The gentle godfather of nature returns in Seven Worlds: One Planet on TVNZ 1 tonight, and you best have your tissues at the ready.
“Never has it been a more precious time to reveal the life on our seven continents,” Sir David Attenborough says at the beginning of his new documentary series Seven Worlds: One Planet. Nobody makes nature documentaries better than Attenborough and the BBC, and this latest series took four years of filming in 40 different countries to make. It’s a masterpiece, and it’ll have you on the edge of your seat in both amazement and fear.
Each of Seven World’s episodes focuses on a different continent, following a variety of weird and wonderful animal species as they adapt to the changing world around them. As climate change hits, our wildlife and landscapes face new challenges, and Seven Worlds captures these creatures as they try to adapt. From the melting of the Antarctic ice caps to alarming deforestation in Borneo, it turns out there’s no corner of the Earth that we’re not stuffing up.
We’re at a critical point, Attenborough tells us, and we need to pull our finger out. Okay, I might have paraphrased that last bit, but like an albatross trapped in an unexpected snow blizzard, you get the drift. Once you realise how precarious these ecosystems have become, the natural landscapes in Seven Worlds become even more spectacular and powerful. From Asian jungles to South American volcanoes and African deserts, Seven Worlds photography is sublime, and Attenborough’s narration, as always, perfect.
Seven Worlds is a tense, beautiful, heartbreaking watch. Most importantly, it’s a wake-up call. If the breathtaking photography doesn’t make you feel emotional or if the changing forces of the planet don’t send you into hysterics, here are some other memorable moments from Seven Worlds to give your tear ducts a proper workout.
David Attenborough’s fuzzy jacket fur
The most underrated star of the show, very sad to think about David Attenborough having cold ears.
Supercontinent Pangea breaks up with itself
We’ve all been there, right? It’s not you, Pangea, it’s me, I just need some space, I think we should see other continents, blah blah blah.
The snake that comes out of nowhere to bite the bird
Nearly peed my pants in surprise, which is probably not good for the planet either.
Antarctica just being Antarctica
More beautiful than the ice sculptures they used to have at Valentines. Take me back.
The walruses falling off the cliff in Northern Russia
It’ll break your heart like you are Pangea, c.200 million years ago.
Four orcas chase a penguin and spoiler alert, it doesn’t end well
No, you’re screaming at your screen. Oof, me old heart.
A baby seal is born
It’s the ciiiirrrclllle, the circle of life.
When the baby albatross dies
This sweet little baby albatross is too fragile to survive the fierce storms caused by climate change. The chick dies from exposure, Daddy Bird grieves, and I am officially a wreck.
The snub nosed monkeys who huddle together to stay warm
Room for one more? Still reeling after the whole walrus off a cliff situation.
The little orangutan who eats termites and is not impressed
I made a similar face the first time I tried Perky Nana Lumps, if I’m honest.
These starfish, having a moment
Don’t mind us, we’re just a planet, staring at the screen, wondering what the hell we’re doing to ourselves.
Seven Worlds: One Planet, Sundays 7.30pm on TVNZ 1