In 2006, the Planet Earth Franchise released a series on our breath-taking natural world. It became popular worldwide, gaining approval from every corner of the globe. With the BBC investing more than ever before in a nature documentary, who else other than David Attenborough to fill the spot and take us on this adventure. This 11-part series released on DVD and was filmed in high-definition, giving us an exclusive insight into our lands.
Fast-forward to 2016 and a decade later, it's time for Planet Earth II. At the beginning of the first episode we join Sir Attenborough himself in a hot-air balloon amongst a snowy and mountainous landscape. We are promised that "much has changed" in the natural world, signalling that this time around Planet Earth II is going to be extraordinary for viewers. And it was.
With each episode focusing on a separate entity, we were guided through the different, intense environments; Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands and Cities.
So what made Planet Earth II so intriguing and eventful this time round?
Firstly, it was nature itself and the sheer intensity of each environment and the chaotic uproar it possessed, yet somewhat humorous antics that shaped the beauty of it all. From young Marine-Iguanas literally running for their lives from Racer Snakes (which became viral) to Flamingos dancing in shallow waters, or glow-in-the-dark creatures deep in the Jungle, each episode became more impressive and each encounter became more mind-blowing.
Since 2006, there has been an increasing drive amongst young people to dig deeper, find yourself and encourage change. So, every Sunday as you tend to wind down for the week, there’s not a better way to escape it than getting drawn into a world that seems a lifetime away, yet is so near and can offer so much. As the planet changes rapidly within society and the natural world, Planet Earth II highlights the relationship between them and identifies what really matters that all of us could learn from. These are the relationships we form, the places we call home and an appreciation for our own existence and just how distinctive it really is. In a place where we as a society feel the pressure and worry about every little thing, Planet Earth II is a friendly reminder to stay away from toxic things and start living in the real world.
At the end of each episode we were introduced to some of the brand-new, groundbreaking equipment and techniques that captured these shots, as half the time I’m sure most of us were thinking, ‘how the f*** did you film that?’ - From this point on we gained some understanding to the depths in which the team went to, and some things were left unexplained... however it’s probably better that way. Hats off to the BBC.
Lastly, the numbers amongst our younger generation (16 to 35) conveyed the proof that we were all curious to learn more about our planet, as more of us tuned in to watch Planet Earth II than X-Factor. As we look to ponder from the uncertainty of our global predicaments and social changes, this valuable series offers us peace and comfort that some of us needed more than ever.
Don’t forget to check out Benji B’s Planet Earth Playlist to round up the series.