A decade after its predecessor — Planet Earth — hit the screen, Planet Earth II is scheduled to reach UK television sets on Sunday, November 6. The new series, made in ultra high definition 4K (actually, the first television series that BBC has produced in ultra high definition), was described by its producers as even more spectacular than the first series.
The first series, released on March 5, 2006 in the UK, broadcast in over 130 countries, was the most expensive nature documentary ever filmed by BBC — around £8 million. In September 2007, Planet Earth won the award for Nonfiction Series at the Emmy Awards.
While the first series counted 11 episodes, as far as we know Planet Earth II has, for the moment, 6 episodes of 50 minutes each: “Islands”, “Mountains”, “Jungles”, “Deserts”, “Grasslands” and “Cities”. The second series was shot, over the past three years, by six teams during 117 trips in 40 countries.
BBC stated that “Planet Earth II will reveal our planet from a completely new perspective, using significant advances in both filming technology and our understanding of the natural world”.
However, even if the documentary was shot in Ultra HD 4K it’s unclear if it will air in 4K given the fact that BBC currently doesn’t have a 4K dedicated channel. Probably the show will air in HD and the 4K version will be available on BBC iPlayer and on Blu-ray.
The show will be narrated by the 90-year-old biologist David Attenborough, who also narrated the first series. In an interview, Attenborough told The Guardian that his favourite sequence involves snow leopards in Himalayas, where scientists could observe these animals’ behaviour, which was indeed a unique opportunity. Actually, many of the the scenes filmed for the documentary caught for the first time the behaviour of certain animals.
A documentary of this caliber needs a soundtrack of the same caliber. So, the soundtrack for Planet Earth II was signed by the Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer who scored Gladiator, Inception, and Interstellar, among many others.
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