Blue Planet II, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, Presenter David Attenborough.


The Golden Record carried by the Voyager I spacecraft by NASA on the pretext of an infinitesimally small chance it would bump into an alien lifeform that would be able to understand it missed a trick. They should have just sent David Attenborough. He would have told them we live in a wee blue planet, seventy percent water that we’re heating up like an egg. Then David could whip out his film and show them the Artic, or what used to be the Artic, but is now Butlins on sea, a bit like Skegness but with plastic seal pubs. I did my best, he could say, four years we rued the waves, 1000 hours of film just to get the picture of a dolphin messing about with his mates. The number crunchers were going wild. How could you do that? Waste so much time and money on fish that’s not even one you put on a supper and isn’t even a fish but a cetacean. Fuck sake David, get a grip. Money that could have went to rich folk. Just when they need it most, you’re out faffing about talking about pollution and plastic bags and showing why we need to get rid of the communists in the BBC that produce this kind of left-wing, Corbynite propaganda. But it’s tough for the number crunchers because in a poll of most beloved Britain and a straight choice between Queen Elizabeth II, Blue Planet II and David Attenborough I, the queen comes in last. Royalty might Trump, trump, but it doesn’t trump a walrus trying to get its seal pup onto a bit of ice when there’s no ice and a polar bear is hanging about with its cubs. Or if we dive deep into the ocean a squid putting its tentacles into a tiger shark’s gills and around its jaws so it can’t eat it. The Blue Planet we used to live on used to be a great place. Attenborough in his measured tone would tell those ETs where we went wrong. For a start, international collaboration, trumps the what’s-in-it-for-us brigade. At the end of the year, Blue Planet II will win best documentary, best drama, best screenplay and best soundtrack AND with David Attenborough. We save money because he appears and the fish dance for him. If Jesus was a white man and got to live long enough to be an old geezer, he’d be David Attenborough. Can he save our blue planet?

The programme usual ends with notes about how they filmed in exotic locations with hard to pin-down extras. The money-shot.

Pollutants: plastic, broken down and ingested by smallest creatures, plankton, eaten by bigger fish and we end with the mother’s milk of dolphins and the world’s largest whales.

We’ll miss Antarctica but Miami will be under water and we can cruise around its remains.

Wars for food and water, ironically, and tens of millions on the move.

Bleached coral theme parks filled with small people dressed as fish and fat people dressed as polar bears or walruses. A job’s a job.