After a 16-year wait, the sequel to 2001's The Blue Planet will be coming to BBC One later this year. Originally announced as 'Ocean,' the BBC's seven-part series will in fact be called Blue Planet 2.
And thankfully, Sir David Attenborough hasn't been replaced with some gurning reality TV star - he'll be back to front the show, as he should.
The Beeb has been busy filming the series for four years now, in the seas off every continent and in every ocean. Filming tech has advanced enormously in the time between the two series, and we can't wait to see what new techniques the BBC brings to the watery fascination-fest this time around. People with 4K TVs are in for a treat: the show includes UHD footage from cameras suckered to the backs of whale sharks and orcas, front-on UHD images of predatory fish and dolphins, and a special probe camera that puts us in among the tiny creatures of the deep.
As Attenborough himself puts it:
“I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known.”
It sounds like there'll be a conservation message, too - Exec Producer James Honeyborne comments:
“The oceans are the most exciting place to be right now, because new scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves. Blue Planet 2 is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviours and remarkable new creatures.
Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”
The series will star new creatures including the brilliantly-named Hoff crabs (they have hairy chests), spitting dolphins and a fish that uses tools. We'll see the boiling sea in the Pacific, the methane volcanoes in the Gulf of Mexico, and follow a mother sperm whale with her calf as she heads down into the dark to find food.
Last year's Planet Earth 2 was an enormous success for the BBC, with episode two (the one with the snow leopards and the dancing grizzly bear) being the most-watched natural history programme for 15 years - although as everyone knows, the high point of the series was clearly the iguana. What weird sea creature will we all be making memes of later this year? We can't wait to find out.