Earth Day is gone now, but its impact lingers on our TV sets and computer screens.
There’s PBS’ Greta Thunberg film (see separate story), which now reruns on three Wednesdays. And a surge of films on the streaming channels, including the splendid “Secrets of the Whales” (see separate story) and the fun “The Year the Earth Changed.”
And on April 23, there’s the back half of a two-day rerun marathon. Let’s start there:
DAY AFTER EARTH DAY
– BBC America continues its two-day reruns of splendid nature series. On Fridsay (April 23), it has “A Wild Year on Earth,” 6-11 a.m.; “Seven Worlds, One Planet,” 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; “Planet Earth,” 6-11 p.m.; and (after a Graham Norton retrospective at 11), “Seven Worlds” again, from noon to 6 a.m.
CONTNUING VIA STREAMERS
– “The Year Eartth Changed,” on Apple TV+, is a fascinating portrait of nature rebounding as cities lock down during the pandemic. David Attenborough shows us penguins strolling through town … a leopard walking past a startled cameraman … and deer finding their long-ago grazing ground, after there are no more monastary tourists to feed them.
– Apple TV+ has also added the second, six-episode seasons of two series. “Tiny World” traces more than 200 of the tiniest creatures; appropriately, it’s produced and narrated by Paul Rudd, the “Ant-Man” star. “Eartt at Night in Color,” also with six episodes, uses low-light cameras to capture moments ranging from kangaroos embracing to elephants battling hyenas. Tom Hiddleston narrates.
– Four films are on Discovery+. “Expedition Deep Ocean” follows the first explorers to reach the bottom of all five oceans; they discover 40 species. “First to the Top of the World” tells the 1968 story of working-class Minnesotans who, with no experience, made a 500-mile snowmobile trip to the North Pole. “The Swim” follows a six-month, 5,000-mile swim from Japan to San Francisco. “Endangered” follows conservationists who travel the globe, recording the “Red List” of endangered species. That’s on Discovery+, produced and narrated by Ellen DeGeneres.
– “Secrets of the Whales,” on Disney+, is a spectacular, four-part film, produced by James Cameron and narrated by Sigourney Weaver. In a three-year, global journey, Brian Skerry found that whales (like people) develop different traditions and habits in each group.
– Disney+ also has the two epic films it debuted a year ago. “Dolphin Reef” was originally planned for theaters during Earth Week, 2018. Instead, it was delayed two years and debuted on Disney+ alongside “Elephant.” Natalie Portman narrates “Dolphin Reef”; the beautifully crafted “Elephant” is narrated by Meghan Markle … now listed as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. And its “Earth Moods” shorts – pretty pictures, music, but no story or narration.
– “Life in Color” is a three-part Netflix series that views how animals use color. It travels the globe, from Costa Rican rainforests to Scottish Highlands, with Attenborouh narrating.
– “Cher & The Loneliest Elephant” follows Cher and others, as they work to have an elephant, alone in a Pakistani zoo, transported to a sanctuary in Cambodia. That’s on Paramount Plus.
‘– BBC America continues to have a nature focus on Saturdays, mixing new films (currently, “One Wild Day,” at 8 p.m.) and reruns.
– “Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World” now gets PBS’ “Nature” slot, at 8 p.m. on three Wednesdays. It follows the teen activist (see separate story), as she tries a global road trip – from Canada to a South American conference and then from Sweden to China. Huge complications arrive: The conference moves to Spain (requiring a bumpy, three-week sailboat trip); China shuts down. Still, she perseveres, gathering information and stirring emotions.
– Discovery+ has designed this as “Earth Month.” On April 29, “Chasing Ocean Giants” follows Patrick Dyksrea, formerly a Wall Street lawyer, as he ranges from Sri Lanka to the Norwegian fjords.
– And “Cher & the Loneliest Elephant,” already streaming, airs at 8 p.m. May 19 on the Smithsonian Channel.