1. Lifestyle
October 24, 2017updated 23 Oct 2017 5:44pm

Blue Planet II – what’s it about? When’s it on? Why should you watch it?

By Jack Rear

After the certifiable television event that was Planet Earth 1, no one should be surprised by Blue Planet 2. After the massive success of the former, it seems the BBC are keen to reboot other successful documentary series. With legendary biologist David Attenborough at the helm, Blue Planet II is sure to be worth watching.

As the name suggests, Blue Planet 2 is a follow-up to 2001’s award-winning Blue Planet documentary series. The series explored aquatic life found in oceans and seas right across the world. Stunning cinematography, cutting edge science, and incredible music combined to make a must-watch wildlife documentary. And now, 16 years later, Blue Planet 2 is back to do it all over again. We have all the information on the Blue Planet 2 air date.

David Attenborough will narrate the seven episode series, just like he did with the original.

However, don’t expect to see the same things all over again. The BBC should be treating viewers to some seriously updated visuals this time around. Just like with Planet Earth 2 this new documentary series will be broadcast in 4K Ultra HD. And the music is also getting an upgrade; Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer has composed the score for this new series of the show. The band Radiohead also worked with Zimmer to record a new version of their song ‘Bloom’ for the series.

When is the Blue Planet 2 air date and how can I watch it?

Blue Planet 2 will air for the first time on BBC One and BBC One HD. The show will begin at 8pm local time on Sunday 29th October. For international documentary fans, it will air on BBC America in 2018. In Asia, the series will air on Tuesday nights starting from 31st October.

As ever, you’ll be able to catch-up on the show on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after its original airing.

So far only the dates for the first two episodes (29th October and 5th November) are known. However, it’s seriously unlikely the BBC will decide to split the series, so weekly installments on Sunday nights at 8pm seems likely.

A prequel to the series was released exclusively online on BBC iPlayer and the BBC YouTube account on 27th September. You can watch it below:

What is Blue Planet 2 about?

Well, as mentioned above, Blue Planet 2 is about our planet’s oceans and the creatures living in them.

The series has been in production for over four years. During that time, the BBC have filmed 125 expeditions in 39 countries. Their cameramen have apparently spent over 6,000 hours diving to capture the footage for the series. As you might expect, there’s plenty of content to explore. 

Some of the animals featured in the documentary include a transgender fish — the Asian Sheephead Wrasse — which can change gender to pass on more genes. There’s also the Common Octopus off South Africa’s coast which pick up stone and shells to shield itself from harm. Then there’s the the Giant Trevally which leaps from the water to catch birds flying low over the ocean. In addition, expect to see cuttlefish which hypnotise their prey, fish who use sign language, and a clownfish who dragged an entire coconut shell across the ocean floor to present to his partner.

However, the series isn’t just about the fish and animals of the sea. The series will also explore how the oceans affect life on the land, from weather to moderating our climate. But the reverse is also true. Human beings affect life in the sea too.

Blue Planet 2 will explore the often devastating impact of humanity on the world’s oceans. From plastic bottles and bags which form ‘trash islands’ out at sea to coral bleaching caused by global warming that is destroying plant and animal habitats around the world.

While the BBC are, understandably, keeping much of the show’s content under wraps, they have released the series’ episode titles to tease fans:

  • One Ocean
  • The Deep
  • Coral Reefs
  • Big Blue
  • Green Seas
  • Coasts
  • Our Blue Planet

Safe to say, documentary fans should be very excited!

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