Blue Planet II

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Blue Planet II
BBC Blue Planet II title card.jpg
Series title card
Genre Nature documentary
Presented by David Attenborough
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 7
Executive producer(s) James Honeyborne
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network
Picture format
Audio format
Original release 29 October (2017-10-29) – 10 December 2017 (2017-12-10)
Preceded by The Blue Planet
Related shows Planet Earth II
External links

Blue Planet II is a 2017 British nature documentary series on marine life produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Like its predecessor, The Blue Planet (2001), it is narrated and presented by naturalist Sir David Attenborough,[1] while the main music score was composed by Hans Zimmer.[2]

The series was debuted on 29 October 2017 and was simulcast on BBC One, BBC One HD and BBC Earth, making it the first natural history series to premiere on the same day in the United Kingdom, Nordic regions, Europe and in Asia.

In the United States, the series premiered on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 9 PM as part of a five-network simulcast on BBC America, AMC, IFC, Sundance, and WE tv. Subsequent episodes will air Saturdays on BBC America.


The series was announced by the BBC in 2013 with the working title Oceans, but the title was later changed to Blue Planet II as it revealed on 19 February 2017.[3][4] Filming took place over a course of more than four years; involving 125 expeditions across 39 countries and produced more than 6,000 hours of underwater dive footage from over an estimated 4000 dives.[5]

A boxset of the Blue Planet II DVDs, with a private letter from presenter Sir David Attenborough, was presented by Theresa May to Chinese leader Xi Jinping during her visit to China on 1 February 2018, expressing the determination to end the plastic pollution with China.[6][7]


Composer Hans Zimmer returned to score the series.[2] In September 2017, the BBC announced that the English rock band Radiohead had collaborated with Zimmer to record a new version of "Bloom", a song from their 2011 album The King of Limbs.[8] The new track, "(ocean) Bloom", was recorded alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. In a press release, Radiohead singer Thom Yorke said: "'Bloom' was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it's great to be able to come full circle with the song."[8]


British television[edit]

The premiere of the series took place at Bristol's Cinema de Lux on 11 October 2017, with special guest appearance by Attenborough alongside with the producers and wildlife experts. Bristol has been the global home of BBC's Natural History programme making for the past 60 years.[9][10][11] The series was first broadcast on 29 October 2017 (from 20:00 GMT to 21:00 GMT) on BBC One and BBC One HD.[12] The first six episodes included a 10-minute making-of documentary called Into the Blue.[13] The previous week's episode was repeated in an earlier time slot the following Sunday. The series was critically acclaimed[14] and gained the highest UK viewing figure for 2017, 14.1 million.[15]


The BBC pre-sold the series to several overseas broadcasters, which includes Canada (Blue Ant Media’s licensed channel for BBC Earth), Australia (Channel Nine) and New Zealand (TVNZ), to Europe with Denmark (DR), Netherlands (NPO), Sweden (SVT), Spain (Telefonica’s BBC Earth block), Discovery Channel for Latin America and co-production partnerships with BBC America, Germany’s WDR, France Télévisions[16], China's Tencent and CCTV-9.[17] The series was eventually sold to more than 30 countries.[16]

The series is set to broadcast internationally on BBC Earth channel, and also commercial television channels in various countries, besides.[16] The series debuted in Nordic regions and other European countries on 29 October 2017.[18][19][20][21][22] In Asia, the series began to premiere on each early Monday (from 04:05 SGT to 05:05 SGT) starting from 30 October 2017,[23][24][25] the episode was then repeated on following each Tuesday evening (from 20:00 SGT).[24][25][26] In Poland, it premiered on 16 November 2017.[27] As for South Africa, it aired from 4 February 2018.[28]

In China, the premiere took place at Shanghai's East China Normal University on 27 October 2017, with guest appearance by the producer Orla Doherty and Mike Gunton, the executive producer of Planet Earth II.[29] The series is streaming broadcast at Tencent's QQLive from 30 October 2017, with episodes updating every Monday at 18:00 CST.[30][31] It would also be broadcast on the state owned China Central Television’s documentary channel, CCTV-9, with episodes airing each Monday from 6 November 2017 at 21:00 CST.[17][32]

In the Netherlands, the series is airing on the Dutch channel NPO 1, with episodes airing each Thursday from 28 December 2017.[33] In Belgium, it will air on the Flemish channel Canvas, with episodes airing each Saturday starting from 2 January 2018.[34]

The series is airing in Canada and the United States on 20 January 2018.[35][36][37] In Canada, it will broadcast with a three-network simulcast across BBC Earth, Cottage Life and T+E channel.[35] In the United States, the series will premier the first episode - with a five-network simulcast across BBC America, AMC, IFC, WE tv and Sundance TV,[36][37] while the remaining episodes will continue to be air every Saturday on BBC America. It is also available on and the BBCA app.[38]

As for Australia, the series will premiere at Nine Network and 9Now on 17 February 2018.[39][40] In New Zealand, it premiered on 12 November 2017 on TVNZ 1.[41][42]


No. Title Produced by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [43]
- "The Prequel" N/A 27 September 2017 (2017-09-27)[44][45] N/A
A 5-minute clip introduction which focus for the upcoming stories from the ocean depths.
1 "One Ocean" Jonathan Smith 29 October 2017 (2017-10-29)[46] 14.01
2 "The Deep" Orla Doherty 5 November 2017 (2017-11-05)[47] 13.97
3 "Coral Reefs" Jonathan Smith 12 November 2017 (2017-11-12)[48] 13.45
4 "Big Blue" John Ruthven 19 November 2017 (2017-11-19)[49] 13.11
5 "Green Seas" Kathryn Jeffs 26 November 2017 (2017-11-26)[50] 12.62
6 "Coasts" Miles Barton 3 December 2017 (2017-12-03)[51] 11.45
7 "Our Blue Planet" Orla Doherty, Will Ridgeon 10 December 2017 (2017-12-10)[53] 11.91
Examining the role of human anthropogenic activity on the oceans. Microplastics and pollution are an increasing problem for the world's seas, threatening the lives of marine life and ultimately impacting on the ecosystem. Can humans reverse their activity to protect the seas and the wildlife that inhabit it?[52]
- "Oceans of Wonder" N/A 1 January 2018 (2018-01-01)[54] N/A
A 90-minute compilation episode which highlights the wonders of our world's oceans as well as filming some extraordinary animal behaviours which were never seen before.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2018 National Television Awards Impact Award Blue Planet II & David Attenborough Won [55][56][57]


DVD and Blu-ray[edit]

The series was released as a three-disc DVD set[58] as well as a standard Blu-ray set[59] on 27 November 2017, and as a six-disc 4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray set[60] on 15 January 2018. It is distributed by BBC Worldwide in the UK.

In the US and Canada, the DVD,[61][62] Blu-ray[63][64] and 4K UHD Blu Ray[65][66] sets are due to be released on 6 March 2018 and distributed by BBC Worldwide Americas.


An accompanying hardback book was written by James Honeyborne and Mark Brownlow, with foreword by David Attenborough. It was published by BBC Books (ISBN 978-1849909679). The book was released on 19 October 2017 in the UK[67][68] and on 1 January 2018 in the US.[69]

Open University poster[edit]

A free poster was made available through the Open University's OpenLearn website.[70]


Blue Planet II
Soundtrack album by Hans Zimmer, David Fleming & Jacob Shea
Released 29 October 2017 (Digital)
1 December 2017 (Audio CD)
Genre Soundtrack, Classical music
Length 1:11:29
Label Silva Screen Records
Producer BBC Worldwide
BBC Earth

The musical score and songs featured in the series were composed by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and David Fleming for Bleeding Fingers Music. A digital soundtrack was released on 29 October 2017, while a single physical disc will be available on 1 December 2017 in the UK.[71][72][73][74]


  1. ^ Jackson, Jasper. "Sir David Attenborough to return for BBC's Blue Planet II". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Academy Award Winner Hans Zimmer & Bleeding Fingers Music To Create The Score For Blue Planet II". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "BBC commissions Blue Planet follow up". BBC News. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sir David Attenborough to present Blue Planet II for BBC One". BBC Media Centre. 
  5. ^ "Blue Planet II explores underwater realms, spotlights ocean's plight". CBC News. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Connett, David; Elgot, Jessica (31 January 2018). "Blue Planet gift from Theresa May to remind Beijing of plastic waste". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  7. ^ Hawkes, Steve; Dunn, Tom Newton (31 January 2018). "PM to give Chinese leader Blue Planet DVDs and letter from Sir David Attenborough demanding action on plastics". The Sun. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Association, Press (2017-09-14). "The ultimate chill out song? Radiohead record new music for David Attenborough's Blue Planet 2". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-09-14. 
  9. ^ "Blue Planet II: Preview Screening". BBC Shows & Tours. 
  10. ^ "David Attenborough coming to Bristol for Blue Planet II premiere". Bristol 24/7. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "Sir David Attenborough is hosting a screening of Blue Planet II in Bristol". Bristol Post. Retrieved 27 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "How Hans Zimmer and Radiohead transformed "Bloom" for Blue Planet II". Vox Media. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Blue Planet II: 22 things to know about the new series". BBC News. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "Radio Times top 40 TV shows of 2017". Radio Times. 2017-12-29. 
  15. ^ "Blue Planet II is year's most watched British TV show". The Guardian. 2017-11-06. 
  16. ^ a b c "BBC Worldwide makes waves with Blue Planet II sales". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 9 October 2017. 
  17. ^ a b "BBC Worldwide signs Blue Planet II co-production deal with Tencent in China". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  18. ^ "Blue Planet II on BBC Earth Nordic" (in Finnish). Canal Digital. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  19. ^ "FOTO. Planeta Albastra II va fi pe BBC Earth România, în același timp cu premiera mondială" (in Romanian). Pagina de media. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "Blue Planet II on BBC Earth" (in Greek). Cosmote TV Official YouTube channel. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  21. ^ "Blue Planet II" (in Bosnian). Crnogorski Telekom. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  22. ^ "Movistar+ estrena 'Planeta Azul II': la historia de los oceános del mundo" (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  23. ^ "TV Guide - 30-10-2017". BBC Asia. 
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  26. ^ "Blue Planet II on BBC Earth Asia". StarHub Official YouTube channel. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  27. ^ "Błękitna Planeta II niebawem w BBC Earth Polska" (in Polish). Geekweek. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
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  29. ^ "《蓝色星球 2》要上线了,BBC 的口碑纪录片是怎么诞生的?" (in Chinese). Qdaily. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 
  30. ^ "纪录片《蓝色星球2》 10.30腾讯视频独家播出" (in Chinese). 腾讯娱乐 (QQ Entertainment). Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  31. ^ "BBC最美纪录片《蓝色星球》第二季回归" (in Chinese). 网易娱乐. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  32. ^ "蓝色星球2播放预告" (in Chinese). CCTV-9 Official Sina Weibo Page. 
  33. ^ "Blue Planet II in december op NPO 1" (in Dutch). TVGids. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  34. ^ "Canvas zendt "Blue planet II" uit vanaf 2 januari, bekijk hier de trailer" (in Dutch). VRT News. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
  35. ^ a b "BBC Earth to Premiere the Worldwide Phenomenon Planet Earth: Blue Planet II in Early 2018". BBC Worldwide North America Press Room. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  36. ^ a b "Oceans Make Up 70 Percent of the Earth, 100 Percent of AMC Networks will Carry the Premiere of the Worldwide Phenonmenon Planet Earth: Blue Planet II Next Month". BBC Worldwide North America Press Room. Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
  37. ^ a b "'Planet Earth: Blue Planet II': BBC America & 4 Sibling Nets To Premiere Documentary Series Next Month". Retrieved 5 December 2017. 
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  39. ^ "David Attenborough Returns In The UK's Highest Rating Series Of 2017". Nine Entertainment. Retrieved 7 February 2018. 
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  42. ^ "Blue Planet II Due Soon". ScreenScribe. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  43. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 2017-11-07.  (data available for Blue Planet II broadcast weeks by searching archive)
  44. ^ "Blue Planet II, The Prequel". BBC One. 
  45. ^ "Blue Planet II - The Prequel". BBC Earth Youtube Channel. 
  46. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 1: One Ocean". BBC Media Centre. 
  47. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 2: The Deep". BBC Media Centre. 
  48. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 3: Coral Reefs". BBC Media Centre. 
  49. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 4: Big Blue". BBC Media Centre. 
  50. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 5: Green Seas". BBC Media Centre. 
  51. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 6: Coasts". BBC Media Centre. 
  52. ^ "Blue Planet 2: How plastic is slowly killing our sea creatures, fish and birds". BBC News. 19 November 2017. Episode 7 looks at how tiny plastic particles (micro-plastics) may play a role in the uptake of industrial pollution in marine life. 
  53. ^ "Blue Planet II - Episode 7: Our Blue Planet". BBC Media Centre. 
  54. ^ "Blue Planet II, Oceans of Wonder". BBC One. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  55. ^ "Emotional Blue Planet chief reveals incredible truth behind heartbreaking sperm whale intervention". Mirror UK. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  56. ^ "NTAs 2018: Ant and Dec win big with three awards and full list of winners". BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  57. ^ "NTAs: David Attenborough on Blue Planet II's Impact". BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
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  59. ^ "Blue Planet II (Blu-Ray)". 
  60. ^ "Blue Planet II (4K UHD Blu-Ray + Blu-Ray)". 
  61. ^ "Blue Planet II (DVD)". 
  62. ^ "Blue Planet II (DVD)". BBC Shop US. 
  63. ^ "Blue Planet II (Blu-Ray)". 
  64. ^ "Blue Planet II (Blu-Ray)". BBC Shop US. 
  65. ^ "Blue Planet II (4K UHD Blu-Ray)". 
  66. ^ "Blue Planet II (4K UHD Blu-Ray)". BBC Shop US. 
  67. ^ "Blue Planet II (Hardback)". 
  68. ^ "Blue Planet II (Hardback)". Penguin Books. 
  69. ^ "Blue Planet II: A New World of Hidden Depths (Hardback)". 
  70. ^ "Blue Planet II - Order your free 'Oceans' poster". Open University. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  71. ^ "Blue Planet II Soundtrack Announced". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  72. ^ "Blue Planet II Soundtrack Release For Series Premiere October 29th". Silva Screen Records. Retrieved 29 October 2017. 
  73. ^ "Blue Planet II Original Television Soundtrack". Hans Zimmer. 
  74. ^ "Blue Planet II Original Soundtrack (Audio Disc)". 

External links[edit]