Culture > TV review: Revisiting Planet Earth II as spring is flourishing

Posted on March 10, 2017

Jack Aldridge explains why he finds nature so fascinating

Springtime is one of my favourite times of the year. The world becomes much more colourful after the empty days of winter.

In winter, there’s not much to see outside because the days are short and, most importantly, very cold. I don’t want to get out of bed in winter because it’s so cold and dull outside!

That’s why I’m glad spring is arriving. I can see buds on trees, and flowers such as tulips, snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses blooming. It’s this time of year that I help my mummy and sister do some gardening ready for summer. Just last week I helped plant some sweet peas, and they’re already 10cm tall!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing more work in the garden. I’m going to help with planting more seeds so that we can grow peas, beans, sweetcorn, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beetroot, radishes, cucumber, peppers and courgettes. My sister also grows herbs, salad, kale and even red and white strawberries!

I have always found the scope of the landscapes of our world impressive; they show me how powerful and fascinating nature can be. This is why I was so pleased when the BBC decided to produce a sequel series to Planet Earth, the aptly named Planet Earth II.

I’ve especially enjoyed re-watching the series lately because at this time of the year, I can actually see life and nature blooming around me, just like in Planet Earth II.

I have always found the scope of the landscapes of our world impressive; they show me how powerful and fascinating nature can be

Planet Earth II, broadcast in late 2016, builds on the original series by delving into new environments and wildlife.

Narrated by the famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Planet Earth II has fascinated a new generation with its awe-inspiring photography and easily understandable narration.

The visual style of Planet Earth II is one of its most striking features, which has attracted many new viewers. I enjoyed the cinematography; many scenes were shot in a dynamic style. The scenery and wildlife looks interesting and full of life.

The jungles and rainforests were so vibrant, lush and teeming with life. It reminds me of the woods at Forty Hall and Trent Park, where the icy lakes and puddles have now thawed and the trees are full of greenery, just like the rainforests.

The bird’s eye angles gave the viewer an idea of the sheer size of the environments, such as islands, mountains, jungles and deserts.

There were also many close-up shots, showing the animals in greater detail, giving viewers more insight into their behaviour.

Just like I enjoy seeing these exotic animals on Planet Earth II, as spring arrives I’m looking forward to seeing lots of squirrels, baby birds and lambs.

I’d recommend Planet Earth II, especially at this time of year when we can all see nature blossoming around us

One of my favourite parts of the ‘Islands’ episode is when the marine iguanas of Galapagos are seen feeding at the shoreline, and when smaller lizards try to catch flies bothering them. I found it humorous when crabs picked food off the iguanas’ backs as if they were grooming them.

I also enjoyed the scene where a father chinstrap penguin returned to his family’s nest. The penguin chicks looked so cute that I could stroke them!

In the episode ‘Islands’, hungry racer snakes chase baby marine iguanas on the Galapagos Islands. The music is dramatic, the increasingly loud brass instruments, the drawn-out clash of cymbals and frantic drumming building tension; until the iguanas are nearly caught by the snakes, desperate to hunt them.

The fast tempo matches the pace of the iguana’s desperate getaway, giving a sense of how terrified they must be as they run for their lives.

Planet Earth II has received very positive reviews from critics. Christopher Hooton of The Independent calls it “the most intimate look at nature ever seen on television”. Likewise, Michael Hogan of The Telegraph praised Planet Earth II, calling the final episode ‘Cities’ a “spectacular end” to the series.

I’d recommend Planet Earth II to veteran Attenborough viewers and nature novices alike, especially at this time of year when we can all see nature blossoming around us.

Planet Earth II’s intriguing narratives and easy-to-understand commentaries mean even nature newcomers will enjoy it.

Jack Aldridge
Jack is 20 years old and enjoys reading books, going out for walks and going to the cinema with his friends. He is quite interested in the media industry, particularly the film and TV industries. He also prefers animated films to live-action films.

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