Why Planet Earth II could be the best nature documentary of all time
Now ten years later we’re ready for the newest instalment. Once more the BBC series will take us on an epic journey around the natural world examining animals’ fight for survival.
If the series lives up to the trailer’s promise, then Planet Earth II could be the best nature documentary ever made. Here’s why:
Just like the first Planet Earth, BBC icon Sir David Attenborough is on hand to guide us through the follow-up series. As narrator, the documentary filmmaker and naturalist brings us the secrets of the animal kingdom as only he can.
Meanwhile, a show of this scale needs background music to match and the programme makers have enlisted the legendary German composer Hans Zimmer. The Academy Award winner, who composed the music for films such as The Lion King, Inception, and The Dark Knight, produced the soundtrack to the series.
The original Planet Earth was one of the first nature documentaries to be shot entirely in high definition. It’s no wonder then that the lavishly produced series, which cost over £20 million, was one of the most expensive of its kind. Now, thanks to continuous developments in image resolution and camera techniques, Planet Earth II offers something extra. For the new series, the team turned to 4K standard Ultra HD. A close-up view of extraordinary creatures has never been sharper.
It isn’t just the picture resolution that has reached whole new levels. Drone technology has opened up entirely new possibilities for film production. Groups of animals can be filmed from long distances or at locations that were previously inaccessible. There’s no need to have loud and expensive helicopters sweeping across the sky to take spectacular shots from the air. The same job can now be done with a small, quiet and unobtrusive drone. And the less the animals are distracted by external influences, the more chance of recording them in their natural state.
In addition, the team used the latest image-stabilising camera technology. This meant they could capture the best images even, for example, amid a swarm of locusts.
Ten years after the original and four years in the making, a unique perspective of some of the most incredible places and animals on Earth awaits us.
With the premiere of Planet Earth II in Bristol, where Sir David Attenborough was awarded the freedom of the city in 2013, the series begins with Islands on BBC One on November 6.
Six episodes take audiences on a spellbinding trip around the planet showing us life in jungles, deserts, mountains, islands, grasslands and cities as we’ve never seen it before.