Wild buffalo roaming the Kalahari Desert in Botswana in a scene from ‘Our Planet II’
in the opening episode of netflix our planet ii (narrated by David Attenborough), is a scene that will be familiar to fans of nature documentaries.
In Botswana, roaming the Kalahari Desert, a herd of bison are on the lookout for hunters, but the hunters in question are a pride of lions. They quickly isolate the weakest member of the buffalo herd and skillfully surround it before finishing it off. Are they—are they dynamic enough to chase, in line with the nature documentary ethos—there’s nothing new here. And yet, the familiar, iconic voice of David Attenborough ties it all together so well.
A scene from ‘Our Planet II’.
Watching Our EarthThe second season of, which ends June 14, is a sheer joy, despite its bolder message, and Attenborough is a big part of it. Jaw-dropping visuals aside, it helps that the show has a tight, unified vision. All four episodes focus on migration – why animals migrate, how they repeat and modify these patterns over generations, how these patterns have been exacerbated by climate change in recent years.
“Migration is the most important survival strategy,” Attenborough says in the first episode. “Whether to feed, breed or find a new home. And it is not without risk. This series traces extraordinary journeys in a world that is changing faster than ever. And only now do we are beginning to understand that all life on earth depends on the freedom to move.”
The scenes around most mass migration events are spectacular, and our planet ii Capitalize on it in style. Bison, monarch butterflies, arctic terns, wild salmon – this series is filled with some of the most gorgeous animal migration scenes you’ll ever see. For example, consider the Pacific salmon, which, having spawned in streams and rivers, travels downstream to the ocean waters that sustain it for the first few years of its life. Then, when it is time for these salmon to breed, they leave the ocean to return to the rivers and streams once again to lay their eggs.
It’s a truly awe-inspiring thing to see and it’s surprising that we haven’t done more as a species to protect this precarious life cycle. Of course, not every set of visuals is heartwarming or feel-good – we’re also shown a massive swarm of locusts moving from Ethiopia to Sudan. They all starve and basically eat their way into the African mainland, destroying many crops. This is in a region where food shortages are a recurring problem with no solution in sight.
A scene from ‘Our Planet II’
is also a word for Our EarthTechnical wizardry. In 2016, the BBC’s planet earth II (narrated by Attenborough) featured a clip of a baby iguana speeding away from a huge herd of snakes; The clip went viral and earned praise for its extraordinary camerawork and Spielberg-style wide-angle shots and tense, atmospheric editing. If you liked that clip, what would you like Our Earth Done with my drone camera.
At one point, the camera mimics the movements of a swarm of bees in search of a new home. Bees fly and fly from one tree to another in search of a suitable place to build their nest. It’s incredible that we now have the technology to access these views, and on more than one occasion, I’ve apparently gasped at the drone camera’s mid-flight ‘tricks’.
A scene from ‘Our Planet II’
Nature documentaries have become an essential part of every streamer’s bucket list. In the “something for everyone” philosophy that these businesses follow, these shows cater to children, seniors and their core demographic (ages 25–50) among those who are environmentally conscious (a growing slice of the demographic , if network officers are considered).
More and more A-list Hollywood celebrities are either producing or narrating nature documentaries. Discovery’s endangeredFor example, it was narrated by Ellen DeGeneres, and it followed a very Attenborough playbook in terms of narration style.
In 2021, Attenborough himself has not one, but two different Earth Day releases, including one for Apple TV the year the earth turned, who shared exclusive footage from the pandemic year – visuals we saw from Delhi during the lockdown. Cows wandering inside an abandoned mall, horses roaming empty streets and so on.
our planet ii A must-see for Attenborough fans and nature lovers. And even if you don’t belong to any of these categories, it is highly recommended for the vital knowledge that this documentary series imparts without ever sounding preachy.
The author and journalist is working on her first non-fiction book.