Polar Bear Winter
Back for a second season, Earth at Night In Color returns with another 6 episodes of animal antics. Using the same ultra sensitive cameras from before, Apple TV’s second season diversifies slightly, moving away from the innate focus on big cats that typified season 1. The felines are still here, but instead the docu-series focuses on other animals – and it’s all the stronger for it.
Of course, the issues inherent with season 1 are still here too. Tom Hiddleston is back for narration duties and that will undoubtedly be a make or break point for some people. Furthermore, the series continues to pedal its line that this is the “first time” this footage has ever been captured. As I mentioned in the first season review – it’s not. Netflix’s Night On Earth is far longer and more expansive than Apple TV’s effort, covering a lot more diverse biomes and with longer episodes to boot too.
With that out the way, the series opens with an intimate look at elephants as they cross the savannah plains. However, we’re also told that they’ve “never been filmed like this before” (they have, Netflix did it last year.) The rest of the episodes do run more smoothly, with Kangaroo Valley offering something a little different that what we’ve seen before – and easily one of the best episodes here.
Given the run-time clocks in at less than 30 minutes per chapter – with Behind The Scenes footage thrown in at the end – this series feels far too short. It’s not helped either than the majority of these episodes squeeze in a 5 minute segment with a different creature in the middle of the stories. It feels distracting and off-sets the pacing completely.
The show does have some good facts though and the camera work is undoubtedly impressive. With the use of drone technology, the camera crews are able to capture some amazing footage, with the twinkling blue lights from a pack of glowworms a visual highlight. There are other great moments here too but these are unfortunately few and far between.
It’s a big week for Apple TV nature docs, with Tiny World Season 2 and The Year Earth Changed both releasing at the same time. Unfortunately this is the weaker of the trio, paling compared to its nature doc brethren. It’s not a bad docu-series but it’s not a particularly great one either. Instead, what we’re left with then is a pleasant enough dive into out natural world but one lacking the lasting power to stand out next to so many other options.
Earth At Night In Color Season 2 Releases Worldwide On Apple TV+ 16th April 2021.