The Series (5/5)
10 years after the original Planet Earth aired to critical acclaim the world over the BBC have gone back to create the 6 episode Planet Earth II. This series shows how the world has changed in the decade since Planet Earth aired, while following the same template the BBC Earth division has followed since the original (with Frozen Planet, Africa, etc). The new series was shot using new HDR/4K cameras much like the original series paved the way for using modern (at the time) HD cameras in the early 2000's.
The film sees the BBC Earth team exploring the Earth and breaking up their discoveries in 6 episodes based on territory. The first episodes is called Island, the second Jungle, the third Mountain and so on. The most interesting might actually be the sixth which delves into modern cities and explores how certain life forms are evolving to life among our modern human built infrastructures.
Because the series was shot in 4K it was down converted for Blu-ray release, but also apparently the UHD release version contains uncut versions of the episodes. I do not have a list of the changes, but they are nothing drastic like a Sigourney Weaver voiceover (film geeks remember). I will say if you are UHD capable, I would obviously buy that version, as the Planet Earth documentaries are the gold standard for A/V on home video, but the Blu-ray version from an episodic standpoint was a very enjoyable watch all the way through.
BBC Worldwide presents the Blu-ray editions of Planet Earth II in 1:78:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. The Blu-ray's are all insanely well detailed with colors that will make your screen burst, and blacks are are inky and deep.
Audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English. The track is excellent of course, with score and narration coming through crisp and clear.
Each episode comes with a 10 minute making of diary.
Not only are the BBC Earth documentaries the gold standard for nature documentaries, but they are also the gold standard for A/V releases in the home. We received the Blu-ray as we are not UHD-upgraded yet, but if you are GET THAT. For all of us still in Blu-ray world, this is still a fine release, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.