In 2006, “Planet Earth” made its debut on BBC One. Ten years later, the BBC Earth YouTube channel has released a trailer for “Planet Earth II,” taking us back into one of the most significant nature documentaries ever.
The new title will include a narration by the man, the myth, the legend, Sir David Attenborough, the same voice of the original series. However, returning to the same voice obviously means other names were left out of the picture. I think people like Morgan Freeman, Tilda Swinton, Alec Baldwin and perhaps most of all, Snoop Dogg, would have been excellent guides to learning about our planet.
While names like Morgan Freeman, or even Snoop Dogg, would have been great, it makes the most sense that the BBC would stick with the G.O.A.T. of nature documentary narrators to accompany the revival of perhaps the greatest nature documentary series. In effect, Attenborough’s calm and intelligent sounding British accent will provide a nostalgic and elegant presentation of the planet’s beauty.
Because it’s been an entire decade since the first “Planet Earth” documentary and climate change has earned an increasingly important position amongst the world’s issues, the upcoming sequel comes at an interesting time. With the change in both climate change research as well as the recent international climate discussion and coalition held in Paris, “Planet Earth II” will have a timely message about global climate and what’s at stake when countries make decisions that affect it.
Part of the original message behind “Planet Earth” was the beauty and appreciation of those places untouched by human development and civilization. This was put into perspective in the first line of episode one, in which Attenborough explains, “A hundred years ago, there were one and a half billion people on Earth. Now, over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity. This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before.” Whether the it’s trying to or not, the release of “Planet Earth II” will shape people’s ideas about the changes the natural world has gone through over the past decade. It will, inevitably, show us what is at stake.
On a lighter, less daunting but no less awesome and exciting note, the other man, myth and legend, Hans Zimmer, will be creating new music for “Planet Earth II.”
For some, Zimmer is about as good as it gets when it comes to film soundtracks, but for those who don’t know him, I can provide a short list of some of the soundtracks he composed. There’s “The Lion King,” “The Thin Red Line,” “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” “Inception,” “Interstellar,” “Gladiator” and “The Last Samurai.” Zimmer’s composition of another original soundtrack for a big title may be enough to get excited about simply because of the name behind the music. But the music in a nature documentary like “Planet Earth” has a unique role that I think makes it much more important to what the film is actually saying. Besides the words of Attenborough, the music is perhaps the only other form of humanity in the film series, but I don’t want to delve into the significance of this in a short article.
The trailer for “Planet Earth II”, viewable on YouTube, suggests a revival of one of the greatest nature films of all time, and the influences behind it promise to yield an as-good to even-better-than sequel to the original documentary.