Serengeti II (BBC)

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Nature Documentary hosted by Lupita Nyongo, published by BBC in 2021 - English narration

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Image: Serengeti-II-BBC-Cover.jpg

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Captures the dramatic and emotional stories of iconic savannah animals once again. There's humour, heartbreak and nail-biting tension as new characters move in and familiar faces continue their stories. This time they are not only facing their own personal challenges. Their whole world will soon be in crisis.

[edit] Intrigue

As the programme opens, a spectacular buffalo hunt exposes the growing tensions within Kali's pride. The big male, Sefu, is not pulling his weight, and he has started to suspect her cubs aren't his. There is trouble ahead. Bakari's troop is now under his peaceful and generous leadership, and he has had a new baby with Cheka. But jealousy soon threatens their idyllic world. Bibi, a female who was deposed when Cheka took her place, is out to cause trouble, and she will stop at nothing to restore her power. Nalla, the elephant matriarch, soon puts pay to the baboons' scheming as she sends them packing. There has been a baby boom in her family, and her sister has had a new baby, Kadogo. He will soon be enjoying his first mud bath, but it's not all fun and games. He is about to face an event that will change his young life forever. We meet a leopard family with two adorable cubs, Mzuri and Dada. Their first challenge is to escape the jaws of Zalika the hyena. They have never climbed before and need to learn fast. Other problems lie ahead when Mzuri goes on an adventure and meets some of the most entertaining - and most dangerous - animals in Africa. Shani, the zebra, has had a new baby but is soon at risk from a roving stallion out to kidnap her from the herd. In a spectacular battle, her family's stallion, Punda, has the fight of his life trying to defend Shani and their newborn foal. The wildebeest are also giving birth. Gnu, a wildebeest calf, is among the many that have just been born. He appears completely helpless, and the hyena Zalika is on the prowl. If Gnu is to survive, he must learn to run in record time. Kali's story reaches a climax in a showdown with Sefu. The cubs run for their lives and vanish from view. Kali sets off to find them, but what she finds will set her on a path of distrust and confrontation with her pride. As our characters' dramatic storylines play out, something far greater is about to change everything. Climate change has played havoc with the season, and a great storm is building. When the clouds break, they unleash an almighty deluge and the land begins to flood. Everyone runs for higher ground, leaving the baboons trapped up their roosting tree, while the fast-flowing floodwaters lead to catastrophe for Nalla.

[edit] Change

The storm and the floods that followed have brought catastrophe for the Serengeti families - much of their land is now submerged or unrecognisable. As Nalla's family try to cross the flood waters, they face disaster as baby Kadogo and his mother are washed away. Nalla must lead the desperate search to reunite her family. The baboon troop are trapped in their roosting tree. To escape, Bakari takes a death-defying leap to the edge of the flood waters, followed by Cheka and their offspring. The rest of the troop soon follow, but Bibi, Cheka's rival, is left behind, creating more tensions within the troop. Everything comes to a head when the baboons find an unexpected feast among the newly flowering water lilies. By the time Bibi gets there, Cheka and Bakari have eaten almost everything. The rivalry has just got worse. Shani and her family are in the greatest danger. As she leads her family to higher ground, she is swept away in the flood waters, watched by Punda, her stallion and their foal. Somehow, she must find a way out. With everyone displaced, a new family arrives. Aiysha, daughter of Kikay the cheetah mother from series one, is now a mother to four young cubs of her own, including her fearless son, Duma. But it is difficult to be brave during unexpected encounters with Kali the lioness and some roaming male cheetahs. The leopard cubs, Mzuri and Dada, have never seen rain before, let alone floods. For their mother, hunting is pointless. They will have to sit and wait for the waters to subside. Gnu, the wildebeest calf, is getting more adventurous by the day and sets off to investigate the neighbours, who are anything but welcoming. None are to be more feared than Zalika the hyena. With another storm on the horizon, now is not the time to be alone. Back with the baboons, Bibi is trying a more subtle way to win over Bakari. Will he fall for her charms? While everyone has been dealing with their own problems, Kali has been frantically searching for her missing cubs, but when she encounters a herd of buffalo, she learns the hard way that life outside the pride is dangerous. She must return, but is she in for a surprise? Nalla's quest to find her sister and Kadogo ends in tragedy, but is there hope among the despair?

[edit] Renewal

Nalla, the elephant matriarch, is grieving the loss of her sister, but with Kadogo missing there is no time to lose. She sets off to find him. Once the elephants have left Kadogo's mother's remains, a new jackal couple, Shavu and Shaba, see an opportunity for a meal. But first they must fight off the vultures, who never waste an opportunity. After the floods, the land is starting the process of renewal. Bakari is enjoying the perks of being an alpha male, with both Cheka and Bibi vying for his attention. He is blissfully unaware of the conflicts going on behind his back. For the leopards, the aftermath of the floods allows opportunities for hunting. The leopard cubs decide they can do better than their mother by hunting mongoose, but with lots of holes for them to vanish into, it ends up more like a game of whack-a-mole. Kali has been hunting too, but there is little to go around. As the lion pride argue among themselves, Kali leads her cubs and closest friends away for a life on the run. But when the infamous black-maned males return to the Pride Lands, it seems she has made a terrible decision. There is drama among the baboons when Bibi oversteps the mark by grabbing Cheka's baby. She was trying to show that she too would make a good mother, but the mask slips when she attacks Bakari's older son. It looks like she will be ostracised by the troop forever. The one thing no-one was expecting was an invasion. The aftermath of the floods has caused army ants to leave their nests and march to find a new home. No-one can stand in the way of their biting jaws, including hyenas, the leopard mother and, worst of all, the jackals' pups. Once the ants decide that the pups' den would make the perfect home, all they have to do is evict the current owners.

[edit] Leadership

Kali and her followers may have escaped from the black-maned males, but they are still in danger and can't run forever. Concealed in the short grass nearby is Tamu, a doe-eyed newborn gazelle fawn. He's an easy meal for any predator, and hiding is his best defence, but will he escape the attention of jackals Shavu and Shaba? But the jackals have their own problems. Their pups were evicted from their home by army ants, and they are on a mission to find them. If they do, they will have to find a new home for their family. All the while, Tamu keeps his head down watching who's passing. Among the visitors is a procession of giraffe paying homage to one of their number, felled by the black-maned lions. When Sefu and the hyenas find the giraffe carcass, they have no idea of the danger they are in. Soon the black-maned males return, but only the jackals seem unafraid. With Kali on the run, she and her followers are looking for somewhere to rest. Unfortunately for the baboons, they choose the very tree that Bakari is using as a lookout perch. The rest of the troop escape, but Bakari is trapped. As he waits it out, he is unaware of the danger his troop is in. The leopard cubs are now competing for food. Their attempts to outwit each other ends in a dangerous encounter with Zalika. Among the tension, there is comedy too as Aiysha's cubs try to hunt a warthog family. They may seem like easy prey, but the cubs soon learn that warthogs have a few comic tricks of their own to ensure they survive. As the story reaches its climax, Sefu finds Kali with the aim of reuniting the pride. But when the black-maned males make a fateful appearance, will he get the chance?

[edit] Power

For Kali, the threat from Sefu has been replaced with a far bigger threat from the black-maned males. Will she never stop living in fear? Duma is growing up fast, but when he tries to take on the vultures, he ends up alone and lost. With Kali roaming nearby, it's a dangerous time to be without his mother. Bakari struggles to exert his power over the intruder males. He tries to calm things down by taking his troop on a gazelle hunt, but when he fails to catch Tamu, his position in the troop starts to look precarious. He comes up with a plan to steal from Aiysha and her cubs, but will it be enough to win back his throne? Duma is still searching for his family, but instead is found by a group of male cheetahs. He tries to join their gang but is too young to be accepted. Once again, he is lost and alone, facing many dangers. Unable to catch food by himself, his only hope is to find his family. When Zalika finally finds a way to reunite her clan, she has the power to take revenge on Kali. But Askari, the black-maned male, is more powerful than ever and comes to Kali's rescue. Why has he suddenly become her ally? Tamu and his mother are in constant danger, not least from the black-maned lions. But when the unthinkable happens, is Tamu brave enough to defend himself against so many predators? The great herds are gathering, and Shani's foal and Gnu are growing up. It's time to visit the huge river for the first time. Excitement aside, there are dangers lurking beneath the surface, just when everyone is desperate to quench their thirst.

[edit] Reckoning

Gnu, the wildebeest calf, and Shani's foal face the greatest challenge of their young lives. They must cross the treacherous river. Shani and her foal are first to attempt the crossing, but the crocodiles have been waiting for this moment. If her foal survives, another huge challenge awaits – a wall of angry hippos will be blocking his way. Tamu, the young gazelle, is now orphaned and trying to stay alive. Zalika is the first in line to try her luck, but Tamu learnt a trick or two from his mother. Bakari has quelled the rebellion for now, but with the sudden arrival of thousands of wildebeest and zebra, finding a way through the herds is dangerous for all. Bakari must lead them all safely back to his old home. When Aiysha gets injured during a hunt, her family's fate hangs in the balance. The cubs are still inexperienced hunters and their situation looks dire. Can Duma pick up the mantle and provide for his family? Kali is still being followed by Askari, but he's not quite as threatening as he once seemed. Just as romance appears to be blossoming, their liaison is interrupted by angry buffalo and later by elephants. Could Kali's old enemy become the protector she has always longed for? Gnu still has to cross the river, but a seemingly insurmountable series of challenges awaits. First, he faces a suicidal drop from sheer cliffs to the river below, and that's before he tackles the treacherous currents and meets the waiting crocodiles. Even getting out is a near impossible task as the sheer number of wildebeest creates a deadly blockade. In the chaos, he becomes separated from his mother. Has she succumbed to the fate of so many others? As the series comes to a dramatic end, there is hope for the future. The neverending story of life on the plains continues.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 23 (~3639Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128Kbps CVBR 48KHz (188Kbps peak)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 58 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 6
  • Part Size: 1.53 GB (average)
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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