Planet Earth II (2016)
|Content Rating||TV-G (TV-G)|
|Awards||Top rated TV #1 | Won 2 Primetime Emmys15 wins & 28 nominations total|
|Company||BBC Natural History Unit (NHU), BBC America, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)|
|Country||UK, Germany, France, China, USA|
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.
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.||Title||Produced by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||"Islands"||Elizabeth White||6 November 2016||12.26|
|2||"Mountains"||Justin Anderson||13 November 2016||13.14|
|3||"Jungles"||Emma Napper||20 November 2016||11.60|
|4||"Deserts"||Ed Charles||27 November 2016||11.88|
|5||"Grasslands"||Chadden Hunter||4 December 2016||11.54|
|6||"Cities"||Fredi Devas||11 December 2016||11.10|
|–||"A World of Wonder"||Elizabeth White||1 January 2017||12.02|
|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
|2017||British Academy Television Awards||Huw Wheldon Award for Specialist Factual||Planet Earth II||Won|
|Virgin's Must-See Moments||Snakes vs. Iguanas chase||Won|
|British Academy Television Craft Awards||Best Photography -Factual||John 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 – Factual||Dave Pearce (Episode: "Deserts")||Nominated|
|Matt Meech (Episode: "Islands")||Nominated|
|Best Sound – Factual||Graham Wild, Kate Hopkins, Tim Owens (Episode: "Cities")||Won|
|Kate Hopkins, Graham Wild (Episode: "Jungles")||Nominated|
|Best Original Television Music||Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea, Jasha Klebe||Nominated|
|TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in News and Information||Planet Earth II||Nominated|
|Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards||Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series||Won|
|Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming||Cinematography team (Episode: "Cities")||Nominated|
|Cinematography team (Episode: "Islands")||Won|
|Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming||Fredi 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 Program||Dave 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
|Released||11 November 2016 (Digital)|
2 December 2016 (Audio CD)
|Genre||Soundtrack, Classical music|
|Label||Silva Screen Records|
|Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe, Jacob Shea chronology|
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.