Blue Planet II: A New World of Hidden Depths

James Honeyborne and Mark Brownlow. BBC, $39.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-84990-967-9
BBC producers Honeyborne and Brownlow share a substantial and awe-inspiring behind-the-scenes look at their popular 2017 documentary series. They thoroughly record the great diversity in marine life that team members encountered while filming around the world. The Blue Planet II project, the authors explain, was ambitious in scope and access: over the course of several years, production teams undertook “125 expeditions and spent 1,500 days at sea, including more than 1,000 hours in the deep.” Teams filmed “in every ocean, at many depths, off every continent, visiting coral reefs, coasts, undersea forests and meadows, the deep sea, and the vast open ocean.” A section on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, for example, shows various whale species and scores of seabirds jostling for space with polar bears and walruses, the latter in constant search of ice floes on which to rest alongside their calves. Similarly appealing passages feature Galápagos sea lions feasting on yellowfin tuna and penguins on South Georgia Island confronted by thousands of elephant seals—“a wall of blubber.” The book also examines ongoing threats to marine life, including the bleaching of coral reefs and the discarding of plastics. Honeyborne and Brownlow’s gorgeous volume should please fans of the series and lovers of the oceans alike. Color photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/27/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
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