Frozen Planet II – David Attenborough's latest BBC natural history series – promises "a journey through Earth's frozen worlds", home to rare Siberian tigers, hangry polar bears and disgustingly cute penguins. Episode 4 (Frozen South) of the six-part series arrives this Sunday, 2nd October and it's free to watch and stream on BBC iPlayer. Not in the UK this week? Follow this guide on how to watch Frozen Planet II from abroad.
Despite reaching the ripe old age of 96, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough is as passionate about planet Earth as ever. His latest opus, Frozen Planet II, takes viewers "from the poles to the highest peaks", in search of spectacular wildlife and endangered species.
Highlights include drone footage of an avalanche's deadly wall of tumbling snow in Greenland and an amazing piece that follows a musk ox through a blizzard (the camera operator lived in a garden shed which he towed around on snowmobile). But it's the Siberian tigers that steal the show – there are only 550 left in the world and it took the Frozen Planet II producers three years to capture them on camera.
Each episode of the six-part BBC series lasts 60 minutes and looks at a particular habitat. This week, episode 4 of Frozen Planet II takes viewers to Antarctica for a thrilling peek at seal pups and blue whales. As ever, the show starts at 8pm BST on Sunday. Make sure you know how to watch Frozen Planet II from anywhere.
Frozen Planet II air dates
- Episode 1 – Frozen Worlds | 8pm BST, Sunday 11th September 2022
- Episode 2 – Frozen Ocean | 8pm BST, Sunday 18th September 2022
- Episode 3 – Frozen Peaks | 8pm BST, Sunday 25th September 2022
- Episode 4 – Frozen South | 8pm BST, Sunday 2nd October 2022
- Episode 5 – Frozen Lands | 8pm BST, Sunday 9th October 2022
- Episode 6 – Our Frozen Planet | 8pm BST, Sunday 16th October 2022
Watch Frozen Planet II for free
In the UK, BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) will stream every episode of Frozen Planet II free – both live and on-demand. Simply sign up for a BBC account (opens in new tab) with an email address and a UK postcode (e.g. W1A 1AA). Done? You're good to go!
Of course, BBC iPlayer is only available within the UK (and with a valid TV licence). Away from home?
Use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from overseas. (opens in new tab)
We recommend ExpressVPN. It's easy to use and offers a quibble-free 30-day money back guarantee. Full details below.
Watch Frozen Planet II from abroad with a VPN
Even if you have a BBC account, you won't be able to access BBC iPlayer when outside the UK. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. It creates a private connection between your device and the internet. There are lots of VPNs to choose from, but we think ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is one of the very best...
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How to use a VPN to watch Frozen Planet II from abroad
Using a VPN to watch Frozen Planet II is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice. ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is the one we recommend.
2. Open up the VPN app and choose the location of the service you wish to access. For Frozen Planet II, you may wish to choose 'UK' for BBC iPlayer.
3. Then head over to BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) on your browser or device and enjoy Frozen Planet II live stream free of charge.
If, for whatever reason, you can't get it working, do remember that you have the comfort of a 30-day money back guarantee with ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). You could also try NordVPN (opens in new tab), which also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, and Surfshark (opens in new tab) which offers 24 hour assistance.
Frozen Planet II official trailer
Watch a Frozen Planet II live stream in the USA
We'd expect Frozen Planet II to premiere on PBS in America, but there's no word on a US air date.
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The Frozen Planet II live stream in Australia
Channel Nine has purchased the exclusive rights to air Frozen Planet II in Australia. It's due to stream on 9now (opens in new tab)... we just don't know when. There's a rumour it could land on Nine in in 2023.
Remember: UK nationals who are outside the UK can use a VPN (opens in new tab) to watch brand new episodes Frozen Planet II free of charge on BBC iPlayer. Details above.
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Frozen Planet II in numbers
- The Frozen Planet II team completed 102 shoots across the series.
- Of these, 31 shoots were directed remotely using local crews.
- The series involved 2188 filming days in the field across three years.
- Filming happened on every continent, across 18 different countries, all around Antarctica and in space.
- The longest continuous time any team member spent on location was three months. The longest journey to location took three weeks, and the longest quarantine period (due to COVID) was 42 days.
Frozen Planet II filming locations
- Emperor penguins – Atka Bay Antarctica
- Killer whales and Weddell seals - Antarctic peninsula, Antarctica
- Aerial scenic - Karakoum Mountains, Skardu, Pakistan
- Pallas’s cat, Mongolian gerbil, Brandt’s vole - Sukhbaatar Province, Mongolia
- Siberian tiger – Russian Far East (Land of the Leopard National Park)
- Musk deer, wild boar, Asiatic black bear - Durminskoye Forest reserve, Russia
- Brown bear, musk ox – Nunavut, Canada
- Hooded seal - West Ice, Greenland
- Melt lakes and moulins - Russell glacier / Greenland Ice Cap
- Glacier calving - Store glacier, Greenland
- Polar bears – Svalbard, Norway
Frozen Planet II full episode guide
Episode 1: Frozen Worlds | Premiere: 8pm BST, 11th Sept 2022
In this episode we begin our journey in the frozen continent of Antarctica in the far south, the most hostile place on Earth. After being raised on the ice in winter, in spring emperor penguin chicks find themselves abandoned by their parents. To survive they must find their own way across the treacherous sea ice to the rich waters of the Southern Ocean.
North of the Great Steppe lies the boreal forest which encircles the continents of North America, Europe and Asia and remains frozen for six months of the year. Prowling these forests in the Far East of Russia is the Siberian tiger, the largest cat in the world. In winter it is on the lookout for black bears hibernating in caves, a high-risk strategy that only a cat of this size would attempt.
Episode 2: Frozen Ocean | Premiere: 8pm BST, 18th Sept 2022
In Frozen Ocean the series dives into a world of water and ice to reveal the animals which survive on and under the Arctic sea ice. It’s a seasonal story that begins in the depths of winter. This is a time of plenty for polar bears who can afford to play in the short winter days, through to the perils of spring as the sea ice breaks up, finally to its bountiful summer where visitors are drawn to the ocean from afar to feed up and breed.
Summer is a time of plenty in the Arctic Ocean and plankton blooms feed millions of tiny skeleton shrimps and ancient bowhead whales. But today’s loss of sea ice is having a profound impact on these long-lived creatures. Every year they travel to secret locations, known as ‘whale spas’, and their vulnerable calves are now more likely than ever to be attacked by killer whales.
Episode 3: Frozen Peaks | Premiere: 8pm BST, 25th Sept 2022
Frozen Peaks explores ice worlds born of altitude. Found on every continent, these icy ‘islands in the sky’ pose a range of challenges for the animals who choose to live there, from a mother chameleon who experiences the freezing conditions on a daily basis, to golden eagle parents who use extreme tactics to tackle their huge prey. From Patagonia to the Atacama desert, to the foothills of the Himalayas, mountain ice worlds are home to a surprisingly diverse range of wildlife.
We meet puma, flamingos and giant pandas who have all overcome adversity to make the icy mountains their home. In Japan we meet macaques who brave the snowiest conditions on Earth, and in New Zealand we meet the kea, a mountain parrot who through its intelligence uses the dangers of the mountains to its advantage.
Episode 4: Frozen South | Premiere: 8pm BST, 2nd Oct 2022
Frozen South takes us to the most hostile ice world of all – Antarctica, an entire continent covered in snow and ice full of surprises. Here hardy animals cling around its coastal fringes. They sometimes do so in surprising numbers as on the island of South Georgia where, even in winter, colonies of king penguins number in their thousands.
We meet lonely albatross forming unexpected male-male pairs as there are no longer enough females to bond with, before journeying across the Southern Ocean to meet the largest animal on earth - giant Antarctic blue whales. These are seldom seen, let alone filmed. Under the sea ice we meet a mother Weddell seal who must defend her pup from the attractions of an amorous male
Episode 5: Frozen Lands | Premiere: 8pm BST, 9th Oct 2022
The Frozen Lands episode takes us back to the far North of the planet where we enter the largest land-habitat on Earth, home to great Boreal forests and the barren tundra. This vast wilderness is governed by its seasonal extremes. In winter, by working together in a super pack of 25, wolves survive tackling American bison. This is the only prey available to them at this time of year.
Further north, on the featureless tundra, a solitary Arctic fox must strike a living alone head diving for lemmings hidden deep underground. In Siberia’s remote forests camera traps reveal rare Amur leopards on the prowl and, in its footsteps, an even larger big cat, the Siberian tiger.
Episode 6: Our Frozen Planet | Premiere: 8pm, 16th Oct 2022
Today Earth’s frozen regions are undergoing unprecedented change. In Our Frozen Planet we meet the scientists and people dedicating their lives to documenting these changes and understanding their impact, not just on the lives of the animals and people who live there, but on the planet as a whole.
What other BBC natural history shows are due out in 2022?
Enjoying Frozen Planet II? There's plenty more BBC natural history shows on the way, including the long-awaited Planet Earth III.
We can also recommend Eden: Untamed Planet, a six-part BBC Natural History Unit production for BBC America. Helena Bonham Carter presents this examination of Earth’s last Edens – places so isolated from the rest of the world they are protected from human interference. US viewers can watch it on Amazon (opens in new tab) ($2.99 per HD episode).