It’s that time again, and the soothing, dulcet tones of the legendary Sir David Attenborough are back acting as the music to our ears. And whilst his voice was warming our ears, our eyes were being graced and mesmerised by the sheer beauty of our Blue Planet.
The discovery of smarter fish using tools in this first episode, has once again heralded another success for the long, distinguished career of Attenborough who is the only man to have a BAFTA in black and white, colour, HD and 3D.
I went to the premiere screening of this first episode of Blue Planet 2 just over two weeks ago and I love it, even more, this second time around. It was a surreal experience knowing I was one of the first people to watch this new series. What was even more surreal was breathing the same air and making eye contact with David himself. Yes, after this experience I’d like to think we’re on the first name terms.
From the interaction of unusual species to the flying prowess of Mobular Ray leaping majestically into the air, there were even things that astounded Attenborough himself! Yet, as Attenborough said, there is still so much more to be explored in our oceans. One of the producers at the screening event said she spent 1,000 hours half a mile underwater in the oceans for the deep-water episode later in the series. Blue Planet 2 has literally gone to new depths.
However, despite the awe and wonder of this new series, a sad and worrying undercurrent remains. From the Walrus’ struggling to find a safe place for their young to the impact of plastic in our oceans, Blue Planet 2 highlights the urgent need for humans to act now to combat climate change. But the terrifying thing is that it is too late to stop the damage plastic is causing to ocean life, it is already pervasive. At the screening, Attenborough recalled the time when his professor at university said how great this indestructible new material was, but little did he know that we would dump that material into the oceans. Melancholic by the actions of humans, Attenborough is still as passionate as ever to protect our great planet.
To end on a lighter note, Attenborough told of his favourite animal from this series being the Clownfish who took over the coconut shell for his lady friend to have their babies. He said it reminded him of how alike humans and sea creatures really are. And I suppose we can all reflect upon that closer similarity than difference when it comes to the protection of our oceans. It is the Planet of both humans and animals which is what makes our Blue Planet so wonderful. But unlike this series, there is no second one.
By George Cook