Vorsprung durch Technik


Ten years ago the BBC aired the nature documentary series "Planet Earth", it's first HD filmed production. It was majestic and they did not plan on doing a sequel. But now, 10 years on "Planet Earth II" went on air. With unprecedented images of wildlife and nature.

But there is no single reason which made the BBC change ins mind about a sequel. Moreover it's a combination of many reasons: technological advances in camera and filming technology. It's the lighter, faster, smaller and more light sensitive cameras. It's the stabilizing gear, the drones, the infrared capabilities. All of which have added up to a dramatic result.

Never before has the audience been so close to the action. Images are partially surreal to a point where one doubts if it is computer-animated or real footage. This series is for filming documentaries what "Matrix" has been for computer-animation. Nothing less of a milestone.

But there is a downside to it as well. The show only shows what the audience wants to see. Destruction of nature and extinction of species are not a topic. It's all set in perfect Hollywood-style. Extreme, thrilling, action, drama. But always colorful and strong. It portraits the animals in an entertaining way in freedom and in perfect nature. Martin Hughes-Games who studied zoology and is a wildlife producer at the BBC criticizes that "the producers [of this show] continue to go to the rapidly shrinking parks and reserves to make their films – creating a beautiful, beguiling fantasy world".