Wonders of Nature as Never Before Seen on TV: BBC America’s ‘Planet Earth II’

Planet Earth II Elizabeth White/Copyright BBC NHU 2016

Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of a marine iguana hatchling sprinting for its life from a pack of hungry racer snakes. Since this is 2017, you’ve probably also seen that video remixed with “Yakety Sax.”

The source of that video is Planet Earth II, the sequel to the grand and groundbreaking nature documentary series that debuted in the spring of 2007 and presented the natural world as never before seen on TV. The six-part follow-up on BBC America gets even closer to nature through 4K Ultra HD, drones and camera-stabilization technologies that weren’t available 10 years ago. Renowned natural history filmmaker Sir David Attenborough narrates Planet Earth II, with a score composed and produced by Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers Music.

Planet Earth II premieres on BBC America Saturday, Feb. 18, at 9pm ET/PT and airs Saturdays.

Planet Earth II Episodes

“Islands” (Feb. 18) Islands can offer sanctuary away from the mainland, but island life isn’t always easy. In the premiere episode, see how the tiny pygmy three-toed sloth only survives because of the peace and safety offered by its Caribbean island home, how marine iguanas on Galapagos contend with deadly racer snakes, and how more than 1.5 million penguins thrive on an active volcano.

“Mountains” (Feb. 25) Episode 2 of BBC America’s Planet Earth II climbs high into the world’s great mountain ranges, where only a few pioneering animals — among the most elusive and mysterious on the planet — have what it takes to survive.

“Jungles” (March 4)  This episode, “Jungles,” reveals a magical world of surprise, drama and unforgettable wild characters. See strange jungle dolphins that swim among the trees of Brazil, ninja frogs that fight huge wasps in Costa Rica and glow-in-the-dark creatures never before filmed.

“Deserts” (March 11) Desert animals have the most incredible survival stories on Earth. Among the stories featured in “Deserts” are a pride of desert lions hunting a giraffe several times their size, a flock of male sand grouse flying nearly 125 miles daily to find the nearest waterhole, and a tiny bat taking on a deadly scorpion just to get a meal.

“Grasslands” (March 18)  The extraordinary creatures that live on Earth’s grasslands must survive the most hostile seasons on the planet, as this episode demonstrates. “Grasslands” reveals the rarely seen saiga antelope in Asia, the giant anteaters of Brazil, and epic battles between lions and buffalo in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

“Cities” (March 25)  Cities may seem an unlikely place for animals to thrive, but for the bold, they are worlds of surprising opportunity. In this episode, see how leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, peregrine falcons hunt among New York’s skyscrapers and a million starlings perform spectacular aerial dances over Rome. Immediately following is The Making of Planet Earth II.

About Ryan Berenz 2128 Articles
Member of the Television Critics Association. Charter member of the Ancient and Mystic Society of No Homers. Squire of the Ancient & Benevolent Order of the Lynx, Lodge 49, Long Beach, Calif. Costco Wholesale Gold Star Member since 2011.