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In pictures: Sir David Attenborough's new series A Perfect Planet © Silverback Films/Grab/BBC

In pictures: Sir David Attenborough’s new series A Perfect Planet

We look at some of the spectacular sights (and sites) that BBC One's new series with Sir David Attenborough has to offer.

Alongside the BBC’s new five-part series A Perfect Planet, we bring you some of our visual highlights from the show. The new Sir David Attenborough documentary is now available on BBC iPlayer.

The first four episodes explore the power of volcanoes, sunlight, weather and oceans. The final episode in the series looks at the dramatic impact of the world’s newest force of nature: humans – and what can be done to restore our planet’s perfect balance.

The series itself takes a look at lands drenched by the Indian Monsoon to the slopes of fiery Hawaiian volcanoes, from the tidal islands of the Bahamas to the frozen wastes of Ellesmere Island.

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A Perfect Planet was 4 years in the making, filmed in 31 countries across 6 continents. The crew of over 200 people took over 3,000 hours of footage, witnessing 6 volcanic eruptions at featured locations.

Commenting on the series prequel, Sir David Attenborough said: “This year perhaps more than ever, people are finding comfort and solace in the natural world. Whilst we may not be able to travel, we can take a few moments to enjoy our wonderful and diverse planet in this incredible footage.

“Oceans, sunlight, weather and volcanoes – together these powerful yet fragile forces allow life to flourish in astonishing diversity. They make Earth truly unique – a perfect planet. Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life. But now, a new dominant force is changing the face of Earth: humans. To preserve our perfect planet we must ensure we become a force for good.”

Scroll down to look through some of our picks of pics from the show.

Volcanic crater of La Cumbre, Fernandina Island, Galapagos - (C) Silverback Films 2018 - Photographer: Tui De Roy
Volcanic crater of La Cumbre, Fernandina Island, Galápagos © Tui De Roy/Silverback Films/BBC
Tui De Roy/Silverback Films/BBC
A brown bear with a salmon in its mouth, on Kurile Lake, Kamchatka, Russia © Tom Walker/Silverback Films/BBC
A brown bear with salmon in its mouth, on Kurile Lake, Kamchatka, Russia © Tom Walker/Silverback Films/BBC

“My favourite moment in the series would be the aerial footage of the lesser flamingos nesting on Lake Natron,” said Huw Cordey, A Perfect Planet series producer. “This event only happens once every five years or so, and then with virtually no notice, so just capturing the spectacle on film was a huge achievement for the team. But the drone shots of thousands of breeding flamingos on the otherworldly Lake Natron, with the towering volcano of Ol Doinyo Lengai in the background, are something else.”

The extraordinary sight of flamingos nesting on Lake Natron opens episode one. “It is one of the most extraordinary survival stories in nature, absolutely beautifully shot,” said executive producer for the show, Alastair Fothergill. “It combines epic aerial images, captured as never seen before, with a really dramatic narrative and intimate character portraits.”

A lesser flamingo colony on Lake Natron, Tanzania © Darren Williams/Silverback Films/BBC
A lesser flamingo colony on Lake Natron, Tanzania © Darren Williams/Silverback Films/BBC
At a couple of weeks old, lesser flamingo chicks spend less time with their parents and group together to form a creche © Silverback Films/Grab/BBC
At a couple of weeks old, lesser flamingo chicks spend less time with their parents and group together to form a crèche © Silverback Films/Grab/BBC
Creches help to protect the lesser flamingo chicks as they make their journey from the centre of Lake Natron to fresh water, miles away © Silverback Films/Grab/BBC
Crèches help to protect the lesser flamingo chicks as they make their journey from the centre of Lake Natron to fresh water, miles away © Silverback Films/Grab/BBC

The team also visited the Galápagos to film for episode one, meeting the birds of the islands, the boobies, which aren’t found anywhere else on the planet.

Boobies on Wolf Island, Galapagos © Silverback Films/Huw Cordey/BBC
Boobies on Wolf Island, Galápagos © Silverback Films/Huw Cordey/BBC
Huw Cordey/Silverback Films/BBC
Yasur volcano erupting on Tanna Island, Vanuatu © Huw Cordey/Silverback Films/BBC
Yasur volcano erupting on Tanna Island, Vanuatu © Huw Cordey/Silverback Films/BBC

The second episode will look at the impact of the Sun on nature. Locations include the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, the Queen Sikirt Botanical Gardens in Thailand, and various locations in Iceland.

Arctic fox with pups, Karrak Lake, Canada © Sarah-Jane Walsh/Silverback Films/BBC
Arctic fox with pups, Karrak Lake, Canada © Sarah-Jane Walsh/Silverback Films/BBC
Sarah-Jane Walsh/Silverback Films/BBC

While the third episode reveals how weather distributes freshwater around the globe, with scenes in Australia, Brazil and Zimbabwe.

Millions of straw coloured fruit bats leave their roost at sunset to head into the surrounding forest to feed, Zambia © Ed Charles/Silverback Films/BBC
Millions of straw coloured fruit bats leave their roost at sunset to head into the surrounding forest to feed, Zambia © Ed Charles/Silverback Films/BBC
Ed Charles / Silverback Films/BBC
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 19/12/2020 - Programme Name: A Perfect Planet - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Female giant Amazon river turtles haul out every year onto sand banks that appear in the river to lay their eggs, Brazil PHOTOGRAPHY MUST NOT BE FLIPPED OR ALTERED It is permitted to post the image on social network sites such as Facebook provided it is reduced to 72dpi and no more than 720 x 491 pixels in size and the programme title and full photo credit appear on the face of the image. Giant Amazon river turtles - (C) Darren Williams/Silverback Films - Photographer: Darren Williams
Female giant Amazon river turtles haul out every year onto sand banks that appear in the river to lay their eggs, Brazil © Darren Williams/Silverback Films/BBC
Darren Williams/Silverback Films/BBC

The Oceans episode introduces us to the animals of Norway and Guam, as well as returning to the Galápagos.

A rockhopper penguin brooding its chick on Sealion Island in the Falkland Islands © Sarah Walsh/Silverback Films/BBC
A rockhopper penguin brooding its chick on Sealion Island in the Falkland Islands © Sarah Walsh/Silverback Films/BBC
A marine iguana warming up in the sun on the shores of Fernandina Island, Galapagos © Ed Charles/Silverback Films/BBC
A marine iguana warming up in the sunlight on the shores of Fernandina Island, Galápagos © Ed Charles/Silverback Films/BBC

The final episode is “the most important story of our times” according to Sir David Attenborough. It explores humans’ impact on this perfect planet.

An orphan elephant with his keeper, who acts as a 24 hour-a-day surrogate mother at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi nursery in Kenya, Africa © Nick Shoolingin-Jordan/Silverback Films/BBC
An orphan elephant with his keeper, who acts as a 24 hour-a-day surrogate mother at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi nursery in Kenya, Africa © Nick Shoolingin-Jordan/Silverback Films/BBC
A critically ill Kemp’s ridley sea turtle being given life saving medical treatment at the New England Aquarium, near Boston, USA © Nick Shoolingin-Jordan/Silverback Films/BBC
A critically ill Kemp’s ridley sea turtle being given life saving medical treatment at the New England Aquarium, near Boston, USA © Nick Shoolingin-Jordan/Silverback Films/BBC
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  • A Perfect Planet, for BBC One, is a Silverback Films Production for BBC and Discovery, co-produced with Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF, China Media Group CCTV9, France Televisions and The Open University. Distributed by BBC Studios.

See more stunning photos in the accompanying book A Perfect Planet: Our One in a Billion World Revealed (£25.00, BBC Books) by Huw Cordey with a foreword from Alastair Fothergill.

Cover of A Perfect Planet