Planet Earth 2 review

Planet Earth II – Mountains

Planet Earth II – David Attenborough + BBC

Episode 2 : Mountains

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Last weeks installment left us departing from “Islands”, with some stunning view shots and examinations of an array of different lifeforms. This week we explore mountains, David rings us in with an insightful introduction (as per usual) – the man can do no wrong.

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Planet Earth II review

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There are only a dozen peaks in the world that rise five miles high, all of them are here in the Himalayas. Lethally cold and scarred by gales and blizzards, these mountains are among the most hostile places on earth.”

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Planet Earth II Review

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and of course it wouldn’t be a planet earth episode without some juxtaposition of different landscapes to accentuate the differences between ecosystems and the creatures that make these places their homes.

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Planet Earth 2 Review

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The tracking shots were done by a two man parasailing team, they’d initially tried just one man with a camera on his head but he had to keep turning his head to avoid crashing into the slim valleys he was sailing through, and therefore nearly all of the footage couldn’t be used, so they then had a professional operating the sail and then a camera man getting all the angles in, he attempted to fly in similar patterns to some of the eagles we see to attempt to give us a real perspective of what their line of vision is like.

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Planet Earth 2 Review

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The pair have some *ahem* … interesting comments about the harnesses.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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We meet a family of Nubian Ibex’s, desert-dwelling goats that spend most of their lives in mountainous areas.

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Planet Earth 2 Review

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What i found particularly engaging about them is that when they’re threatened, they climb up the incredibly steep mountains, balancing on tiny crevices that the wolf, fox or whatever predator is in pursuit of them cant reach. Here’s the kicker though, when and if one of them looses their foothold and starts to slip downward, ALL of them jump and then bound off in different directions to help confuse the predator. Instead of letting the one who’s fallen potentially be captured they make a split-second decision and dive down to help their fallen comrade.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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This series of planet earth uses some very post modern film techniques, like the incident here, the Ibex goat is being pursued by the fox, whom the audience hopes fails. But then it switches immediately to the fox being attacked by predators of the sky, you see him shriek and in fear and your thoughts towards him switch to concern. Interesting plot devices. This is incredibly common in a lot of television series in the last decade, just when you think your on a sure-footing with a character, they go and flip the narrative. So the fox goes from someone who you hope fails in his endeavors as you’ve just spent a solid 6 minutes bonding with the baby ibex’s, and then the script flips and you immediately feel for the fox who’s now being pursued himself.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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In the Alps, Europe’s highest peaks, we meet Golden Eagles. Who spend every minute of daylight hours scanning the slopes for something to eat. A good meal is hard to come by in these conditions. The width of their wingspan when fully extended is over two metres. Damn.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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When any kind of carcass or meal is found, its a fight between the competing eagles for the right to claim it.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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There really is something stoic and majestic about them.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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And damn are they fast.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Side note for any stoner, the camera angles and landscape shots in this show are just mesmerizing. literally every frame in this series is captivating.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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We get to see some simply breathtaking avalanches who’s full extent is difficult to comprehend.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Wow. Just. Wow – seeing one of natures powerful forces in action is just another reason why i adore shows like this, they give you insight into parts of the world and nature that you would just never naturally get the opportunity to see. I loved the fact that the BBC showed some of their own cameras getting wiped out by the avalanches, i reckon they had dozens placed about the mountains. when you hear of the frequency in which these occurs its a little startling. David comments “These mountains in North America are hit by thousands of avalanches every year.” ones that are capable of devouring everything in their path, quite formidable.

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Planet Earth 2 Review

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We also get to witness some adorably grumpy grizzly bears just coming out of their hibernation.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Some arduous journeys for the little ones

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Planet Earth 2 review

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some transformative swift and dramatic seasonal changes in the Rocky Mountains, this takes places within two to three days. These are genuinely some of my favourite moments in the series, to be able to use modern technology to blend these shots together is simple but stunning.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Planet Earth 2 review

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the barren mountains become full of life with the seasonal shift

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Planet Earth 2 review

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and now … the piece de resistance of the episode, the Jungle Book moments. The fact that they added some funky music to the soundtrack when the bears were dancing and scratching away really made my day. Pure entertainment.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Quite reminiscent of Baloo in this lil moment dont you think?

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Planet Earth 2 review

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We see some intelligent bobcats who hunt exclusively in the snow but use the rocks to leap onto so as not to create any crunching noises from his weight on the snow. Clever little thing.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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We see some enchanting ice crystals forming in the nighttime along the mountains

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Planet Earth 2 review

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along with some ingenious hacks of the vegetation to surviving the harsh below O degrees nighttime’s. Another thing i appreciate about the writers and creators of this show, in every single different mountain they cover they examine it at a slightly different time of day, so we get a full scope of the differences that occur along different timelines.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Lastly, some fantastic flamingos. Just because.

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Planet Earth 2 review

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As always there’s a lesson to be learned from our lord Attenborough. “Today in the Alpes, human encroachment is changing even the highest summits, in the Rockies, rising temperatures are shortening winter hibernation and stifling the growth of valuable food plants. In the Andes, some glaciers have shrunk by 50% in just 30 years. Even the Himalayas are now vulnerable, the greatest mountain range of all, and now here temperatures are rising faster than the global average. As the snow line retreats further and further up these peaks there is less and less space for wildlife.”

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Planet Earth 2 review

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Food for thought people. Ecosystems are fragile and were doing very little preventative work to attempt to help.

This was “Mountains”, until next week! The topic of which: “Jungles.”

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planet earth 2 review