The makers of Planet Earth II promise that the new BBC natural history series will offer a whole new perspective on the wonders of the natural world.
Shot over three years in ultra high definition in 40 different countries, the six part sequel to the celebrated 2006 series Planet Earth premieres in the UK next week and promises to be another landmark event from the BBC Natural History Unit.
Sir David Attenborough is back on board as narrator but producers Tom Hugh-Jones and Mike Gunton say Planet Earth II will offer a whole new take on the diversity of life on the planet.
“It’s a decade on and we thought it would be interesting to see what has changed in that time,” Hugh-Jones says. “Both filming techniques and our understanding of the natural world have moved on significantly since Planet Earth. So the tenth anniversary felt like the right moment in time to revisit this classic brand.”
Gunton adds: “We wanted to take a new look at the incredible diversity of life on our planet and in a slightly different way. Visually, where Planet Earth took an almost God-like perspective and said ‘Let’s look down on the Earth and see the scale of the planet’, what Planet Earth II is doing is saying ‘Let’s get ourselves into the lives of the animals, and see it from their perspective’. The visual signature of the series is that you feel like the camera is with the animals. It’s very fluid, very active.”
As well filming in some of the world’s most remote regions, Planet Earth II also devotes one episode to urban animal life.
“We wanted to acknowledge that the world wasn’t all jungles, deserts and mountains any more,” Hugh-Jones says. “It’s largely a man-made environment, so showing that felt more contemporary. At the same time we didn’t want the Cities program to feel grey and boring compared to the other episodes – we were determined that it would be a beautiful film in its own right and show animals surviving in remarkable ways, rather than it just being full of doom and gloom, and lamenting how things used to be.”
Broadcast dates are still to be confirmed in this part of the world but it looks a sure bet for Blu-ray – perhaps even Ultra HD? – next year.