Planet Earth II

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Series 2 - Episode 4 Deserts



The world’s deserts are growing hotter, bigger and drier. David Attenborough reminds us of this at the close of tonight’s programme, just as he warned us last week that jungles are under threat. And we need these avuncular notes of caution he adds because everything else we see in this series is so thrilling, so full of life surviving, doing its thing, that it’s easy to forget it ain’t necessarily so.

You might expect this week’s deserts to be a bit thin on life but one scene after another fells you with its drama and beauty. We get to see the moment when a waiting lioness is clattered by a charging giraffe she tries to bring down. Look at the lioness just before she leaps: it looks to me like she’s really not sure she wants to.

Then there are the locusts. My computer screen couldn’t quite render the scenes showing a once-in-a-decade ‘super-swarm’ in Madagascar, but they were still damn creepy. On a proper TV, in high definition, they’ll be terrifying.


Footage of animals that live in the desert, including a pride of desert lions that risks hunting a giraffe several times their size. The film also features an immense swarm of locusts, sand grouse flying for 120 miles to gather water for their offspring, and an unprecedented recording of a tiny bat defending itself against one of the world's deadliest scorpions.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Attenborough
Producer Ed Charles
Series Producer Tom Hugh-Jones