BBC America has greenlit Blue Planet II, a new seven-part series presented by Sir David Attenborough that will take a deep dive into the world’s oceans. The news comes a day after BBCA premiered Planet Earth II, a follow-up to BBC’s 2006 acclaimed nature docuseries.
Blue Planet II will explore the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, from icy-white polar seas to vibrant blues of the coral atolls, from the storm-tossed green Atlantic coastline to the black depths of the alien deep. New creatures, including hairy-chested Hoff crabs, snub fin dolphins and Pacific leaping blennies, have been filmed for the first time, as well as new landscapes, such as methane volcanoes which erupt in the Gulf of Mexico, creating underwater lakes of poisonous brine, and the so-called “Boiling Sea” phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, have been discovered. The series will also take audiences to a “new world” as two manned submersibles to Antarctic waters to 1000m for the very first time.
“I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known,” Attenborough said.
“Hot on the heels of a rapturous response in the US to Planet Earth II, we are delighted to announce our next, phenomenal and beautiful series from the BBC Natural History Unit, Blue Planet II,” added Sarah Barnett, President, BBC America. “Like Planet Earth II, this is a remarkable and relevant sequel – this time plunging us into an awe inspiring trip into our planet’s oceans – that will stand out as rare and extraordinary, even in today’s superlative TV landscape.”
Blue Planet II’s camera teams have developed new filming technologies, including UHD “tow cams” that allow predatory fish and dolphins to be filmed front-on, UHD suction cams which enable the viewer to “travel” on the back of large creatures such as whale sharks and orcas, and a motion control rig, which is used to shoot time-lapse footage in the ocean, to reveal previously unseen wild behaviors.
The Blue Planet first debuted in 2001 and saw a team of wildlife filmmakers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit set out to make a series on the world’s oceans, the breadth and scale of which had never been seen before. The series was nominated for five Emmys, winning two, including Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming.
Blue Planet II is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC AMERICA, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University, Natural History and Specialist Factual.