Blue Planet Earth II Due Soon

The latest BBC wildlife blockbuster, Blue Planet II, will premiere here much quicker than last year’s Planet Earth II.

TVNZ 1 will air the seven-part sequel 7.30 Sundays from November 12 — two weeks behind the BBC.

Compare that to Prime’s disgraceful programming of Planet Earth II, which lagged seven months behind the UK to suit the channel’s scheduling convenience.

So kudos to TVNZ 1 for transmitting the series so close to the BBC. Even if we won’t be among the first in the world to see it, we’ll still get a three-month jump on Australia.

The timing also means we can look forward to the Blu-ray and 4K-UHD going on sale early next year, although it’s possible distributor Roadshow Entertainment will hold back the NZ release until after the Australian transmission.

The series was filmed over four years, with crews mounting 125 expeditions in 39 countries, although The Guardian reports “some crucial behaviour had to be captured in lab conditions“.

Such is the cinematic impact of Blue Planet II that the Daily Express quipped:

“The sheer hypnotic beauty of the deep is this show’s biggest draw. It is the kind of telly that makes you wish you had a bigger one, possibly even a cinema, to watch it on. It is also, in contrast to much natural history programming, full of hope.”

Concurred The Times: “This was hypnotic, humbling, majestic television at the top of its game. By comparison anything Hollywood razzmatazz has to offer looks positively beige.”

The i dubbed it “an enchanting magic lantern show of underwater moments knitted together with a narrative that offered a profound lesson in the threat posed by environmental degradation.”

And the Daily Mail reported the result of a Blue Planet II producer’s quest to capture footage of “the fish missiles of the Seychelles … was the most astonishing, staggering sequence in an hour of extraordinary stories.

“True, we also watched a mother walrus save her drowning calf by pushing it onto an ice floe, a tusk fish smash clams on a coral anvil, dolphins surfing giant breakers, glow-in-the-dark mobula rays and the world’s ugliest fish changing sex (it was still ugly after the op).

“But none of these images could top the catapulting cod, the fat flying fin. It might look like Orson Welles on a trampoline, but the giant trevally was remarkably agile in the air. Able to gauge the height, speed and trajectory of a bird, it burst upwards with its teeth bared and swallowed its prey in a snap — beak, feathers and all.”

Ratings for Sunday’s premiere were well ahead of Planet Earth II’s and crushed the competition.

“Sir David Attenborough’s latest show pulled in 10.6million viewers this weekend, while X Factor got the worst ratings in its 13 years,” The Sun said.

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