Planet Earth II Review: Three years in the making and it’s extraordinary


Ten years ago, Planet Earth astonished viewers with breathtaking cinematography which captured the unprecedented nature of the Earth at it’s finest. Cast your mind’s back to the first ever episode of the series, Attenborough told viewers “this series will take you to the last wilderness and show you the planet and it’s wildlife as you have never seen it before”.

The first episode urged viewers to take a back-seat, observing the eye-opening effects of climate change. It transformed our perception of the planet we live in.

The beloved nature series exceeded all expectations, winning awards across the globe. Filmed in mind-bobbling definition, it was the pinnacle of success for Sir David Attenborough. The first episode alone was watched by more people than any other natural history programme since his previous production ‘The Blue Planet’ in 2001.

After a long awaited break of ten years, the six part sequel returns as Planet Earth II. This time it’s shot in an even sharper, more detailed Ultra High Definition. Since it’s release in 2006, a lot has changed. Advances in technology have opened up opportunities for filmmakers, venturing to places that would have never been possible before.

The theme of the first episode was ‘islands’ which took us around the globe, uncovering remote island’s inhibited by all sorts of exotic species. Shot from a hot air balloon, high above the alps, Attenborough looks down on the world below him and reflects on what has changed since.

He promises us “new wildlife drama’s” and a “journey to every corner of the globe”. He does not fail to deliver. On the basis of the opening scene, it already outshines the previous series! Moreover, it features legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough who returns at a ripe age of 90 years old.

Our first encounter with nature is an adorable three-toed pygmy sloth in Escudo, of Panama. At the call of a potential mate, the Sloth springs into action and sets about an tedious journey across the jungle.

Unfortunately for this ambitious sloth, at it’s arrival there appears to be a smaller equivalent, of which is perched up next to his mother. Aside the pleasant nature of Sloths, we are also introduced to a number of ravening creatures.

One of the most talked-about scenes in the first episode has to be the baby Iguana as it ran from a swarm of racer snakes on the Galapagos Island of Fernandina. The snakes lurked amongst the rocks stalking their prey.

The desperate rush for safety began as a snake pranced up behind the Iguana. Just as it looked like the slithery beasts were about to strangle it to death, the iguana somehow miraculously escaped.

Never has a 2 minute scene had the heart pumping so hard. It was simply enthralling to watch and was like a scene out of ‘Snakes on a Plane’. Critics even dubbed it as one of the greatest scenes in television history.


That wasn’t all Planet Earth II had in store. The theme of the second episode was ‘mountains’ which took us high above the clouds to explore some of nature’s rarest landscapes.

Freezing cold temperatures brings with it a climate that is so harsh, only a few of the most pioneering animals have what it take’s to survive.

Among the animals which feature in this episode include; leopards, eagles, bears and even flamingo’s. One of the mountains most breath-taking moments involved the golden eagle in the French Alps.

The impressive, yet fearsome predator dived at a speed of 200mph, before snatching the corpse of a fox. The eagle asserts his dominance over the valley before being outmuscled by a bigger, more fierce eagle.

It was a ferocious battle between the two predators who fought for their survival. The rare sighting of snow leopards certainly heightened the episode. According to the BBC, there are only as a few as 3,500 remaining in the wild.

Within a 40 mile radius of the filming, there were only as few as 4! Aside the beauty of the snow leopard, one of the highlights of this episode had to be the grizzly bears. It was the moment that put a big smile on the face of viewers. The Northern Brown Bear’s jiggled and juddered to the sound of music, showing of their best impressions of Baloo.


Unfortunately, the series has already reached it’s halfway mark. Nonetheless, it’s not quite over yet and who know’s what the BBC will throw at us next. Let’s just hope they leave the best to last.

One thing we do know though, next week is jungles which means spiders, frogs and all sorts of creepy crawlies. It’s safe to say that Planet Earth has definitely excelled itself this year and as the week’s pass, it continues only to get better and better!

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