Blue Planet II – ‘Green Seas’

From blue, to green.

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Blue Planet II – ‘Big Blue’

“So, the big blue, what’s it like?
“Erm… big, and… blue.”

Well, that’s the Finding Nemo quote out of the way. I haven’t mentioned it before, but the segment at the end of each episode showing how it was filmed is called Into The Blue, and I always kind of wanted them to play the Kylie Minogue track of the same name.

Anyway, we see a lot of very gorgeous blue colours in this episode though, as well as shots of the sunlight from under the sea.

The big blue was described as “the marine equivalent of a desert”, while deserts and under the sea are about as different as two locations could possibly get, what they do have in common with each other is being vast, empty spaces with little food.

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Blue Planet II – ‘Coral Reefs’

As you might have guessed, this episode was about coral reefs, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Coral Triangle in South East Asia. David Attenborough’s narration pointed out that “coral reefs cover less than a tenth of 1% of the ocean floor, but are a home to a quarter of all known marine species.” The coral reefs can grow for a long time, hundreds sometimes millions of years.

They used the metaphor of cities, describing coral reefs as “undersea cities”,”a metropolis”. A large, varied population, full of bright and interesting sights, an area that never sleeps and there’s always something going on. A similar metaphor of cities was used to describe jungles in Planet Earth II, so you could also say that coral reefs are the jungles of the sea.

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Blue Planet II – ‘The Deep’

The connection people make with the deep ocean and outer space has been made very often, science fiction certainly finds a lot of inspiration, and fiction about voyages to the bottom of the sea can be just as fascinating and mysterious as those about blasting off into space. Astronaut does mean “star sailor”, and apparently scientists did use to think space was made of fluid at some point. But I digress.

David Attenborough’s narration noted that “The deep ocean is as challenging to explore as space. We know more about the surface of Mars than we about the deepest part of our seas”.

During the filming of this series, they went deep down into the sea. Some of it was groundbreaking, as the depths of Antarctica had never been filmed before. The submarine in the programme did look rather like a spaceship. They expected that with the lack of sunlight there would be a dead world, rather like the surface of Mars come to think of it. In fact they found that the deep ocean is full of life!

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Blue Planet II – ‘One Ocean’

Blue Planet II was the biggest ratings hit of the year in the UK, and apparently so popular for people streaming it in China it slowed down the internet there. As with Planet Earth II, it is a natural history documentary sequel narrated by David Attenborough, but focusing specifically on the oceans. It took four years to make, and I think it’s safe to say that all that work paid off. This first episode was an introduction to the whole series.

(And yes, I’m talking about the biggest show of 2017 when we’re well into 2018, but I felt this needed more time and attention.)

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The Real T-Rex with Chris Packham


T-Rex is perhaps THE iconic dinosaur. If you think of a dinosaur, the image is most likely to be the T-Rex. It is still hugely popular, and has been recreated in books, films, toys, merchandise and more. But the image of it we have got used to is a little inaccurate, and this programme, presented by Chris Packham, looked to get an idea of a more accurate image using the latest scientific evidence.

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Attenborough and the Giant Elephant


David Attenborough goes through historical records to look at the life story of Jumbo, possibly the most famous elephant who ever lived. He was thought to be the biggest elephant on Earth in his time, the late 19th century, and was a star attraction in London Zoo and later P.T. Barnum’s circus in the United States. A team of scientists also examine Jumbo’s remains to see what more they can learn about him.

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