It feels like a long time since I settled in for a night on the sofa with Sir David Attenborough, well, in the sense of one his world-famous natural history programmes that is. If only I could share a real-life moment with the legend, although I have been in the same room as him, and he did sit just behind me – so that’s the closest so far! Before further digression, this is actually all about Planet Earth: A Celebration, which comes to BBC One on Monday 31st August, which is one of the most welcome escapes I’ve had in a long time.
With everything that’s happened in the past 6 months, you’re definitely forgiven for temporarily forgetting there’s a world outside those windows. Although some normality has begun to return, the prospect of adventures further-a-field are still in limbo and so Planet Earth: A Celebration not only offers a glimmer of hope beyond the restrictions but also a timely and important reminder of how vital the natural world is to humanity.
Effortlessly editing together eight of the most iconic and extraordinary moments from Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, this one-hour long special has been specifically made to fit our times today, and reflect that through the glorious natural world. Sir Attenborough has recorded a new narration and they’ve also assembled the ensemble of a socially-distanced BBC Concert Orchestra to play new compositions and re-arranged scores. Behind the epic, sweeping sounds are Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and the Bleeding Fingers team, alongside Mercury Award-winning UK rapper Dave, who accompanies the Orchestra on the grand piano, it’s a beautiful setup from everyone.
Planet Earth: A Celebration takes you back to all your favourites as well and literally spans the Globe, taking in the Oceans right up to the mountain peaks, to the hottest and coldest edges of the planet featuring those rare and compelling snow leopard stories, the dancing (and freezing themselves in the salt lakes) flamingos, lions traipsing the desert for food, smart Octopuses inventing ways to hide, Orca’s feeding through the fish shoals and – of course – the breath-taking Snakes Vs Iguanas, which genuinely went down as a pure, history television moment.
While it has brought together moments we’ve seen over the years, it’s fascinating and just as rewarding. It helps you remember the world as a huge expand, and gives you that lingering feeling we might be able to explore again one day soon. Just when you thought our world couldn’t be smaller, David Attenborough and his team make it bigger again and also gives us something many had forgotten about: Hope.