Planet Earth II

Reader Tyler called my attention to the trailer (published yesterday) for BBC’s Planet Earth II, and it looks fantastic. Watch the 3-minutes trailer, as there are plenty of cool animals, with EXTRA FELID. It will be narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, and the Facebook page is here, though I’m not sure when the program will air.

Kudos to the cinematographers!

The YouTube description:

10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II.

A decade ago, the landmark television series Planet Earth redefined natural history filmmaking, giving us the ultimate portrait of life on Earth. Planet Earth II, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, will reveal our planet from a completely new perspective, using significant advances in both filming technology and our understanding of the natural world.

And if you are not excited enough already it features an original score by legendary composer Hans Zimmer.

Coming soon!

A BBC Studios Natural History Unit production, co-produced with BBC America, ZDF, Tencent and France Télévisions.


  1. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    It’s routine for them to publish these tasters up to a couple of months in advance of the showing time. I’d guess that they’re positioning it for the X-NewYear-Hannukah-Saturnalia-mas market.

  2. rickflick
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The use of slow motion provides a wonderful way to watch these creatures. You simply see, and feel, much more of the action.

  3. Draken
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I watch each show narrated by David Attenborough as if it’s gonna be his last. Which is becoming ever more likely given his age. He still seems to travel all over the world for this; he must be on first name terms with some of those animals by now.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      How do you think they get all those fantastic shots? David just goes up to his animal friends and has a quiet word with them about what he wants them to do.


      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted October 16, 2016 at 4:39 am | Permalink


      • rickflick
        Posted October 16, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Yes, and here’s the evidence for his extraordinary talent with animals. A veritable Dr. Doolittle:

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          That is amazing. And hilarious. Damn bird won’t shut up. It’s getting so carried away it lets Attenborough tickle it.


  4. Stephen Barnard
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Fantastic videography.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    What television should be for. Nobody can do it like BBC.

  6. Vaal
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The imagery captured is as close to “miraculous” as I’ve seen. It’s difficult to even think of a person behind many of those shots – they viewpoint seems so God-like, things normal people don’t see.

    Shot in 4K too. Should look great on the 4K projector I bought a while back.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I’d say the Beeb has discovered robots and drones and is using them to the full.

      This sort of thing:


      • Larry Cook
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        Yes. And drones and robots are such human-like tools. That takes the “miraculous” out of the imagery and causes me to clearly see the humans behind the shots. Geesh.

        • Mike
          Posted October 19, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          Some shots especially the trickier ones, are done in a Studio set up for the purpose, or they may make a closed area from which the subject can’t escape .I’m thinking of the African Shrew were the shots were impossible to get “in the Wild” so they closed off a bit of its territory and were able to get the shots they wanted, no harm came to any animal used this way. They weren’t trying to “con ” anyone,just trying to explain the Animals behaviour in the only way possible.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            Yes, they’ve never attempted to hide that. I recall how, after ‘Life on Earth’ came out (the first of the blockbuster groundbreaking nature series), there was a programme on how Oxford Scientific Films set up many of the close-up shots. (And in those days, of course, it was quite obvious that Attenborough in the field must have been being shot by a camera crew, since the technology for ‘selfies’ did not exist).


  7. Posted October 15, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Great photography, but where did they get that cornball hollywood music? I’ll watch it anyway. Thanks.

    • bjornove
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      “original score by legendary composer Hans Zimmer”

      Looks like you’re right, this is from a hollywood producer.

      I like this kind of music actually and in generally I believe the BBC docs have great music. One of the composer they often use is George Fenton

      Wonder whether he’s been replaced by Hans Zimmer in this series

      • FiveGreenLeafs
        Posted October 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        I thought it sounded familiar in some way…

        I love Hans Zimmer, so I really hope he is doing the score for the series, which would be another (great) reason to be excited for this.

    • M&S
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      The trailer I saw in the UK had Hoppipolla by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. The original Planet Earth popularised the song and they used it again in the teaser.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      I really liked the music, and felt it added to the drama of the amazing photography. Each time the BBC produces something like the original Planet Earth, I think, “it can’t get better than this” – then it does!

  8. FiveGreenLeafs
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh my … shivers in anticipation … that is something to look forward to!

    In this, nothing beats the BBC🙂

    • Posted October 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Has the French Ushaia Nature series ever been shown in Anglophone countries? I won’t say it’s as good as BBC, but it is quite excellent. Beautiful photography of interesting landscapes and animals.

      It also escapes the BBC declamatory style. By which I mean the way they build up to something, say the Cambrian “explosion”, until they can pause for a moment and then announce… “the Cambrian Explosion”, complete with capital letters.

      Guess I’m just difficult. I do like their programs, so much so that I usually purchase the DVDs.

      • Christopher
        Posted October 15, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        thanks, or Merci, for the tip.

  9. garthdaisy
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Incredible. The phrase “pictures can not do it justice” has become dated. Cinematography has gotten so good now it’s actually better than being there. This is the most brilliant marriage of technology and nature.

  10. Ken Elliott
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    In Facebook terms, wow! The slo-mo and the access make this incredibly brilliant. I loved the bear getting in a scratch as well as the failed attempt on the giraffe. Thank goodness all these species survived the ark.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      I loved the bear getting in a scratch

      I think that was Baloo.

  11. Benjamin
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    For anyone who likes this kind of stuff, I can’t recommend the BBC’s ‘The Hunt’ too highly.

    It’s one of the most incredible natural history documentaries I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is outstanding.

    Here’s a trailer (that doesn’t really do it justice – you have to watch this real thing!):

    • rickflick
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      There are 11 clips on Youtube. BBC 1, the hunt.

    • David Harper
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      “The Hunt” is indeed natural history film-making at its best. When so much of the BBC’s science programming seems to be dumbed-down these days (“Horizon”, for example, is a pale shadow of what it was in the 1980s), it still sets the very highest standard in natural history television. This is why I pay the BBC licence fee (£12/$15 a month) gladly. Well, this and BBC Radio 4.

  12. Wayne Tyson
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Video technology has certainly surpassed film, but the filmmakers who are the real people behind such productions tend to be forgotten.

    Many moons ago I visited a friend. “Odd that you should show up at this moment,” she said. “We were just trying to figure out how to get some aerial shots of this part of the Pacific flyway.”

    There was a good-looking man on the couch, dressed in old jeans. “This is Des Bartlett, she said, “he and his wife, Jen, are doing a film on the snow goose for the BBC.”

    We went to the local airport and I checked out in an airplane I hadn’t flown before, and Bartlett pulled out a roll of bills that would choke a horse, paid the rent on the airplane in cash, and we took off with Des in the right seat, filming away with a small, hand-held 16mm film camera.

    Des had been a bank teller in Australia, and one day he just walked off the job, saying I’m going to be a wildlife filmmaker, and he did. Des would do anything for a shot, such as using early SCUBA gear under the ice in beaver ponds in the middle of winter. No fancy technology for him! He did trick the view a bit, though. He and his wife had a station wagon with the clamshell rear doors. The geese had somehow imprinted on them, and would follow beside them along the elevated roadways of Northern Canada, Jen driving and Des sitting on the tailgate, shooting sideways with nothing but sky in the background. When cut into the film, the illusion that they were at, say, a thousand meters or so.

    The last I heard, they were on the west coast of Africa, flying an ultra-light to get their shots. Des had South African and Australian pilot’s licenses, but couldn’t fly in the US for some reason.

    We should plug the National Geographic Society’s film on the birds of paradise, if for no other reason that another (still) photography pal, Tim Laman’s photographs have appeared in at least one of these blogs. He did a book too, that for the first time includes ALL of the species. and


    • Mike
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that the one with the wonderful Lyre Bird and its wondrous mimicking.?

      • Wayne Tyson
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        YouTube has this brief clip for the pathologically busy.

      • Wayne Tyson
        Posted October 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        YouTube has this brief clip for the pathologically busy.

        forgive the duplication; apparently the link did not attach.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      That’s quite an amazing story. Attenborough has some bird of paradise clips on a BBC page. Just amazing!

    • Wayne Tyson
      Posted October 22, 2016 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      I heard on the news today that Tim got the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.”

      • rickflick
        Posted October 22, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Congratulations to Tim.

  13. Mike
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Not to be missed, I’v been watching David Attenborough since the 50,s when he did a programme called Zoo Quest, where they were commissioned by London Zoo to collect various Species for the Zoo collection, something he has stated he wouldn’t do today. And here he is at the age of 90 still going strong, he’s a National Treasure ,with a fantastic knowledge of the Natural World, and a great Darwinian, he made a lovely Documentary about Darwin that was on recently, all in all a great man, and one I admire immensely if you haven’t already guessed.

  14. George
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    BBC does not say when it will be broadcast. I found one story that says it will be broadcast in Winter 2017.

    Not sure when it will be shown in the US. The original series was shown in the US a year after the UK – 3/5/2006 to 3/25/2007.

  15. Posted October 17, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    So long as it isn’t “Planet (Earth II)”!😉

    • Shwell Thanksh
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Ha, I did wonder for a few milliseconds after reading the title if this would be speculative CGI about Proxima b, the Earth-like planet believed to have been spotted around Proxima Centauri!
      The actual news is much better, can’t wait to watch.

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