New Year’s Eve saw the arrival of yet another new streaming service – Discovery +. We want to highlight the 12 best BBC documentaries on animals on Discovery +.
12 Best BBC Documentaries On Animals
12. BBC: Blue Planet (2001)
Renowned as a calm and collected storyteller, David Attenborough invites us to dive to watch dolphins and blue whales.
11. BBC: Planet Earth (2006)
Many viewers have appreciated HDTV on this wonderful 11-episode documentary series. Planet Earth reunited the team behind Blue Planet, including Attenborough and producer Alastair Fothergill, but the project was much larger.
10. BBC: The Greatest Phenomena of Nature (2009)
The Greatest Phenomena of Nature stands out for the BBC’s natural history department’s new approach to documenting nature, which is not always based on the same formula.
9. BBC: Life (2009)
What do animals have to do to survive until the next day? As always, Attenborough’s steady voice guides viewers through the life of a multitude of species, from reptiles to birds to insects.
8. BBC: The Frozen Planet (2011)
Although Discovery + did not release the final episode, On Thin Ice, the rest of the episodes describe the nature of the icy tundra.
7. Africa (2013)
Many of the BBC’s documentaries have a wide and expansive reach – in just a few hours, you can watch the whole world. Africa is getting closer, sometimes very painfully, as in the episode showing the death of an elephant by starvation.
While such scenes are heartbreaking, they serve as an important tool for filmmakers to try to show reality.
6. Life story (2014)
The six-part series tells the story of animals from the moment they are born until they become parents themselves. In a series like this, there are still many scenes of predators hunting their prey, but the most beautiful shots take place in calm moments.
Consider the pufferfish, shown in one episode, creating circles in the sand as part of a courtship ritual, a behavior that is rarely seen before. You will not find such a hypnotic, unforgettable image anywhere else.
5. Hunting (2015)
The Hunt is a seven-episode series filled with scenes that focus on hunting in environments as diverse as the Arctic, the jungle, and everything in between. The final episode focuses on scientists trying to save an endangered predator.
The ending provides a much-needed insight into the desperate situation many animals find themselves in.
4. Planet Earth 2 (2016)
Yes, even documentaries are not immune to sequels. Ten years after the overwhelming international success of Planet Earth, the BBC Science Department and David Attenborough decided to begin work on Planet Earth 2.
And just as the first film was revolutionary with its high-quality footage of the natural world, Planet Earth 2 was the first TV series to be released by the BBC in 4K HD.
The clarity of the six-episode series is frankly impressive. Planet Earth 2 explores how the natural habitats of animals are threatened by urban sprawl and re-emphasize the emphasis on conservation in a high-tech world.
Although shorter than its predecessor, Planet Earth 2 is just as interesting.
3. Blue Planet 2 (2017)
Of course, Blue Planet 2 represents a much more pronounced step forward than the 2001 documentary series Blue Planet. The 2017 seven-part film is shot in 4K, while its predecessor is in SD.
This series shows even more convincingly how the modern way of life is damaging the marine environment. Most of us know that pollution and debris can destroy marine life, but Blue Planet 2 shows us this destruction in grim and ruthless detail.
2. BBC: Serengeti (2019)
Featuring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, this six-part documentary narrows the focus to one of Africa’s most famous regions, the Serengeti, to see how animals survive in harsh conditions.
1. BBC: Ideal Planet (2021)
When Discovery + launched in early 2021, one of the many notable new series was BBC’s latest release, Ideal Planet. This 5-part documentary is the only nature film filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The show is about our own influence on nature. The Ideal Planet is a reminder that if we want to convey all the wealth and beauty of the Earth, we must keep it beautiful.