Planet Earth is a landmark 2006 British television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Five years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC and also the first to be filmed in high definition.
Planet Earth premiered on 5 March 2006 in the United Kingdom on BBC One, and by June 2007 had been shown in 130 countries.
The series has eleven episodes, each of which features a global overview of a different biome or habitat on Earth. At the end of each fifty-minute episode, a ten-minute featurette takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming the series.
Ten years later, the BBC announced a six-part sequel had been commissioned, titled Planet Earth II. David Attenborough returned as narrator and presenter.A decade on from the ground breaking natural history series Planet Earth, we’re able to go further, get closer, and capture behavior and places that would have been impossible 10 years ago. Over three years in the making, in 40 different countries, on 117 filming trips and a total of 2089 shooting days, BBC America’s Planet Earth II brings a whole new view of our planet.
Captured in stunning Ultra-high definition detail, Planet Earth II is an immersive exploration of the islands, mountains, jungles, grasslands, deserts, and cities of the world. Journey to the four corners of the globe to discover the extreme forces that shape life in each of these iconic landscapes and the remarkable ways animals manage to overcome the challenges of surviving in the wildest places on Earth. From eye-to-eye encounters with incredible creatures to epic journeys through breathtaking wildernesses, experience the wonder of the natural world as never before.
Planet Earth Season 2018 Reviews and Rating
The opening episode of Planet Earth II was the most watched natural history programme in the UK for more than 15 years, drawing in 9.2 million viewers to BBC1 on Sunday evening.
The David Attenborough-narrated documentary is already one of the most popular shows of the year so far in a field usually dominated by drama, sport and entertainment.Series two’s opener was also more popular than the first Planet Earth a decade ago, when 8.74 million viewers watched its debut and a high of 8.8 million tuned in for the fifth episode.The feat is all the more impressive in the era of catchup TV and iPlayer – which launched in 2007 – when audiences are increasingly deciding to watch later rather than tune in live.
The team behind Planet Earth II have taken advantage of a decade’s worth of advances in technology to produce more detailed and impressive footage than its groundbreaking predecessor. The crews made 117 filming trips in 40 different countries, filming for a total of 2,089 days.The head of the BBC’s Natural History Unit, Julian Hector, said: “Audiences love Sir David’s authenticity and the craft of the programme-makers that give us a window on the motivations of the animals. When so much is going on in the human world, that the natural world has an agenda all of its own, regardless, gives us a place to escape.”
It is not possible to accurately compare the show’s audience with those who watched natural history programming going back further than 15 years, as the way TV audiences are measured changed at the end of 2001. In that year another Attenborough-fronted BBC natural history programme, Blue Planet, was broadcast with an audience, under the old measurement system, of about 10 million.
As ever, the ‘Planet Earth Diaries’ segment at the end pours a deserving spotlight on the teams who made this series happen thanks to 117 filming trips in 40 countries, documenting the many days at sea and many months of preparation that go into getting just five or so minutes of penguin footage.
‘Five stars’ isn’t really enough for this programme. I could bake a cake for the families of everyone involved and still not feel like I’ve come close to showing my appreciation and respect.