Tonight a living legend returns to our screens to educate and delight us, telling the gripping tales of the animal kingdom.
That’s right. After three years in the making, David Attenborough returns to the BBC in what is set to be the most ambitious epic natural history programme in TV history; Planet Earth II.
A decade on from the original series, David and his team of scientists and filmmakers are back… By the skin of their teeth, apparently.
The crew made 117 filming trips to 40 countries, to bring us the most intimate portrayal of animal life on our planet that we’ve ever seen, thanks to advances in technology.
Although the cinematography is pristine, filmed in glorious HD, it certainly was not a walk in the park for the team behind the lens.
Planet Earth II Producer, who moonlights as a biologist and filmmaker, Dr Chadden Hunter recounted the series’ terrifying encounters.
He told The Mirror:
I was on my own, on foot, a long way from camp and encountered a massive male grizzly bear.
There’s nowhere to run or hide and I remember our camp cook saying, ‘Never run, only prey runs!’
The fastest ‘walk’ of my life was across that tundra back to our cabin with the bear gun loaded in one hand and my camera in the other.
I filmed my goodbyes to loved ones while I watched the bear over my shoulder like a rear-view mirror.Advertisement
Dr Hunter was stalked by the huge grizzly, who followed the crew back to camp and effectively imprisoned them inside their cabins while in a three-day stand off.
Hunter added, ‘The door had nails on it, but they didn’t seem to deter him – he just started chewing the hinges off like he was eating a biscuit. Luckily he eventually got bored and left.’
So, while you’re sitting down to Planet Earth II on Sunday, with your mugs of hot chocolate spare a thought for the team of brave producers and filmmakers who travelled the world to bring us more David Attenborough-narrated educational delights.