Blue Planet II

Seventeen years have passed since the BBC released the original Blue Planet nature documentary. Described as the first-ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world’s oceans, it was both a critical and commercial success, and expectation for the sequel, which was announced in February of last year, has been immense. Viewers will not be disappointed.

Blue Planet II is a visual feast, and a heart-stopping, deeply affecting work of reportage. More of a second voyage than a sequel, this series demonstrates how much our knowledge of the ocean has expanded over the years. Advances in science and technology allow for further discovery and insight, and every episode brims with wonder and adventure. As with the original, the narration is provided by Sir David Attenborough (truly, is there anything more soothing than this man’s voice?) and the richly evocative score that accompanies his words comes from Hans Zimmer, along with Jacob Shea and David Fleming for Bleeding Fingers Music.

Blue Planet II will delight and thrill viewers of all ages. Meet strange and astonishing creatures, and discover landscapes that look like they exist on other planet. The stunning imagery is even more impressive when you consider the painstaking work that went on behind the scenes. In crafting this seven-part series, the crew from the BBC Natural History Unit travelled to 39 countries and captured more than 6,000 hours of footage.

The impact of human existence on the ocean is a recurring theme throughout the series and the final episode, ‘Our Blue Planet’, tackles it head on by directly examining factors such as plastic pollution and climate change. After the enchantment of the earlier episodes, this episode feels like an awakening of sorts. Blue Planet II is the kind of art that can change minds and lives, and I hope it does.

Bronte Coates is the digital content coordinator and the Readings Prizes manager.

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Blue Planet II (DVD)

Blue Planet II (DVD)

David Attenborough

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