Following its debut during the World Premiere of Planet Earth: Blue Planet II in London, a five-minute prequel for the landmark series has become the BBC's first ever natural history global simulcast, with 75 countries around the world transmitting it on TV, including on BBC America in the U.S., China, India, Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Poland and South Africa. The exclusive curtain-raiser for the seven-part series features a Hans Zimmer and Radiohead musical collaboration, titled (ocean) bloom, which is a fusion of the main theme song from Planet Earth: Blue Planet II with a reimagined version of Bloom, a song Thom Yorke was prophetically inspired to write having watched 2001's The Blue Planet.
The short film is narrated by series presenter Sir David Attenborough, and features an array of some of the most awe-inspiring shots and highlights from the new series, as well as several exclusive scenes that will not feature in any of the seven episodes of this nature show, which is set to air early 2018 on BBC America. Planet Earth: Blue Planet II's World Premiere took place today at the BFI IMAX in London in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and guests included Sir David Attenborough, series composer Hans Zimmer, members of Radiohead, UK and international media from 32 countries, and the Natural History Unit team who spent the last four years making the epic series. BBC Director-General Tony Hall, who introduced the world premiere screening, called the production team behind Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, "true pioneers" along with this full statement.
"So much has happened since the original series a generation ago, with new production techniques capturing amazing new drama in nature as well as new scientific discoveries. Planet Earth: Blue Planet II's producers and crews have spent four years and more than 1,000 hours in the deep sea to bring audiences a sublime fusion of creativity, technology and storytelling. And there's never been a more important time for us to bring nature's wonders to everybody, to educate children and adults about the planet, and to safeguard it for future generations."
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II will take viewers on a revelatory and magical journey into the greatest, yet least known part of our planet, our oceans. The seas are by turn tempestuous and serene, exquisitely beautiful and bleakly forbidding, and are the lifeblood of the planet: driving our weather, regulating our climate and ultimately supporting all life on Earth. In recent years, our knowledge of what goes on beneath the waves has been transformed. By using breakthroughs in science and cutting-edge technology to explore this final frontier, Planet Earth: Blue Planet II will reveal the astonishing characters, otherworldly places and extraordinary new animal behaviors. Warm and compelling stories about marine habitats and their characterful inhabitants will build people's emotional relationship with our oceans and bring a new perspective to this little-known world. Here's what Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, had to say in his statement.
"At a time when there is more television programming being created than ever before, Planet Earth is that kind of rare, unifying and universal series that continues to stand apart. We are so proud to elevate and shine a light on this landmark content, most recently in the form of Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, in the U.S. on BBC America."
Broadcast in 2001, multi-award winning The Blue Planet was the BBC Studios Natural History Unit's unprecedented look at the world's oceans, the scale and breadth of which had never been seen before. Twenty years on, the Planet Earth: Blue Planet II team have spent four years mounting 125 expeditions, visited 39 countries, and filmed off every continent and across every ocean. Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, a 7x60' will air early 2018 on BBC America, and is made by BBC Studios' Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC America, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow, and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. Take a look at this five-minute prequel to Planet Earth: Blue Planet II below, courtesy of BBC America YouTube.