Wildlife is one of the precious gifts of nature to this earth. The joy of seeing wild animals roaming freely without fear in untamed surroundings is unparalleled and appeals to our adventurous spirit. It is thrilling and can be one of the best experiences of our life besides it reinforces our primal connection to nature. Due to excessive poaching and killing of wild animals, unfortunately that experience has become almost inaccessible to common people without a hugely expensive safari. The only connection therefore is possible through TV shows which show wild animals in their original habitats without disturbing them even slightly. Through the advent of technology these TV shows present in front of us some of the rarest beasts that are otherwise inaccessible. It is fascinating to watch them roam in the wild and engage in the oldest games of predator and prey. Here are the top ten TV series focusing on wildlife and animals.
10. Corwin’s Quest
Corwin’s Quest is an American TV show focussing on wildlife first released on 15th June. 2005. Featuring 13 episodes, it was hosted by renowned conservationist Jeff Corwin. It has a rating of TV-Y7 and was aired on animal Planet. Rated 8.4 on a scale of 10 in IMDB, it follows nature preservationist Jeff Corwin to many countries all over the world as he attempts to educate viewers about different animals and their unique special abilities. Each episode is based on a theme of sense such as sight, hearing and smell. Corwin uses advanced gadgets to demonstrate the unique traits of animals which are nearly invisible to the human eye. Besides featuring amazing and rare animals, Corwin’s enthusiasm, excitement and dedication to nature preservation makes this show an engaging watch with family and friends. The show compels viewers to think about our precious ecosystem and its endangered inhabitants.
9. The Blue Planet
The Blue Planet is a documentary series featuring a comprehensive view of the world’s oceans. It has a rating of TV-G and an IMDB rating of 9.3. It was produced by BBC and narrated by famous naturalist David Attenborough. Aired on 12th September, 2001, it has 8 episodes of 50 minutes each which examine different aspects of marine life. It took five long years to produce this series with the help of advanced technology and inputs from marine scientists from all over the world. The show is truly beautiful to watch as it has incredible high quality footages of the largest whales to the tiniest krill. This amazing series won two primetime Emmys besides securing other awards and nominations. Therefore prepare to be blown away by amazing cinematography and a treasure trove of knowledge and interesting trivia about marine creatures.
Nature is an American TV series consisting of documentaries of different animals and ecosystems. Produced by PBS, it is the longest running wildlife TV show which started on 10th October, 1982 and has 32 seasons till date. It remains one of the most watched documentary series and has won 2 Primetime Emmys. This TV show is informative and covers a diverse range of subjects that are fascinating and beautiful. Nature highlights aspects of family and community lives of animals through beautifully filmed documentaries in exotic locations. It depicts a comprehensive and interesting view of animals encouraging viewers to think about their conservation. Thus it is a great show to tune in and snuggle up with the remote.
7. North America
North America is a miniseries of documentaries depicting nature and its beauties in the continent of North America. It is narrated by Tom Selleck and features breath-taking footages of unique species which are highly adapted to their extreme habitats. It took five years to produce and spans 29 states in its seven episodes to illustrate the true essence of Nature’s rule of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. The splendor of the show lies in the awe-inspiring shots of the elusive Mexican desert Jaguar and nesting turtles crawling for the first time on the beaches of Costa Rica. Stirring tunes, compelling storytelling and amazing photography makes this TV series a feast for the senses. North America is also highly educative including coverage of spectacular weather events and exploration of geological history.
6. Wild Discovery
Wild Discovery is a TV series about wild animals first aired in 1995. It appeared on Discovery channel till 2002. Having an IMDB rating of 8.3 on a scale of 10, the series of documentaries were educative and featured a variety of wild animals in exotic locations like Brazil and Serengeti. Discovery Channel was both the producer as well as the distributor of the show. Drew Hunt and Kim MacQuarrie were the producers of an episode in 1997. The same episode had Shane Moore as cinematographer and Derek Brin as composer of additional music. It had 1019 episodes showcasing different animals and their behavior.
Predators is a TV mini-series of six documentaries capturing the intricacies of the most primal relationship on this planet-that of a predator and its prey. Produced by Peter Bassett and David Wallace in 2000, it had John Hannah as the narrator and won the RTS Television Award for graphic design. Predators used miniature cameras that were attached to the hunters and thus were successful in depicting their chase for prey from their perspective. Action replays and computer animation were used to analyse the strategies of both the predator and the prey from different angles.
4. The Crocodile Hunter
The Crocodile Hunter is a wildlife documentary TV series hosted by wildlife expert Steve Irwin and his wife Terri, the owners of the Australia Zoo in Queensland, which is a wildlife refuge in Australia and home to many of the continent’s most dangerous animals like crocodiles and venomous snakes. Aired on Discovery Channel and Animal Planet from 1997 to 2004, the show became extremely popular due to Steve’s infectious enthusiasm and unconventional, hands-on approach to nature. The show had five seasons consisting of total fifty five episodes which showed animals up close in their natural habitats and inundated the viewers with fun facts and trivia about the most dangerous animals in Australia. It also educated viewers about the need to conserve these endangered animals as Irwin was specialized in the capture and relocation of crocodiles that got too close to human population. The show features his face-offs with huge geckos, large crocodiles and venomous snakes.
Life is a documentary TV series first aired in 2009 on Discovery Channel. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the show has 11 episodes that introduce viewers to some of the most beautiful and unusual inhabitants of this planet. This awe-inspiring series inspires deep respect for the beauty and fragility of nature and each episode offers a glimpse of nature’ beauty and diversity. From the smallest insect to the largest mammal, every scene is shown in amazing clarity and high definition justifying the four long years to film this incredible series that changes one’s perception about nature. The series is a demonstration of Charles Darwin’s theory about ‘the struggle for existence’ in nature. Assembled by David Attenborough’s legendary BBC crew, the show makes use of cutting edge technology and innovative techniques to present in front of us one of the most beautiful wildlife documentaries.
2. The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals is a nature documentary series first aired on November 2002. Written and presented by David Attenborough, it depicted various mammal groups and discussed their day-to-day existence and evolutionary origins. This 10-episode series was aired on Animal Planet and featured different animals in exotic locales. It was filmed using cutting-edge technology ensuring maximum clarity and high quality footage. The show is the fourth in series of Attenborough’s specialized surveys which started with Life on Earth. This show went on to have four BAFTA award nominations.
1. Planet Earth
Planet Earth was the first ever nature documentary series to be shot entirely in high definition and it was also most expensive series of its kind to be commissioned by BBC. It was first aired in March 2006, on BBC One in UK, and later on Discovery Channel in the USA. This unique series which depicts the diversity of our planet has eleven episodes each showing a different habitat and its inhabitants. It won Emmys and BAFTAs for its flawless portrayals of animal behavior and breathtaking images of nature. It captured for the first time many shots and events that were previously not seen. It offered glimpses of the rare snow leopard hunting in the Himalayas, mating rituals of the blue bird of paradise and other exotic creatures. It also used clear time-lapse photography to show climate and seasonal changes like a sandstorm in the Sahara Desert.