Planet Earth II (2016)


Planet Earth II (TV Series 2016–2016)

Wildlife documentary series with David Attenborough, beginning with a look at the remote islands which offer sanctuary to some of the planet's rarest creatures, to the beauty of cities, which are home to humans, and animals..
IMDb   9.5 /10
TheMovieDb    8.4 /10
RottenTomatoes  100 %
FilmAffinity   8.9 /10
Creator Justin Anderson
Creator Ed Charles
Creator Elizabeth White
Release Date2017-02-18
Runtime4h 58min
Content RatingTV-G (TV-G)
AwardsTop rated TV #1 | Won 2 Primetime Emmys15 wins & 28 nominations total
CompanyBBC Natural History Unit (NHU), BBC America, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
CountryUK, Germany, France, China, USA
LanguageEnglish, French
Self - Narratoras Self - Narrator

Planet Earth II

Planet Earth II is a 2016 British nature documentary series produced by the BBC as a sequel to Planet Earth, which was broadcast in 2006. The series is presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough with the main theme music composed by Hans Zimmer.

The first trailer was released on 9 October 2016, and the series premiered on 6 November 2016 in the United Kingdom on BBC One and BBC One HD. Planet Earth II is the first television series produced by the BBC in Ultra-high-definition (4K). A sequel titled Planet Earth III is currently announced and planned to air in 2022.


The series was announced by the BBC in 2013 with the working title One Planet, but the title was later changed to Planet Earth II.

The BBC trailer for the series used the same music featured in the trailer for the original Planet Earth, "Hoppípolla" by Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós.

The original Planet Earth, airing in 2006, was one of the first natural documentary series to be made in high definition (HD) and Planet Earth II utilised new technologies developed since the first series, including ultra high definition (4K), improved camera stabilisation, remote recording and aerial drone technology.


British television

The premiere of Planet Earth II took place at Bristol's Cinema de Lux on 2 November 2016 with special guest appearance by Attenborough. Bristol has been the global home of BBC's Natural History programme making for almost 60 years. The series debuted on BBC One and BBC One HD the following Sunday (6 November) from 8pm to 9pm. Each of the six episodes included a 10-minute making-of documentary called Planet Earth II Diaries. The previous week's episode was repeated in an earlier time slot the following Sunday.


The series was broadcast internationally on BBC Earth channel with a few exceptions for some countries.

The series aired in Belgium on the Flemish channel Canvas, narrated in Dutch by Vic De Wachter, with episodes airing each Wednesday from 7 December 2016. In the Netherlands the series is airing on the Dutch channel NPO 1, narrated by Peter Drost, with episodes airing each Sunday from 1 January 2017.

In Japan, the series aired on NHK – with four special episodes aired on 23 December 2016 and concluded on 19 February 2017 respectively, while all the six original episodes were broadcast from 29 March 2017 until 6 May 2017.

In Australia, the series premiered on 15 February 2017 on the Nine Network. As for New Zealand, it aired from 9 July 2017 at Prime channel.

The series debuted in Canada and the United States on 18 February 2017, with the Canadian broadcast on the local BBC Earth channel (which recently launched). In the United States, the series premiered with a three-network simulcast across BBC America, AMC, and SundanceTV (owned by AMC Networks, who manages BBC America on behalf of BBC Worldwide).

In Israel, the series premiered on 20 May 2017 on the new public broadcasting network KAN 11.

In the Philippines, the series premiered on 17 June 2018 on GMA Network through its version Amazing Earth for the first season.

In Greece, all the six original episodes were broadcast daily from 12 April 2020 until 17 April 2020 at 09.30pm on the free-to-air television network Skai TV.

In India, all the episodes are available for streaming through Amazon Prime. All the episodes are also available in Discovery Plus.


The series comprises six episodes plus the compilation episode "A World of Wonder". Official episode viewing figures are from BARB. The first episode gained 12.26 million viewers in the United Kingdom, the highest under the current system of viewing figures for a nature documentary.

"It's been ten years since we explored these wonders in the first series of Planet Earth, and since then much has changed. We can now show life on our planet in entirely new ways; bring you closer to animals than ever before and reveal new wildlife dramas for the very first time. But that is not all; the planet has changed too. Never have our wildernesses been as fragile and as precious as they are today. At this crucial time for the natural world we will journey to every corner of the globe; to explore the greatest treasures of our living planet, and reveal the extreme lengths animals go to to survive."— David Attenborough's opening words
No.TitleProduced byOriginal air dateUK viewers
1"Islands"Elizabeth White6 November 201612.26


  • Island of Escudo off the coast of Panama. Pygmy three-toed sloths eat mangrove leaves on this island.
  • Komodo (island).
  • Madagascar. Indris are the largest lemurs that spend a lot of time on tree branches.
  • Fernandina Island. Marine iguanas. Galapagos racer snakes.
  • New Zealand. Snares penguin. Shearwaters. Buller's albatross.
  • Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Christmas Island red crab.
  • Zavodovski Island.
2"Mountains"Justin Anderson13 November 201613.14


  • Grizzly bears, marmots.
  • Bobcat. Goldeneye (duck)
  • Southern viscacha.
3"Jungles"Emma Napper20 November 201611.60


  • A Draco (lizard) is "the size of a pencil" and eats ants.
  • Hura crepitans.
  • Sword-billed hummingbirds in Ecuador have "beaks longer than their body."
  • Capybara are the "biggest rodents in the world" in South American jungle.
  • Glass frog in Costa Rica.
  • railroad worm.
  • Red bird-of-paradise.
4"Deserts"Ed Charles27 November 201611.88


  • The Namib in southwest Africa is the "oldest desert in the world." oryx.
  • Harris's hawk.
  • Kalahari. Sandgrouse. Gos-hawk.
  • Golden mole is depicted as a nocturnal blind hunter of termites in desert dunes.
  • Negev. Otonycteris. Desert long-eared bat. Deathstalker (scorpion).
  • Darkling beetle in the dunes of the Namib desert (coastal Namibia). Namib web-footed gecko. Namaqua chameleon.
5"Grasslands"Chadden Hunter4 December 201611.54


  • Attenborough: "The grass in northern India is the tallest on the planet."
  • Eurasian Steppe. Saiga antelope.
  • Okavango Delta grasslands in Botswana.
  • Micromys ("harvest mouse") in Europe.
  • Southern carmine bee-eater.
  • Jackson's widowbirds in eastern Africa.
  • Leafcutter ant ("grass cutter ants") in South America.
  • compass termite in Australia.
  • Arctic wolf and caribou.
6"Cities"Fredi Devas11 December 201611.10


  • Langurs jump around the roofs in Jodhpur, India.
  • Leopards hunt for pigs in Mumbai, India.
  • Bowerbirds in Townsville, Australia.
  • Raccoons in Toronto, Canada.
  • Rhesus macaques in Jaipur, India.
  • Spotted hyenas in Harar, Ethiopia.
  • Pigeons in Albi in the south of France. Wels catfish was introduced in the area in the 1970s.
  • Singapore has pioneered in planting thousands of trees in the urban areas.
"A World of Wonder"Elizabeth White1 January 201712.02
A compilation of the wildlife series presented by David Attenborough.
"Now, over half of us live in an urban environment. My home, too, is here, in the city of London. Looking down on this great metropolis, the ingenuity with which we continue to reshape the surface of our planet is very striking. But it's also sobering. It reminds me of just how easy it is for us to lose our connection with the natural world. Yet, it's on this connection that the future of both humanity and the natural world will depend. And surely, it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth."— David Attenborough, in closing


The Independent's Christopher Hooton said of the series: "It is undoubtedly the greatest TV nature documentary to date and there's a strong case for it being one of the best TV series full stop." Michael Hogan from The Telegraph compared this series to the original Planet Earth series and said that "advances in technology have enabled intimate high-definition close-ups and gasp-inducing aerial shots" and said "It has become predictable to heap superlatives upon the BBC Natural History Unit and wax lyrical about Attenborough's status. But both institutions should be treasured while we're lucky enough to still have them."

However, The Guardian's Martin Hughes-Games, while calling the series "spectacular and fascinating", accused programmes such as this of breeding complacency about the destruction of wildlife by painting a misleading picture of the planet. He wrote that series such as Planet Earth had "become a disaster for the world's wildlife" and that while world animal populations are decreasing, "the producers continue to go to the fast shrinking parks and reserves to make their films – creating a beautiful, beguiling fantasy world".

The series is also currently the highest rated TV Show on IMDb's list of Top Rated TV Shows. In 2019, Planet Earth II and its prequel were ranked 72nd on The Guardian's list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century.

Awards and nominations

2017British Academy Television AwardsHuw Wheldon Award for Specialist FactualPlanet Earth IIWon
Virgin's Must-See MomentsSnakes vs. Iguanas chaseWon
British Academy Television Craft AwardsBest Photography -FactualJohn Aitchison, Rob Whitworth, Mark MacEwen (Episode: "Cities")Won
John Shier, Jonathan Jones, Barrie Britton (Episode: "Deserts")Nominated
John Shier, Mateo Willis, Barrie Britton (Episode: "Mountains")Nominated
Tom Crowley, Mark MacEwen, John Brown (Episode: "Jungles")Nominated
Best Editing – FactualDave Pearce (Episode: "Deserts")Nominated
Matt Meech (Episode: "Islands")Nominated
Best Sound – FactualGraham Wild, Kate Hopkins, Tim Owens (Episode: "Cities")Won
Kate Hopkins, Graham Wild (Episode: "Jungles")Nominated
Best Original Television MusicHans Zimmer, Jacob Shea, Jasha KlebeNominated
TCA AwardsOutstanding Achievement in News and InformationPlanet Earth IINominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy AwardsOutstanding Documentary or Nonfiction SeriesWon
Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction ProgrammingCinematography team (Episode: "Cities")Nominated
Cinematography team (Episode: "Islands")Won
Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction ProgrammingFredi Devas (Episode: "Cities")Nominated
Elizabeth White (Episode: "Islands")Nominated
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe (Episode: "Islands")Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction ProgramDave Pearce (Episode: "Cities")Nominated
Matt Meech (Episode: "Islands")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera)Kate Hopkins, Tim Owens (Episode: "Cities")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera)Graham Wild (Episode: "Cities")Nominated


DVD and Blu-ray

In the UK, the series was released as a two-disc DVD or Blu-ray set on 5 December 2016, while a four-disc 4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray set was released later on 13 March 2017. These releases were distributed by BBC Worldwide.

In the US and Canada, the DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD Blu-ray sets were released on 28 March 2017 and distributed by BBC Worldwide Americas. Each of the six episodes includes the 10-minute segment of the making-of documentary Planet Earth II: Diaries that had followed the original broadcast of each episode.

In Australia and New Zealand, the DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD Blu-ray sets were released by ABC DVD/Village Roadshow on 29 March 2017.


An accompanying hardback book was written by Steven Moss with a foreword by David Attenborough and published by BBC Books (ISBN 978-1849909655). It was released on 6 October 2016 in the UK, and on 15 February 2017 for the US release.


Planet Earth II
Soundtrack album by
Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe, Jacob Shea
Released11 November 2016 (Digital)
2 December 2016 (Audio CD)
GenreSoundtrack, Classical music
LabelSilva Screen Records
ProducerBBC Worldwide
BBC Earth
Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe, Jacob Shea chronology
Planet Earth
Planet Earth II

The soundtrack was released with a compilation of the incidental music specially commissioned for Planet Earth II. The main theme was composed by Hans Zimmer, with the original music for each episode composed by Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe for Bleeding Fingers Music. A digital soundtrack was released worldwide on 11 November 2016, while a two-disc soundtrack became available on 2 December 2016 in the UK.

Track listing

No.TitleEpisode TitleLength
1."Planet Earth II Suite" 4:31
2."The Sloth""Islands"3:40
3."Home to Dragons""Islands"5:00
4."Albatross Dance""Islands"4:00
5."Racer Snakes vs. Iguanas""Islands"4:59
6."Chinstrap Penguins""Islands"3:20
7."Singing Indri""Jungles"2:41
8."Competing Hummingbirds""Jungles"3:11
9."Life in the Canopy""Jungles"2:41
10."Jungle Weather""Jungles"1:40
11."Night Crawlers""Jungles"1:59
12."World of Bioluminescence""Jungles"2:50
13."Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise""Jungles"3:28
14."Something Worth Protecting""Jungles"2:16
15."Life Without Water""Deserts"2:39
16."Monsoon Deserts – Canyonlands""Deserts"3:19
17."Lion vs. Giraffe""Deserts"3:30
18."The Butcher Bird""Deserts"1:07
19."Wild Horses""Deserts"2:44
20."Desert Nightlife – Golden Mole""Deserts"3:39
21."Long-Eared Bat vs. Scorpion""Deserts"3:12
22."Early Morning Fog""Deserts"2:53
Total length:69:19
No.TitleEpisode TitleLength
1."Roof of the World""Mountains"0:52
2."Peaks of North America""Mountains"1:59
3."The Ibex""Mountains"1:40
4."The Himalayas""Mountains"2:16
5."Flight Over Alps""Mountains"2:17
6."Ice Skating Flamingos""Mountains"1:18
7."Dancing Bears""Mountains"1:38
8."Tenacious Bobcat""Mountains"1:54
9."Garden of Ice""Mountains"2:04
10."Snow Leopards""Mountains"5:14
11."Savage Beauty""Mountains"1:43
12."Normadic Life""Grasslands"1:57
13."Hunting Buffalo Herds""Grasslands"4:16
14."The Okavango""Grasslands"1:39
15."Carmine Bee Eaters""Grasslands"2:40
16."Industrious Insects""Grasslands"3:38
17."The Great Migration""Grasslands"5:45
18."The Unnatural Habitat""Cities"1:16
19."Langurs of Jodhpur""Cities"2:35
20."Temple Gardens""Cities"2:10
21."Market Thieves""Cities"3:10
23."City Skylines""Cities"1:27
25."Toronto Raccoons""Cities"2:52
26."We are the Designers""Cities"2:48
Total length:63:50