David Attenborough narrates says he’s “absolutely astounded” by the footage the film teams have captured for Blue Planet II, the epic seven-part sequel to the 2001 series of Blue Planet.
“There are so many new things in this,” he says. “The camera technology is now absolutely parallel with what we do on land.”
For him the most jaw-dropping scenes are in the second episode of the series, which focuses on life at the bottom of the ocean. Submersibles spent around 500 hours filming on the sea floor, capturing not just otherworldly animals but also stunning underwater landscapes.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” he told guests at the London launch of the series. “When I saw eels diving into a lake at the bottom of the sea – it takes a bit of time for your mind to get around that. How could there be a lake at the bottom of the sea?”
Attenborough said the two greatest challenges facing the oceans were rising temperatures and plastics. “What we are going to do about a (potential) 1.5 degree rise in the temperature of the ocean over the next ten years I don’t know, but we could do something internationally about plastic tomorrow. I just wish we would.”
He was circumspect when asked whether the films should deliver a conservation message alongside spellbinding wildlife sequences but Attenborough’s final message to the audience was. “We have a responsibility. Every one of us. It is one world and it is in our care. And for the first time in the history of humanity – the first time in 500 million years – one species has the future in the palm of its hands. I just hope he realises that is the case.”
Blue Planet II, BBC1, Sunday, 8pm