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6 Shows like Human Planet: Man’s World

Adam Pothitos itcherHumans have changed the course of Earth’s history more than any other animal. There are now more than seven billion of us in a world that is constantly changing as a direct consequence of our actions. TV shows like ‘Human Planet’, ‘Earthlings’, and ‘Human’ allow us to explore what it truly means to be human, regardless of where we come from. ~ Adam Pothitos

Humans Everywhere

‘Human Planet’ managed to showcase a huge range of human activities over the course of its eight episodes. For better or worse, there is no doubt that humans constantly leave their mark upon the world. From the tribes of the Amazon to the inhabitants of our greatest cities, the influence of mankind is visible in every corner of our planet.


Shows Similar to ‘Human Planet’…

‘The Human Animal’ (BBC One, 1994)

When you get right down to it, humans are more or less like any other animal on Earth, albeit more robust social structures. ‘The Human Animal’ explores this concept in-depth, taking a look at humans and human behavior through the lense of zoology.

To be more precise, the documentary explores various parts of human culture such as language, social interactions, arts, and more.

Similarity Match: 95%
Like ‘Human Planet’, ‘The Human Animal’ is very much interested in what makes humans tick. The presentation style is far more scientific, though, as there isn’t an emphasis in multiculturalism like in ‘Human Planet’.

‘Earth: A New Wild’ (PBS, 2015- )

Despite humankind’s unique characteristics, we are still nothing but a tiny part of Earth. After all, we share this planet with a myriad other species.

‘Earth: A New Wild’ illustrates how humans interact with the world around them. Dr. Sanjayan, the creator and host of the series, thinks that we cannot separate ourselves from our surroundings.

Everyday, even when we don’t realize it, we are at the mercy of thousands of different ecosystems working together in seemingly perfect harmony. Even though we constantly alter the natural balance of things, we can rarely avoid the consequences.

Similarity Match: 90%
Where ‘Human Planet’ covers human cultures, ‘Earth: A New Wild’ chronicles human stories. Instead of focusing on specific cultures, this show attempts to showcase how everything in the world is connected.

‘Human Universe’ (BBC Two, 2014)

Professor Brian Cox takes an intimate look at humankind and the universe that surrounds us all. The series chronicles the course of humanity, starting from the origins of civilization and moving on to our journeys in space.

Like always, Brian Cox attempts to explain complex theories in simple terms; he uses a number of visual cues to help viewers understand some theories which are particularly hard to grasp.

Similarity Match: 85%
As its name suggests, ‘Human Universe’ is concerned with humanity as a whole rather than the details of specific cultures. Like always, Brian Cox is also heavily interested in the scientific theories, which is not a major theme in ‘Human Planet’.

‘Supersized Earth’ (BBC One, 2012)

Dallas Campbell journeys across the world to illustrate how humans have completely redesigned the planet over the course of a single generation. As our technology constantly evolves and our population grows, humans need to discover new ways to live.

‘Supersized Earth’ is a fantastic look at what makes the modern world tick and how humans always manage to create things with limited resources. However, the documentary merely glosses over the consequences of industrialization and focuses almost entirely on the positives of human ingenuity instead.

Similarity Match: 80%
If ‘Human Planet’ can be considered an insight into human cultures, ‘Supersized Earth’ is a look into the changes our cultures have brought to Earth. The first is a celebration of human imagination while the second is a celebration of human ingenuity.

‘The Incredible Human Journey’ (BBC Two, 2009)

Though humanity is now scattered all over the Earth, it wasn’t always like that. The most widely accepted theory is that early humans migrated out of Africa and then spread across multiple regions. This documentary is based around that theory as it attempts to explain it in simple terms.

Each episode starts at a different continent. As presenter Alice Roberts explains the theories, we get to see some fantastic locations and various indigenous populations to demonstrate these  theories.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘The Incredible Human Journey’ is like a prequel to ‘Human Planet’ as it shows us how early human migrations led to the incredible expansion of our race.


If You Like ‘Human Planet’, You Will Like…

TV series like ‘Human Planet’ allow us to understand that humans are far more similar to each other than we might think.

In order to drive that point home, this documentary usually look at Earth as a whole, focusing on multiple cultures and multiple people at the same time. This next documentary is another take on this format.

‘Extraordinary People’ (Channel 5, 2003- )

Each episode of this series focuses on specific people as we learn about their unique characteristics.

This documentary informs us about rare genetic conditions and it shows that people can do whatever they want as long as they put their minds to it.

Unlike ‘Human Planet’, the emphasis here is on individual people instead of entire cultures.


The Journey’s End

Series like ‘Human Planet’ give us the perfect example of what it means to be part of this world, in one way or the other.

Have you watched any shows similar to ‘Human Planet’?

If the answer’s yes then share them in the comments!

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