In 2006, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) set out to make an unprecedentedly in-depth nature documentary about our home planet, calling it “Planet Earth.” Almost 10 years later, the BBC is back with a follow-up, aptly titled “Planet Earth II.” Both are narrated by the famous British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, whose soothing and melodic voice will enthrall you with facts about the world around us.
“Planet Earth” was an incredible success, and rightfully so. Nature documentaries often get a bad rap for being boring, perfect to fall asleep to. But this one capitalizes on the innate curiosity people hold for the wildlife all around us. The lives of the animals featured are told through stories, and it’s easy to become attached to a sloth longing for a mate or a monkey just looking for a bite to eat.
“Planet Earth II” upgrades itself by utilizing the advancing technology available to capture the sounds, sights and passing of time in the animal world. Shot in Ultra-High-Definition (4K) and with the help of drones, the show boasts impressive landscape shots, time-lapse videos and incredible definition, detail and colorful visuals.
Broken down into six 60-minute episodes, the show spans the globe. The episodes are titled “Islands,” “Mountains,” “Jungles,” “Deserts,” “Grassland” and “Cities,” and cover most of the planet. But what’s great about this nature documentary is how much you learn from it. There are facts galore about different ecosystems and animals, and the show also touches on humans’ impacts on their environment.
“Cities,” the final episode, really delves into humans’ impact on their environment, specifically tackling the issues of climate change and animal extinction. The episode poses questions about how humans live, especially considering that cities are rapidly growing environments in which humans reside. Is it possible for animals and humans to coexist in these environments? The show looks at leopards in Mumbai and peregrine falcons in New York City and how they’ve been able to adapt to their changing ecosystems.
The show is visually stunning and jam-packed with crucial information about our habitat. We only have one planet, and the more we learn about it the better we can care for and support it.