Review: BBC Series Planet Earth II with Sir David Attenborough

Hatchling Marine Iguana from the 'Islands' episode of the BBC series Planet Earth II with Sir David Attenborough.

Hatchling Marine Iguana from the 'Islands' episode of the BBC series Planet Earth II with Sir David Attenborough.

As most people will already know, the BBC have released a sequel to the 2006 Planet Earth series. The sequel, appropriately named Planet Earth II and featuring Sir David Attenborough as the narrator, was as stunning as you would expect.

Even if you haven't watched any of the Planet Earth II episodes, you are likely to have come across one of the many clips shared on the internet of the hatchling Marine Iguanas (photo above) escaping a gauntlet of racer snakes. It was probably one of the most memorable wildlife documentary moments of 2016. 

One of the reasons I like wildlife documentaries so much is that they tend to appeal to so many different types of people. Unlike other types of content, they are the kind of thing that will appeal to a varied demographic and individuals from all walks of life. As such, it is to be expected that many people will also have strong views and opinions about it.

I believe it is fair to say that the series was overwhelmingly hailed as magnificent by the vast majority of people who watched it. However, some have pointed out the 'gruesomeness' of certain scenes and sensationalist 'newspapers' such as The Mirror have unsurprisingly written articles talking about how some of the footage has 'horrified thousands of viewers'. 

I can definitely understand how some people may have found it difficult to watch certain scenes. Let's not forget that we humans love to coo over animals and perhaps seeing them in such a realistic light tarnishes that image. However, I can't say that I share their opinion. I love the fact that the series was realistic. That it shared how beautiful, dangerous and terrifying life in the wild can be. To me, that is exactly what a wildlife documentary should show. 

Although I absolutely loved the series, I wanted to focus the review on the 'Diaries' part of it. At the end of each episode, they showcased how the crew managed to capture the footage, the difficulties they encountered and their journey to these sometimes incredibly remote areas of the world. The truth is that I honestly feel rather guilty about loving them. 

I loved the 'Diaries' sections because it somehow makes it all even more real to me. I have expressed in previous reviews that I like seeing how the crew manages to capture these amazing images. How they get there, how they solve problems along the way, etc. However, I also worry that they may somehow lead more people to these locations. People that would perhaps not be so mindful and respectful of the environment and the wildlife they encounter. Who knows? Maybe this is a bit of a stretch and I'm overthinking things. Oh well...c'est la vie. 

If you like wildlife documentaries, you will probably have already watched it. I don't think you need me to say this but I will anyway - if you haven't watched it yet, do it. I believe it's still on iPlayer, though I'm not sure how much longer it will be available there. I, for one, will definitely be buying the DVD when it's out.