Blue Planet II Press / Impact
The series was critically acclaimed and gained the highest UK viewing figure for 2017, 14.1 million.
The programme has been credited with raising awareness of plastic pollution both domestically and internationally, an influence dubbed the 'Blue Planet effect'.
Following the programme's airing in the UK, the BBC announced its intention to completely ban single-use plastics within its organisation by 2020. In April 2018, in response to growing public support directly linked to Blue Planet II, the British government announced it is considering a national ban on single-use plastic products. It was also reported that Queen Elizabeth II's decision to ban plastic bottles and straws across the Royal estates was in part a response to the documentary.
British universities such as the University of Southampton noticed a sudden increase in applications for marine biology courses following the programme's airing, which was again attributed to the 'Blue Planet effect'.
It was reported that the number of people in China simultaneously streaming Blue Planet II (approximately 80 million) had a noticeable impact upon internet speeds within the country. The popularity of the documentary in China was cited as partly the reason British prime minister Theresa May gave Chinese President Xi Jinping a Blue Planet II box set signed by David Attenborough. It was also symbolic of a joint plan to tackle plastic pollution and the illegal wildlife trade, announced by British officials during Xi's 2018 visit.
After the first episode aired in the UK, there was a surge in search engine enquiries about conservation charities, with the Marine Conservation Society, WWF and Plastic Oceans Foundation all receiving a significant spike in traffic.
Blue Planet II, 'The glories just kept on coming'
Blue Planet II is the greatest nature series that the BBC has ever produced.
By Ed Yong
Other reviews can be found via Rotten Tomatos here: