Planet Earth II

planet earth ii poster bbc series
9.0 Overall Score

Amazing visuals

Too short, could do even more documenting of how it was shot

planet earth ii title card episode guide

Welcome to Earth…again!

The despite changes, the Earth abides.  As the climate changes, the world changes and the animals and people living on it much change.  From the islands of the Galapagos, to the mountains of the Alps, to the jungles of Madagascar, to the elephant grass of India, to the Arctic Circle, and to New York City, the fight for survival is real and the Earth must win!

Planet Earth II is a BBC nature series and a follow-up to Planet Earth from 2006.  The critically acclaimed series aired from November 6, 2016 to December 11, 2016.  It won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program (“Islands”) with nominations for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming (“Cities”, “Islands”), Outstanding Musical Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) (“Islands”), Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program (“Cities”), Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program (“Cities”, “Islands”), Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) (“Cities”), and Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) (“Cities”).

planet earth ii episode 5 grasslands water buffalo vs lions

Witness the fight for survival!

Planet Earth was an amazing series.  It did things I had never seen in a nature series (and I loved nature series when I was growing up).  With the advances in drones and other shooting technology, Planet Earth II promised to be even bigger and better…and it didn’t disappoint (though bigger and better probably is not possible).

Planet Earth was great, but there were a few complains I had watching it as a whole.  The series kicked off with a “wrap-up” episode that showed some of the best parts of the following episodes.  Planet Earth II ditches this format and just shows you the best stuff in a shorter, more concise format.  While I do wish that Planet Earth II was a bit longer (and maybe revisited some areas of Planet Earth to show how things might have changed in ten years).

planet earth ii episode 6 cities artificial trees

The future of nature?

Just like Planet Earth, there were episodes I looked forward to and episodes I wasn’t excited about.  Despite the approaching episodes with a wary eye at points, the show managed to impress and even took things like “Cities” and made the episodes interesting.  It is a different look at the world and a different approach to nature.

The technology has advanced.  The addition of drones adds some amazing looks that just surpass helicopter views at points.  The level of difficulty and time to shoot the sequences is apparent and with the high level of difficulty, the show pays off.  Sequences like the lion and the giraffe, the snakes and the iguana, and the peregrines in the city feel amazing, fresh, and raw.

planet earth ii episode 1 islands diary penguins

Shooting animals is fun!!! Maybe not…

Another nice feature of Planet Earth II is the diary sequences.  In the sequences, you get insight into how the documentary was shot.  I wish there had been a whole second series of the making of Planet Earth II where they just explore where and how they shot the visuals of the series (or with today’s technology a side-by-side commentary where you could turn on/off the documentary audio where you wanted).

Planet Earth II is not only great for fans of nature documentaries but fans for fans of life.  The visuals show the wonders of the world and why it needs protecting.  It is also sad to watch Planet Earth II in knowing that many things are going away.  Some of the animals and visuals they capture will never be captured again…not because the cameras won’t be there, but because they won’t exist later.  Watch Planet Earth II and think about it…don’t just soak in the visuals.

Planet Earth II Complete Episode Guide:

planet earth ii episode 1 islands pygmy sloth


Episode 1:  Islands Airdate:  11/06/16 (UK)

The cameras capture a look at islands all around the world from tropical islands in the Caribbean where a sloth seeks a mate, to volcanic islands inhabited by albatross.  Marine iguanas battle snakes in the Galapagos, and on the remote island of Zavodosvki hundreds of thousands of penguins come to lay their eggs.

planet earth ii episode 2 mountains golden eagles fight


Episode 2:  Mountains Airdate:  11/13/16 (UK)

Nubian ibex come down from their mountain peaks in the Arabian Peninsula to drink water but face foxes.  Golden eagles fight for food in the Alps while bears seek to bulk up for the winter in the Rockies.  The rare and elusive snow leopard fights to raise her cub while facing other snow leopards seeking a mate in the Andes.

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Episode 3:  Jungles Airdate:  11/20/16 (UK)

Indri explore the treetops of Madagascar while jaguars hunt caiman in South America.  Cameras roll as a new species of river dolphin search the flooded jungles and glass frogs protect their eggs from wasps while glow-in-dark-bugs hunt their prey.

planet earth ii episode 4 deserts locust swarm


Episode 4:  Deserts Airdate:  11/27/16 (UK)

Lions hunt the desert of Namibia with giraffe as their only prey.  Horses battle for domination of water and their herd in America.  Sand grouse try to collect water for their chicks as drought rages and a plague of locus sweeps Madagascar.

planet earth ii episode 5 glasslands giant anteater


Episode 5:  Grasslands Airdate:  11/04/16 (UK)

Saiga antelope fight to stay alive in Asia while lions take on buffalo in Okavango in Botswana.  Bee eaters use ostriches to capture their prey.  Giant anteaters hunt termites in South America and caribou find themselves walking into a trap with wolves in the Arctic.

planet earth ii episode 6 cities monkeys


Episode 6:  Cities Airdate:  12/11/16 (UK)

Monkeys patrol the streets of India while Mumbai has leopards hunting the streets at night.  Turtles face light pollution as they try to reach the sea, and hyenas and men meet in Ethiopia.  Peregrines fly the skies of New York City and search for prey.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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