Planet Earth II

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Series 2 - Episode 1 Islands

Sun 27 Sep 2:20pm - 3:20pm BBC One Northern Ireland
See Repeats
Sun 27 Sep, 4:20pm - 5:20pm BBC One (not Wales, Northern Ireland)


A pygmy three-toed sloth hears the siren call of a potential mate. But, oh, he has to cross water and climb trees. As he’s a sloth, he does all of this very… slothfully, in his cumbersome furry coat. When he swims, it looks like someone has abandoned a bath mat.

It’s a lovely sequence in the opening episode of the kind of majestic documentary series – which comes ten years after the first Planet Earth - that gets waved in the faces of people who object to the licence fee. There are so many beautiful, touching, impressive, frightening images it’s almost overwhelming.

Like the thumping fight between two komodo dragons, and the heart-stopping sequence with hordes of racer snakes chasing newborn marine iguanas. The unlucky ones are swiftly captured (they aren’t called racer snakes for nothing) and have the life squeezed out of them.

The narrator is, of course, the peerless David Attenborough.


Footage of wildlife that inhabit remote islands, revealing the advantages and disadvantages of the creatures' habitat. Three-toed sloths in the Caribbean and nesting albatross enjoy a peaceful existence untroubled by predators, but other animals are not so fortunate. Marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands are preyed on by racer snakes from birth, while penguins on the Antarctic island of Zavodovski risk being battered against the rocks by fierce waves.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Attenborough
Executive Producer Mike Gunton
Producer Elizabeth White
Series Producer Tom Hugh-Jones