Home / Tv / Sir David Attenborough gives us a look into his new show Blue Planet II which took four years to make

Sir David Attenborough gives us a look into his new show Blue Planet II which took four years to make

TRANSGENDER fish and flying stingrays are among the stars of Blue Planet II, which splashes on to our screens tomorrow night, 16 years after the hit first series.

With its fresh cast of sea life and even more ambitious filming techniques, it is set to be another ratings smash for veteran narrator Sir David Attenborough.

 Sir David Attenborough is back narrate the latest BBC showWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David Attenborough is back narrate the latest BBC show

Last year’s Planet Earth II thrilled more than TEN MILLION viewers an episode, with dancing bears, racer snakes battling iguanas and flamingos trying to walk on perilously thin ice.

Blue Planet II has just as many brilliant moments, including a baby walrus fighting for survival and huge fish that fly out of the ocean to catch birds.

The new series took four years to make, with producers spending a total of 6,000 hours underwater and going on 125 expeditions across 39 countries.

Sir David, 91, says: “We journey across the globe from the warm waters of the tropics to the coldest waters around the poles to bring us a new understanding of life beneath the waves.”

 The new season of Blue Planet promises some staggering encountersWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture The new season of Blue Planet promises some staggering encounters  Sir David says the show is a journey across the tropics to the polesWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says the show is a journey across the tropics to the poles

Producer Mark Brownlow describes the programme as being so gripping that it is like a: “Real-life Pixar movie.”

Here, we pick out some of the moments to look our for in the first episode, with Sir David providing his expert view.

Transgender fish

PERHAPS the most fascinating creatures of the first episode are these two on the right.

The female Asian sheepshead wrasse — aka kobudai — is captured unexpectedly switching its gender on a kelp-covered shipwreck off Japan.

 The Asian sheepshead wrasse have characteristic foreheadsWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture The Asian sheepshead wrasse have characteristic foreheads  Sir David says: 'The new male can’t afford to be complacent – inside every body of a kobudai female, there is a new male in waiting'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'The new male can’t afford to be complacent – inside every body of a kobudai female, there is a new male in waiting'

During the incredible transformation its head expands and its chin gets longer.

However, it proves a headache for the male fish, scuppering any chance of a relationship and kicking off a new love rivalry.

Scientists believe the female wrasse, which can weigh up to 15kg, makes the switch as it can pass on more genes as a male — although it is unclear why some change while others do not.

Homeless walrus

HAVE your tissues handy for this tear-jerking moment.

A baby walrus’s life hangs in the balance owing to the effects of global warming on the ice floes and is seen desperately searching for somewhere to stay with its mother.

 The walrus's provide tear-jerking moments in the show as they search to find somewhere to liveWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture The walrus's provide tear-jerking moments in the show as they search to find somewhere to live  Sir David says: 'I think that a baby walrus trying to find a place, where the ice is melting and they no longer have a refuge on ice floes, is fairly affecting. I can’t say I burst into tears but it’s symbolic of what’s happening to the oceans'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'I think that a baby walrus trying to find a place, where the ice is melting and they no longer have a refuge on ice floes, is fairly affecting. I can’t say I burst into tears but it’s symbolic of what’s happening to the oceans'

The newborn fights for survival with its mum as they struggle to find somewhere to settle in Svalbard in the Arctic, as all the ice is melting.

Even Sir David got emotional at the heart-wrenching scene.

Bird-eating fish

PLANET Earth II’s brilliant racer snakes v iguanas sequence is rivalled tomorrow night by a bird-eating fish.

Giant trevallies, which can weigh up to 80kg, hunt young birds that are just learning to fly.

 Sir David says: 'There’s a fish here that, amazingly, has a brain capable of calculating the air speed, altitude and trajectory of a bird'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'There’s a fish here that, amazingly, has a brain capable of calculating the air speed, altitude and trajectory of a bird'

The sea monsters are seen reaching speeds of 37mph and leaping 6ft out of the water to catch their unsuspecting prey.

They then gobble the birds down whole to stop their rivals from getting a look-in.

Health-conscious dolphins

BOTTLENOSE dolphins prove to be even more intelligent than we thought.

In scenes filmed in the Red Sea off Egypt they are seen rubbing themselves on a coral frond called a Gorgonian.

 Sir David says: 'The dolphins’ intimate knowledge of the reef is spurring us to search for new medicines here too'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'The dolphins’ intimate knowledge of the reef is spurring us to search for new medicines here too'  The bottle nose dolphins are filmed in the Red SeaWARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture The bottle nose dolphins are filmed in the Red Sea

This is said to help prevent infection as the fronds are covered in a mucus that has anti-inflammatory properties.

That said, the calves are left baffled by their parents brushing up against the bush-like coral and can only wait until they are done.

Fat-boy humpback whales

A GREEDY humpback devours a herring shoal in the fjords of northern Norway.

 Sir David says: 'They gather up to 100 kilos of herring in a single mouthful'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'They gather up to 100 kilos of herring in a single mouthful'

The whale lunges through schools of fish, its huge mouth wide open, and filters the water with its large, brush-like teeth.

Kung-fu killer whales

KILLER whales turn into kung-fu superstars in the Atlantic, showcasing some impressive moves as they whip up their next meal.

 Sir David says: 'The orca deploy their special weapon, they beat their tails with such force that the shockwaves stun the herring'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'The orca deploy their special weapon, they beat their tails with such force that the shockwaves stun the herring'

Thousands of orca, which are hunting specialists, come together in the waters off northern Norway and force a helpless herring migration into tighter schools by diving and circling them.

They then use powerful tail slaps to send shockwaves through the water, either killing or stunning their prey before feasting on the lot.

False killer whales

THEY might look incredibly intimidating, reaching up to 18ft and weighing more than a ton — but there is a good reason they are “false”.

 Sir David says: 'Scientists think that individuals may recognise one another. Almost unbelievably, it seems these different species appear to be old friends. Together they’re gathering as one unified army'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'Scientists think that individuals may recognise one another. Almost unbelievably, it seems these different species appear to be old friends. Together they’re gathering as one unified army'

These “killer whales” are, in fact, a species of dolphin.

Viewers will see them come face-to-face with smaller bottlenose dolphins and what looks like a deadly chase soon becomes a happy reunion.

The two species soon come together to cooperate as part of a huge hunting party.

Buck-tooth tuskfish

THIS smart reef dweller from Australia has joined an elite club of animals that have found ways of using “tools”.

Every morning, the orange-dotted tuskfish travels to the edge of the reef to find a clam to eat in the rubble and sand.

 Sir David says: 'This fish is challenging our understanding of fish intelligence. It’s not easy if you have no hands but he’s got great determination and surprising accuracy'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'This fish is challenging our understanding of fish intelligence. It’s not easy if you have no hands but he’s got great determination and surprising accuracy'

Digging one out from the ocean floor using its pectoral fin, it then carries the clam in its mouth.

To crack it open, the buck-toothed creature continually smashes it against the coral.

Flying rays

THESE creatures, called flying mobula, seem equally at home in the air as they do the sea.

They are seen leaping spectacularly out of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez in huge groups, reaching heights of 6ft 6in and remaining airborne for several seconds.

 Sir David says: 'The feasting rays swim through the plankton creating an extraordinary ballet of life and death'WARNING: Use of this image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Sir David says: 'The feasting rays swim through the plankton creating an extraordinary ballet of life and death'

Scientists have no idea why they do it.

That is not their only talent, though — they also glow in the dark thanks to the plankton that they rub up against.

Latest trailer for Blue Planet II gives glimpse of epic new series narrated by David Attenborough

  • Topics
  • Blue Planet II
  • Sir David Attenborough

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