Dynasties: David Attenborough’s BBC series is returning for an epic second season

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Christobel Hastings
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Sir David Attenborough’s hit nature documentary series Dynasties is returning for a second season, complete with an extraordinary cast of characters.

As any fan of Sir David Attenborough can attest, watching the wildlife veteran’s documentaries is a remarkably therapeutic experience. Take cinematic vistas, awe-inspiring animals and the hushed tones of the renowned broadcaster, and you have a recipe for instant escapism: no wonder we’ve been watching his entire back-catalogue throughout the pandemic. 

2020 has indeed be a very busy year for the iconic presenter: on top of releasing two important documentaries – Extinction: The Facts and A Life On Our Planet – Attenborough introduced a new mindfulness podcast to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as making his long-awaited debut on Instagram.

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Now, it’s been announced that the national treasure will return to the small screen once more for a second series of Dynasties.

The BBC Earth show, which first aired in 2018, allowed viewers to “follow true stories of five of the world’s most celebrated, yet endangered animals”, giving an insight into how each family of lions, hunting dogs, chimpanzees, tigers and emperor penguins heroically fought for their survival and dynasties “against rivals and against the forces of nature.”

If you watched the debut series, you might recall being introduced to a unique cast of characters such as David the chimpanzee, Charm the lioness, Raj the lion and Blacktip the painted wolf as they navigated all kinds of challenges in the animal kingdom.

True to form, the second series will explore the lives of a number of fascinating animals as it journeys from the snow-capped Andes and dusty plains surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro, to the wetlands of the Zambezi River. Once more, each episode will be dedicated to a single leader and their respective families, including Angelina the elephant, Kali the cheetah, Rupestre the puma and hyena leader Suma.

Dynasties: The first series followed a family of painted wolves led by matriarch Tait.

“‘Dynasties II’ will be a gripping look at the lives of four remarkable wild animals as they struggle to build a family against the odds,” said Jack Bootle, head of commissioning for science and natural history at the BBC.

“With characters you fall in love with, and genuine life-and-death stakes, this will be a series every bit as thrilling as the greatest drama.”

The king of wildlife television recently worked on a one-off Dynasties episode for the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, which focused on young meerkat queen Maghogho. The festive special follows Maghogho as she raises her pups in the arid Makadikadi salt pans in Botswana, where almost nothing can survive in the extreme conditions.

Although we’ll have to wait a year before the new season comes to our TV screens, we have plenty of time to reacquaint ourselves with the broadcaster’s most captivating nature documentaries, such as A Life On Our Planet, Blue Planet II and Frozen Planet. And just in case you needed another reason to curl up with a soul-soothing nature documentary, research has found that watching a David Attenborough series can make us significantly happier while also reducing our stress and anxiety. We’re hereby prescribing ourselves a day in bed with Planet Earth

Dynasties II will air on BBC One in 2022. The first series is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

Images: BBC