Sorry about the click-bait headline. I usually don’t resort to them but in this case it’s absolutely justified and I promise to deliver.
We’re always weeks behind the rest of the world in our TV viewing. So it has taken us a while to get around to watching Planet Earth II by the BBC, not least because it is a documentary and we usually lean toward story telling of some kind.
Truth is, Planet Earth II is compulsive viewing because it tells stories. You’ll find yourself chewing your nails waiting for a cute prairie dog or baby seal to escape the predators, or desparate predators to bring down their first prey for six weeks….
Even recognizing the story structure they’re using, I still find myself holding my breath, waiting to see the fate of one animal or another.
And the imagery and photography is mind-blowing.
On top of that, I fell in love with the music and now have the soundtrack for Planet Earth II on my play list to run while I’m writing. It’s a haunting score. The theme was co-written by Hans Zimmer, who has written the music for movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, DaVinci Code, Interstellar and a lot more.
So, let me deliver on the promise of the headline.
The very first episode featured baby marine igaunas hatching on Easter Island, and having to navigate half a kilometer or so, to reach the safety of the shoreline, where their parents were.
The problem: Between them and the shore are a billion racer snakes, just waiting for them.
The cute little igaunas, fresh out of the egg, have to run like hell while dozens of these twelve foot long snakes try to herd them and round them up. It’s the stuff of nightmares. I still think about the sequence and my skin crawls. It’s absolutely terrible to watch…and you can’t look away.
Find out for yourself. The BBC have a YouTube channel, and the clip is there for you to watch. If you don’t flinch at least once, you’re stronger than me.
Go ahead, be horrified.
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