Blue Planet: Seas of Life
The Blue Planet is a British nature documentary series created and produced by the BBC. It premiered on 12 September 2001 in the United Kingdom. It is narrated by David Attenborough.
Described as “the first ever comprehensive series on the natural history of the world’s oceans”, each of the eight 50-minute episodes examines a different aspect of marine life. The underwater photography included creatures and behaviour that had previously never been filmed.
The series won a number of Emmy and BAFTA TV awards for its music and cinematography. The executive producer was Alastair Fothergill and the music was composed by George Fenton. Attenborough narrated this series before presenting the next in his ‘Life’ series of programmes, The Life of Mammals (2002), and the same production team created Planet Earth (2006).
As a writer and narrator, he continued to collaborate with the BBC Natural History Unit in the new millennium. Alastair Fothergill, a senior producer with whom Attenborough had worked on The Trials of Life and Life in the Freezer, was making The Blue Planet (2001), the Unit’s first comprehensive series on marine life.
He decided not to use an on-screen presenter due to difficulties in speaking to camera through diving apparatus, but asked Attenborough to narrate the films. The same team reunited for Planet Earth (2006), the biggest nature documentary ever made for television and the first BBC wildlife series to be shot in high definition. In 2009, he co-wrote and narrated Life, a ten-part series focussing on extraordinary animal behaviour, and narrated Nature’s Great Events, which showed how seasonal changestrigger major natural spectacles.
In 2011, Fothergill gave Attenborough a more prominent role in Frozen Planet, a major series on the natural history of the polar regions; Attenborough appeared on screen and authored the final episode, in addition to performing voiceover duties. Attenborough introduced and narrated the Unit’s first 4K production Life Story. For Planet Earth II (2016), Attenborough returned as narrator and presenter, with the main theme music composed by Hans Zimmer.
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