Wednesday, September 4, 2019

'Hostile Planet' vs. 'Our Planet' — Nature and science nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for National Wildlife Day

Happy National Wildlife Day!  To celebrate, I'm following through on my promise in 'RBG' vs. 'Free Solo' and other Oscar nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards to return to the Emmy Awards to  blog about the nature nominees.  Here are the nominees I missed on Sunday from Wikipedia's Creative Arts Emmy Awards entry.
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

30 for 30 (ESPN)
American Masters (PBS)
Chef's Table (Netflix)
Hostile Planet (Nat Geo)
Our Planet (Netflix)
The two nature series, Nat Geo's "Hostile Planet" and Netflix's "Our Planet," are competing head to head in this category.  "Our Planet" has far more nominations, 10, to only 3 for "Hostile Planet," which is contending with the Netflix series in every category it's nominated.  The other three nominees only have the one nomination in this category.  Based on the number of nominations, I think "Our Planet" is the clear favorite, although "American Masters" has been nominated nearly every year since this category began 21 years ago and is the only returning nominee from last year.

Here are the trailers for each series.  First, Hostile Planet Trailer.

This is the trailer for the National Geographic TV series Hostile Planet. I was the Drone Pilot in Command on the moutain goats segment of the Mountains episode. The series airs April 1st on National Geographic TV.
The song is "Madness" by Ruelle.

Next, Our Planet | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix.

Share the wonder of the extraordinary place we call home. Utilizing the latest technology Our Planet was filmed entirely in Ultra High Definition in over 50 countries. From exotic jungles to the deepest seas, open your eyes to the connections we all share. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
I can see why this series earned three nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming.  I can also see why this trailer earned a Golden Trailer Award nomination for Best Documentary (TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a series).

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominations for "Our Planet," "Hostile Planet," and three interactive programs about space.

Outstanding Narrator

Sir David Attenborough on Our Planet (Netflix)
Angela Bassett on The Flood (Nat Geo Wild)
Charles Dance on Savage Kingdom (Nat Geo Wild)
Anthony Mendez on Wonders of Mexico (PBS)
Liev Schreiber on The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti (HBO)
Juliet Stevenson on Queens of Mystery (Acorn TV)
Sir David Attenborough won this last year for "Blue Planet II," so he's the nominal favorite.  Among the other nominees, both Angela Bassett and Liev Schreiber are well-known actors, so I think they would have a chance with the Emmy electorate.  Between the two, I'd give the edge to Bassett.

While these are the only nominations for the other shows besides "Our Planet" at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, "The Flood" has a nomination at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary, so Nat Geo Wild can claim that the show has two Emmy nominations, just not at the same show.
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

Thomas Newman for Castle Rock (Hulu)
Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen and Adam Schlesinger for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
David Arnold for Good Omens (Prime Video)
Steven Price for Our Planet (Netflix)
Nicholas Britell for Succession (HBO)
Unlike two years ago, when I had a good idea about at least a couple of the nominees, I made no predictions about this year's themes, although I really enjoyed the one from "Good Omens."  I also enjoyed the music video for "Our Planet" and will embed it at the end of the entry.  As for which I think will win, I suspect it will be Nicholas Britell for "Succession."
Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Episode: "Kenya") (CNN)
The Case Against Adnan Syed (Episode: "Forbidden Love") (HBO)
Fyre Fraud (Hulu)
Hostile Planet (Episode: "Grasslands") (Nat Geo)
Our Planet (Episode: "Jungles") (Netflix)
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (Episode: "Episode 1") (Showtime)
"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" won this award last year, so I think it's the nominal favorite.  Also, there are two nominees about entertainment, "Fyre Fraud" and "Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men," which gives them a leg up, although not as much as if they were about movies or television instead of music.  Still, this is a category in which both nature series have nominations, which attests to their quality.
Outstanding Interactive Program

Conan (TBS)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
NASA And SpaceX: The Interactive Demo-1 Launch (YouTube)
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
Here's the first of two categories with a nominee that's about space and science, not nature.  I really think NASA and SpaceX should just be happy to be nominated, as "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" won this award last year and is my pick to repeat.

Next, a category with nominees about both space and nature.
Outstanding Original Interactive Program

First Man VR (Windows Mixed Reality)
HQ Trivia x Warner Bros.: A Live and Interactive Animation First (HQ Trivia)
NASA InSight's Mars Landing (NASA TV)
Traveling While Black (Oculus)
You vs. Wild (Netflix)
I'm more optimistic about NASA winning this category, as "NASA JPL: Cassini's Grand Finale" won this award last year.  Joining NASA InSight's Mars Landing is "First Man VR," an interactive movie experience of the Oscar-winning movie and "You vs. Wild," which, like "Hostile Planet," also features Bear Grylls.  While I'm rooting for NASA, I wouldn't be surprised if "You vs. Wild" wins.

Now for the rest of the nominations for "Our Planet" and "Hostile Planet" that I wrote about in 'RBG' vs. 'Free Solo' and other Oscar nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – Morgan Fallon, Todd Liebler and Zach Zamboni (Episode: "Bhutan") (CNN)
Free Solo – Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin and Mikey Schaefer (Nat Geo)
Our Planet – Doug Anderson and Gavin Thurston (Episode: "Coastal Seas") (Netflix)
Our Planet – Alastair MacEwen and Matt Aeberhard (Episode: "Jungles") (Netflix)
Our Planet – Jamie McPherson and Roger Horrocks (Episode: "One Planet") (Netflix)
The "Our Planet" series may have better camera work overall, but I suspect having three episodes nominated may split its voters, giving "Free Solo" a better shot.  That written, its main competition may be the final season of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, which may still be benefiting from the death of its star.
On the other hand, if the voters can settle on one nominated episode of "Our Planet" out of the three nominated, it has a real shot at winning.  Speaking of nature cinematography, Variety has a very informative article on the topic that references both "Hostile Planet" and "Our Planet.  I highly recommend it.
Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score)

Brandon Roberts and Marco Beltrami for Free Solo (National Geographic)
Hannah Peel for Game of Thrones: The Last Watch (HBO)
Benjamin Wallfisch for Hostile Planet (Episode: "Oceans") (Nat Geo)
Miriam Cutler for Love, Gilda (CNN)
Steven Price for Our Planet (Episode: "One Planet") (Netflix)
Miriam Cutler for RBG (CNN)
Benjamin Wallfisch is the composer I know best, so I'm going with him to win for "Hostile Planet."  I might change my mind after I listen to all selections.  Later, possibly for National Wildlife Day, when I'm thinking of blogging about the nature nominees, some of which I missed today.  As for Miriam Cutler, who is nominated twice in this category, I think her vote might get split.  If she were only nominated once, she would have a good chance of winning.
I haven't changed my mind on this category.  Even so, I'm embedding another video featuring Stephen Price's music at the end of this entry to represent the nomination for his music in "Our Planet."
Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera)

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Episode: "Far West Texas") (CNN)
Free Solo (Nat Geo)
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix)
Leaving Neverland (HBO)
Our Planet (Episode: "Frozen Worlds") (Netflix)
"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" won this category last year as well, so it is also the nominal favorite here.  Again, it's competing against a very tough field with my heart going to "Free Solo" and "Our Planet" and my head going with the two music documentaries.  I can't choose.
Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera)

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Episode: "Kenya") (CNN)
Free Solo (Nat Geo)
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix)
Leaving Neverland (HBO)
Our Planet (Episode: "Frozen Worlds") (Netflix)
For a third time today, "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" won this category last year as well and it's facing identical competition, so I have nothing new to say.
I can understand why the "Frozen Worlds" episode earned a nomination; the sounds are awesome, particularly of icebergs calving off polar glaciers.

To conclude this entry, I'm sharing two videos featuring music from "Our Planet."  First, Our Planet | Ellie Goulding & Steven Price - In This Together | Music Video | Netflix.

Share the wonder of the extraordinary place we call home. From exotic jungles to the deepest seas, open your eyes to the connections we all share. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Next, This Is Our Planet (From "Our Planet").

Beautiful and inspiring, just like nature.


  1. When I saw the right-hand photo just under your header, I thought you might have been writing about the little Aussie town that wants to put up a giant pelican statue. It's one of the charmingly kitschy things about this place; their love of Giant Things That Will Bring People To Our Town. So 1950s...

    1. LOL, that was a fun article to read. Thanks for sharing it.