From islands to screens

Vinaya Patil
Sunday, 17 September 2017

Episode one of BBC Earth’s Planet Earth II - Islands - is a perfect introduction to the rest of its episodes shot in iconic habitats across the world

If vast oceans, green pastures, dense forests, diverse flora and fauna are your thing, Planet Earth II is for you. Shot across 40 countries on 117 filming days, Planet Earth II is a jaw-dropping landmark in the world of wildlife and natural history. An integral part of this series has also been shot in the exquisite locales of India such as Ladakh, Mumbai, Jodhpur and Jaipur. The series has been recently nominated for the Emmy Awards and has got 10 nominations. The series premieres on BBC Earth on September 18 at 9 pm.

From intimate encounters to the basics of survival, the series takes the audience closer to wildlife. Sir David Attenborough narrates the six-part documentary series showing animals in the most iconic habitats across the world — Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands, and Cities. The first episode — Islands — premiered recently in the city, is the perfect start to the rest of the series, promising much more than just animals and landscapes on screen. 

From sloths to penguins and komodo dragons, the episode gives the audience a glimpse into varied ecosystems across the world. Remote islands offer sanctuary for some of the planet’s strangest and rarest creatures. The rare pygmy three-toed sloth enjoys a peaceful existence on an idyllic Caribbean island, while nesting albatross thrive in predator-free isolation.

But island life always comes at a cost, narrates Attenborough beautifully, while two birds try to mate on screen. On the Galapagos Islands, young marine iguana must escape an onslaught of deadly racer snakes the moment they hatch from the sand. On the sub-Antarctic island of Zavodovski, life gets more extreme. Every day, one and a half million penguins risk being battered against the rocks by fierce waves as they try to get on and off the island. Their reunion with their families and feeding the little ones is a beautifully narrated visual.

The Snakes vs Iguana chase, a beautifully shot sequence in this episode, won the British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for TV’s Must See Moment of this year and garnered over 400 million views across platforms. The camera work — in shooting the natural movements of the animals and the locales — is nothing short of stunning.

The episode ends with a brief introduction to the team of camerpersons, producers and others battling extreme weathers to reach these remote islands to capture the wild in the wild. It makes for an interesting conclusion to the episode.

ST Reader Service
Catch Planet Earth II on BBC Earth Monday to Friday every week from September 18 at 9 pm

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