Assuming you’ve calmed down from shouting ‘but Game of Thrones, though!’ repeatedly at the screen since loading this article, allow me to explain why BBC’s Blue Planet II will be the most significant of shows.
In no way am I ignoring the fact that Game of Thrones is going to be epic – it quite obviously will be. Nor am I playing down how great season two of Stranger Things or (providing we get it before the year’s over) Westworld will be. And I’m certainly not attempting to take the hype away from a long-awaited return for Twin Peaks either.
But if you were fortunate enough to have caught Planet Earth II at the tail end of 2016, you’ll know that it made for some cracking television. I’m not talking pure entertainment either – which it definitely was – but the visual spectacle of nature combined with the educational aspect. It transformed it into essential viewing. Thrones may have unrivalled twists and exquisite writing, but a David Attenborough-narrated documentary has something of true merit and genuine value for audiences.
Since BBC confirmed viewers would indeed be getting the follow-up series to Blue Planet, 2017 is beginning to offer at least a glimmer of promise.
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Blue Planet, which was broadcast in 2001, took over five years to make; meaning the time frame between starting series one and broadcasting this, the second, will span over two decades. That’s some epic docu filmmaking right there!
Just as Planet Earth and its sequel series explored the symbiosis of humans, plants and animals; the Blue Planet series focuses on a similar relationship as well as the vital nature of the Eco-system which is essential to humanity’s and the Earth’s longevity.
Not only will Blue Planet II inform us on the countless important, fascinating species that live in the depths of the ocean, but over the course of its seven episodes it’ll embody entertainment, history, education, future consequences, preventative measures, and ways we can preserve the planet; just as Sir David reminds us rather poignantly at Planet Earth II’s finale.
While I’m confident the aforementioned HBO and Netflix shows will affirm their place as annual highlights, I feel Blue Planet II bears a much greater significance due to it merging of entertainment and education. Factual programmes never go out of date and in the case of BBC’s Attenborough-presented docs, will remain relevant for many generations to come.
In a time where global warming and climate change are hotly debated topics, this series will no doubt prove essential for raising awareness and educating generations of people over how precious all life and respective circles of life are on the planet.
The access the crew (as well as the ageing Attenborough) have is frankly unprecedented. The proximity and unobtrusive way the cameras capture all sorts of magic is a sight to behold; especially when new or rare species are discovered in an previously unexplored, untouched habitat.
Simply put, Blue Planet II will forge unmissable, captivating episodic stories all bound by truth in the hope of preserving and respecting the planet – that is the message of a significant, timely, and very important series that will no doubt be one of 2017’s highlights.
Were you a big fan of Blue Planet and Planet Earth II? Are you eagerly anticipating this new series? Share your comments below…
Mike is a freelance TV, film, music and entertainment writer, with an unhealthy obsession for Game of Thrones. He’s written for BBC Radio 1, BuzzFeed, Shortlist, MTV, GamesRadar+, Total Film, GoThinkBig, Loaded, and regularly scribbles for Yahoo Movies UK, VODzilla, and Metro.
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