David Attenborough

Separated by 76 years, they’re Earth Day giants

This was like a downsized climate summit.
The world’s two best-know nature activists met, reflecting different eras: David Attenborough is 94; Greta Thunberg (shown here) is 18.
He started working on his first animal show a half-century before she was born; later, he began including warnings about climate change. “I’ve been promoting this for a long time,” he tells her in a PBS film. “But the big changes came when you spoke.” Now both have their say:
– She’s at the core of PBS’ “Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World,” which debuted on Earth Day and reruns at 8 p.m. on three Wednesdays. It’s a journey across North America and Europe, including that brief chat (shown in the May 5 episode) with Attenborough. Read more…

After Earth Day, films continue

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: Read more…

It’s time to celebrate … well, the planet

We don’t seem to see the word “celebration” much these days.
What could we possibly celebrate? Well … how about the entire planet?
“Planet Earth: A Celebration” arrives at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 on four cable channels, as a sort of end-of-summer bonus. It’s downright joyous, with flamingos (shown here) strutting on parade in the Andes; it’s also nightmarish, as racer snakes pursue baby iguanas. Mostly, it’s a reminder that the British are good – REALLY good – at nature filmmaking. Read more…

It’s nature (and nature filmmaking) at its best

PASADENA, Cal.  – You can say what you want about the British.
You can mock their food, their politics, their odd insistence that “football” is a game in which no one catches, tackles or scores
.But let’s agree on this: These people make good dramas, smart mysteries and (shown here) superb nature films.
At the current Television Critics Association sessions, we’ve seen proof of that. One streaming service (Acorn) ranges from the steely drama of “Blood” to the giddy mysteries of “Agatha Raisin.” Another (Britbox) ranges from the sharp “Vera” mysteries to Martin Freeman’s complex “Confession.”
But we’ve also seen more proof of just how good the BBC Natural History Unit is. Read more…