjoyed it as well. Some of the photography is stunning and unlike what you will see in "Blue Oceans" and "Planet Earth" (not necessarily better but refreshingly different). Will Smith by no means makes the show but I don't think he takes anything away from it either, and he can be amusing at times. The Astronauts are going to be the real stars of the show, and they have come across great so far.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I never totally and wholeheartedly disagreed with the negative reviews before - usually everyone is entitled to their own subjective opinions about movies/shows - but not in this case.

    I do agree that the show may not have offered the latest information about the specific subjects it talked about, but that is because it was not mean to - it is not a TED talk. You can go watch these if that's what you're looking for.

    This show had a different purpose. From the first episode it was clear they wanted to highlight a few points. That: 1- life on earth is very complex, very diverse, and interconnected, 2- there is very little chance of complex life existing in other places, or us finding it, or it finding us, 3- if we as a species are to survive then we need to find ways to move away from earth.

    I really liked that they gave me a different perspective about things. For example I knew that as humans each of us has more bacteria cells in us than human cells, that's not knew. I also knew that if we are to find a habitable planet we are most likely to build a generational ship because it will take hundreds, possibly thousands of years to get there. But I never connected both points to realize that we will need to get bacteria as a stowaway on this journey because we need it and it needs us. Which means the ship needs to be able to sustain bacteria (unlike current space ships) otherwise we will not the same humans we are now (humans less bacteria) and it will need to sustain other life as well including animals, not because we need to eat them but rather that they need to eat each other.

    The main reason for the show was not meant to be about education but rather what are we going to do about the knowledge we have. I am sure it will inspire a lot of people to go and look for ways to help humans survive and escape this planet. And for anyone who did not see that I suggest to rematch.
  • Less - or no - Will Smith and more of the astronauts doing the talking would have been nice.
  • jbdecker8 April 2018
    Vivid and thought provoking. Photography and visuals are stunning. Fascinating perspectives from astronauts. Planet Earth on steroids!
  • A very well written script. Story telling is mesmerizing. It keeps the audiences attention at all times. Learned a lot about our planet and exciting science that should everyone know.
  • This show is wonderful. Story is amazing and cinematography is incredible but man... the Will Smith narrative scenes are cringe worthy. We have these awesome scientists and astronaut interviews then we get clips of Will Smith narrating to us like we're children. I hate to be harsh but his scenes are so distracting. Without him speaking this is the best Earth documentary since the original Planet Earth.
  • lman120726 February 2019
    The visuals are breathtaking, as well as some of the side stories. However, Will smith hosting and the obviously scripted astronaut interviews puts a dent in the quality of it. Will Smith doesn't know about all of this and it's obvious. Great guy but not the man for this job. Also, sometimes you can tell how extremely scripted the astronauts interviews are. You can constantly see them, and will Smith sometimes, looking to the side of the camera to read the script. Also over-empathize simple points to avoid going very in-depth.

    Despite my complaints, I still very much enjoyed the show. The visuals are stunning and the science is still fascinating. Definitely a good watch overall.
  • I don't do reviews much apart from ratings but this one got me down to write one just to say that it doesn't deserve a miss. Never seen a documentary this visually stunning and thrilling before. Just witness it.
  • Some of the negative reviews here do tell a certain truth, One Strange Rock does not necessarily break all.sorts of new ground with a sorts of new information. It does deliver though, it's a beautiful show and the information is delivered in new and stunnunstu beautiful ways. To not watch this show because you think you've heard it all before would be a practice in absolute arrogance and unfortunate ignorance. The last thing any of us need to do is fool ourselves in to thinking we have learned enough. We owe it to all of these people to educate ourselves with the information they gave their lives bringing to all humanity:

    Mission: Apollo 1 Date: Jan. 27, 1967 Fatalities: Gus Grissom, Edward White II, Roger Chaffee What happened: During a launch-sequence rehearsal for NASA's AS-204 Apollo mission, the cabin was filled with pure oxygen as part of its environmental control system. An electrical fault sparked a flash fire in the cabin. The fire spread quickly in the pure oxygen atmosphere, suffocating all three Apollo 1 crew members through smoke inhalation. The launch pad test site was renamed Apollo 1 in honor of the crew, and the accident led to major design and engineering modifications as well as revisions to test planning operations and manufacturing procedures.

    Mission: Soyuz 1 Date: April 24, 1967 Fatalities: Vladimir Komarov What happened: Soyuz 1, the Soviet space program's one-day mission, launched on April 23, 1967, but soon began experiencing various mechanical issues the solar panels did not unfold, and the vessel experienced stability problems. After the Soyuz module re-entered the atmosphere April 24, its parachute did not open properly, causing it to crash to Earth at almost full speed. Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died on impact.


    Mission: Soyuz 11 Date: June 30, 1971 Fatalities: Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov What happened: Soyuz 11 launched on June 6, 1971, and docked with the space station Salyut 1 for a three-week stay. When the vehicle undocked, a valve on the Soyuz 11 accidentally opened, causing a pressure leak in the cabin. The three cosmonauts were killed as the capsule depressurized during preparations for atmospheric re-entry on June 30. The malfunctioning valve was discovered only when the module was opened by a recovery team.

    Mission: STS-51-L Date: Jan. 28, 1986 Fatalities: Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee What happened: During the Space Shuttle Challenger's 10th mission, STS-51-L, the rockets propelling the vessel exploded 73 seconds after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All seven crew members were killed. President Ronald Reagan formed the Rogers Commission to investigate the accident, and its analysis concluded it had been caused by the failure of an O-ring seal on one of the solid rocket boosters. The Challenger disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus for the shuttle program .

    Mission: STS-107 Date: Feb. 1, 2003 Fatalities: Rick D. Husband, William McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, Ilan Ramon What happened: At the end of its two-week mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. The accident was determined to have been caused by damage that had occurred during liftoff, when a chunk of insulating foam broke off from the external tank and hit the orbiter's left wing. The structural failure of the shuttle's leading wing ultimately resulted in the spacecraft breaking apart, killing the seven-person crew. All of the NASA space shuttle program's flight operations were delayed for 29 months following the disaster.
  • d_correa7 May 2018
    Everything from the narrative, to the camera work is just magical. As magical as Earth and space itself. This series puts many of the mundane things we see into a whole different perspective. Highly recommend. Bravo, National geography.
  • Seriously,I think they wanted a-deep-voice black man like Morgan the legend but they went for the wrong one,other than voice and face mimic 60% of a whole episode you recognize that will smith doesn't have a clue what is he talking bout and hes trying so hard to make it interesting. MENSA? lol okay hoax
  • This is clearly a big-budget production. The camera work is amazing and they have a full cast of actual astronauts who provide their own perspectives on the science of life. That's all great. And then, inexplicably, Will Smith starts running his mouth.

    I like Will Smith as an actor, but he doesn't belong in this thing. He brings no authority to the topics being discussed, and it mostly sounds like he's talking to a child. Like he's trying to convince his 9-year-old son that science is cool. Maybe that's the intention? Who knows.

    I don't think a series like this needs Will-Smith-level star power. Yes, charisma matters, but I'd say it's more important to have someone you can take seriously. Will Smith just drags this show down.
  • Wrong host, someone on the level of Neil deGrasse Tyson or an actual astronaut would be much better. It seemed very scripted and dumbed down but fascinating subject matter. What really bothered me though was the agenda it was obviously pushing. The show suggests that we all need to do our part to save the planet meanwhile NASA has the carbon footprint of whole countries. Will Smith has multiple mansions, including a 42 million dollar monstrosity in Malibu. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. I'll give it 5 stars out of 10 for the subject matter, photography and sound.
  • kooshini14 May 2018
    I've watched countless programs like this before however this one beats them all.

    I like movies/tv that makes you think and so far every episode does just that.

    Highly recommended 10/10
  • Every 45 min. episode of this show is built like this:

    • Add ~30 minutes of super slo-mo landscape / cgi screen saver as filler
    • Add ~10 minutes of random "cool" people doing random "cool" stuff (in slo-mo) unrelated to the topic of the actual episode.
    • Add 3 minutes of astronaut close ups with talking points usually about some Coelho level pseudo-philosophical enviromentalist bable mixed with some actual information which might be new for children attending elementary school.
    • Make no information block longer than a few sentences at maximum. This is to streamline the show for the millenial crowd with all information blocks fitting into the average length of a glance up from mobile device screens.
    • Use multiple superlatives in every sentence to help "attention capture" for attention spans shorter than a lifetime of a Higgs boson.
    • Finally, add 2 minutes of Will Smith repeating 'Can you believe how awesome cool this is, bro?' multiple times, in different words and not in slo-mo.

    I can be persuased to forget the absolutely annoying structure, but please stop pretending this is anything remotely close to a documentary. It's not even infotainment.

    It's an animated screen saver, music video, infinite kiosk demo loop, etc. - you get the point - and for these purposes, it's damn near perfect: the visuals, the photography, the editing are absolutely breathtaking, reaching almost Revenant levels of beauty.

    If you want some actual knowledge and information about our planet, watch Attenborough's Planet Eearth. If you want just an excellent visual ride, watch both.

    4K and HDR recommended.
  • Visually it's beautifully depicted, but the pacing is so slow that you can hear the words before they're spoken, overemphasising on every little detail only to end up stating the obvious. The commentary and interviewing makes this series shockingly uninteresting.
  • JanetteNoelle29 September 2019
    This series will give you an even deeper appreciation of our planet and many of the secrets of its life and nature. Share the same breathtaking awe as the astronauts who've been able to study in space while they gazed upon the glowing, life-bright Earth in the night of our solar system and also enjoy the journey of discovery with the other scientists who've gone to the farthest places right on the planet itself.
  • emz-7593216 June 2019
    Really enjoyed this series I hope they make more. Will smith narrates it really smooth too it suits him because of his films.
  • Agree, NG provides stunnung picture/visuals ! The scientific approach - that has a lot of flaws. The worst of it is bringing some absolute scientific-incultural person like mr. smith hosting this ! Why not Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Michio Kaku, or Lawrence Krauss, or Phil Plait ?
  • This is truly one of the most amazing documentary about who we are in the great expanse is that is our Universe. Kudos to the astronauts for their amazing narrative about their time in space and their new found relationship with One Strange Rock. What a breathe of fresh air to have such a welcoming narrator complete the story line. The child like wonderment that Will Smith brings to this documentary is a testament to all involved in the production of this show. This show is both informative and engaging and a very emotional roller-coaster of information.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One thing I despise most in the western world are these hypocrites who are born with nothing, work their ass off in a system that works for them, and then once they buy their 135 million dollar house (no joke) in the hills they turn their backs on the system that gave them something. Why Will Smith? I had such a hard time with the conservation narrative while looking at Smith standing on his pool patio over looking canyons only the super rich can afford.

    The earth is huge. It's beautiful. We all share it. We need to take care of it. But, yo dude, let me go out there and earn my hundreds of millions off capitalism and once I do tell you how bad the system is and we need to change it with my politically driven hidden narrative about this beautiful earth I don't think YOU deserve to do the same as me. So you need to conserve. To limit your wasteful behaviors I certainly bathe in because I deserve it and you don't. But here's some more conservation propaganda for you. Ready?

    The planets systems are sensitive. Once we talk about how sensitive the planet is, we accidentally show our belly and talk about how much CO2 the earth spits out naturally via volcanos in comparison to human consumption, oh wait... and it becomes food for water dwelling organisms that produce... that's right, oxygen. Shoot, pivot...

    Oh wait, back to sensitive earth and let's talk to some experts... scientists that claim the only place they can study the earth isn't on the earth but above it in a space station that took tons and tons of fossil fuels to build and launch up in space... scientists that burned up more fuel than most humans consume in their entire lives in one trip up there... but who cares?

    These words aren't said directly but it's the underlying tone. Enjoy the optics. Enjoy the sound. Enjoy the dialogue from the astronauts and the stories, science and knowledge they share. Try not to focus on the odd topic diarrhea you go between of one second talking about ONE CRAZY ROCK and then a human brain. Woot!
  • As visually stimulating as this show assuredly is, the paucity of actual scientific information left me feeling like my time trudging through it was a 50 minute exercise in disappointment.

    I'm sure it was primarily intended for elementary grade children. But, I'm afraid that even for many kids of that age, when it comes to the actual information content, it's a lot of flash for very little bang.
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