It is extremely rare to come across something that absolutely everyone likes, but the spellbinding quality of Blue Planet II is such that it can’t be met with anything other than universal acclaim. We all love it and admire it, and even feel a little overwhelmed by it.
I have very vague memories of the original Blue Planet, which was made when I was only about five years old, but it’s so clear to see how technological advances and new filming techniques have enhanced the BBC’s natural history programmes to a remarkable extent.
In 2016, Planet Earth II set a new benchmark for the genre, but now the production values are better still, almost making me wonder if they can get any better. The ability to film in the most remote environments; the greatest depths of our oceans, has helped to capture amazing animal behaviours and enable us to discover species we were never aware of.
But what makes Blue Planet II truly epic is that it’s one big spectacle. We have David Attenborough’s resonant, reassuring narration. We have music from Hans Zimmer, one of the finest film composers, adding gravitas to the on-screen action.
As for my favourite segments, I loved watching the penguins tread carefully in between the warring elephant seals in the latest episode. It was tense yet comical at the same time, seeing the juxtaposition between the dainty gait of the penguins, and the unsophisticated wrestling of the seals.
The slow-motion footage of the humpback whales leaping out of the water, fish with transparent heads, apocalyptic explosions at the sea bottom, the battle to escape the predatory polar bears. There are just too many ‘wow’ moments to mention. It’s little wonder that it’s the most-watched programme in the UK…
Just to keep our enthusiasm in check, Attenborough closes each episode with a cryptic reminder about the effects of human activity, and how global climate change can possibly harm oceans and their populations in the future. I don’t care if they use rubber ducks or not to illustrate their point, the diversity of the footage throughout each episode should be enough of an incentive for us to take more care of our environment.
But for now, let us just enjoy the last episode, which is coming up on Sunday. The series has been mesmerising and I hope those of you who have seen it (even just one episode) feel the same!