Sneak Peek of Attenborough’s Blue Planet II

It took 4 years to film, visiting 39 countries and 6 000 hours of underwater filming to depths of 1 000m. This is David Attenborough’s latest BBC natural history epic, Blue Planet II the sequel to his 2001 series. The first episode was shot on the Wild Coast. We took a closer look at this incredible production.

He was astounded by what he saw captured by the sophisticated camera technology now available. This is a seven-part series.  In the second episode of the series, they focus on life at the bottom of the sea. Submersibles spent around 500 hours filming on the sea floor, capturing not just otherworldly animals, but also stunning underwater landscapes.

Blue Planet II - early release

“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Attenborough told guests at the London launch of the series. “When I saw eels diving into a lake at the bottom of the sea – it takes a bit of time for your mind to get around that. How could there be a lake at the bottom of the sea?”

The Ocean’s Greatest Challenges

According to Attenborough, there are two great challenges facing our oceans.  These are the rising sea temperatures potentially by 1.5 degrees over the next ten years and plastic.  While he doubts the measures we can take to mitigate the temperature fluctuations due to climate change, he is adamant that we can do something internationally about plastic tomorrow. “And I just wish we would,” he adds.

Blue Planet II

Giant cuttlefish mating aggregation, South Australia Photographer: Hugh Miller

He was reluctant to make Blue Planet II all about conservation and felt it would be a mistake. His view is that he would rather tell the conservation story once viewers gain an understanding of how important and vast the environmental issues are. His aim was to establish this connection and understanding in the first six programmes and the final concluding episode deals with the precarious future of our oceans.

The Best Blue Planet II Moments

There are seven installments: a powerful scene-setting opener and a thought-provoking finale sandwich episodes named The Deep, Coral Reefs, Green Seas, Big Blue, and Coast. Look out for a spectacular sequence featuring the bird catching Giant Trevally fish, hunting squadrons of Humboldt squid, surfing dolphins, shell-smashing Tusk fish, and dancing Mobula rays.

Blue Planet II - early release

Surfing bottlenose dolphins, South Africa – Photographer: Steve Benjamin

Who made the music for Blue Planet II?

Prolific, and multi-award winning, Hollywood film composer Hans Zimmer has produced the music for this series, as he did for the BBC’s last big natural history hit Planet Earth l. Zimmer’s extraordinary back catalogue includes music for Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Night, Inception and, more recently, Dunkirk. He says he signed up for this project “because it is truly important”.

“This is film-making at its best because you are capable of changing the human relationship to the world. By telling the story of the oceans we are inevitably telling the story of what our fate is going to be. This is an adventure in us learning to love our environment.”

Parting Message  

Executive producer of the series James Honeyborne says each episode will reflect the perils facing the oceans – “you just can’t avoid it. It wouldn’t be right” – but stressed the important goal was making people connect with the underwater world. “Once we meet these animals and get to know them then we can care about them and their world.”

A male sex-changing Kobudai Japan. During the mating season, he will guard his territory, mating with as many females as possible. 

And caring was at the heart of Attenborough’s final message to the audience. “We have a responsibility. Every one of us. It is one world and it is in our care. And for the first time in the history of humanity – the first time in 500 million years – one species has the future in the palm of its hands. I just hope he realises that is the case.”

Blue Planet II began on BBC on 29th October 2017.  Episode one, titled One Ocean, travels from the tip of South Africa to the far north in Svalbard, from surfing bottlenose dolphins to bird-devouring fish.

See the other episodes in the BBC Series here.

Original article appeared on


Author: Reporter @ Amanzi

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