ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

Aiming to make a splash on the documentary scene, the BBC has announced that it will once again plunge into the unknown this year with upcoming natural history series Blue Planet II. As the sequel to 2001's show , the plans to go further and deeper than ever before. If that weren't enough, original narrator is avoiding retirement and will once again be the one to take us on the nautical journey.

Dive Into The Wonder

'Blue Planet' [Credit: BBC]
'Blue Planet' [Credit: BBC]

Plunging in after the success of last year's Planet Earth II, the BBC is clearly keen to capitalize on the nostalgia factor of its documentaries. The sequel to 2006's brought in the most viewers for a natural history program in at least 15 years and averaged an audience of 10 million. With Attenborough reportedly on the cusp of retirement, his final speech on Planet Earth II seemed like the perfect swansong for his illustrious career, but it seems that you can't keep an old dog down. The announcement of Blue Planet II, coupled with Attenborough's involvement, was a shock to everyone!

Taking the project with his usual grandfatherly grace, Attenborough can't wait to tour the oceans one more time:

“I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known.”

The national treasure and avid naturalist has become synonymous with the BBC's nature documentaries, joining the corporation in 1952 and expressing his love for our planet ever since. After starting in radio, Attenborough came to the fore of the BBC's TV thanks to his 1979 series Life on Earth. Since then, he has taken us on many a globe-trotting expedition with the likes of Living With Dinosaurs, Galapagos 3D, and The Blue Planet.

For those worrying that Blue Planet II is just a show for the Brits, fear not. Made in conjunction with BBC America, the German broadcaster WDR and France Télévisions, Blue Planet II is a group effort and will be syndicated around the world.

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Back And Bigger Than Ever

'Blue Planet' [Credit: BBC]
'Blue Planet' [Credit: BBC]

Highlights of the original series included hundreds of sharks visiting an underwater mountain, an eerie look into the dark at the fangtooth fish, and the grim reality of a pod of killer whales feasting on sea lion pups. Executive producer James Honeyborne is aiming to raise the bar higher than its predecessor's with a wholly new take on the seas:

“New scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves. Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviors and remarkable new creatures. Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”

With updated technology and the use of tow-cams, Blue Planet II promises to get closer than ever to the sharks and squids that make up our oceans. Who knows what we'll find lurking in the briny deep during the seven-part series, which will air later in 2017. Featuring brand new footage, and some never-before-discovered creatures, Planet Earth II will strangely include one of the latest additions to the animal kingdom, a hairy-chested "Hoff crab," named after Baywatch's David Hasselhoff.

Check out a clip of the world's largest animal from the original Blue Planet, and don't forget our poll below.


Are you excited for another 'Blue Planet'?

[Poll Image Credit: BBC]

(Source: BBC)


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