Last Watched

"New Zealand"  Sort by

Frozen Peaks

   2022    Nature
Mountains create frozen habitats on every continent on Earth, and each of these high-altitude worlds holds unique challenges for its surprising and remarkable life.
We begin our journey close to the equator - the furthest point from the poles - in East Africa. Here on the high slopes of Mount Kenya, during the day the tropical sun keeps the cold at bay, but at night the frost descends. During this cycle of freeze and thaw, a pregnant high-casqued chameleon must choose the right time to give birth if her newborns are to escape the deadly night freeze.
Away from the equator in the European Alps, long cold winters give way to short, bountiful summers. For a pair of golden eagles raising their chick, the demand to provide enough food for it drives them to tackle prey five times their size. To catch a goat-like chamois, they risk it all using one of the most daring and breathtaking hunting techniques ever witnessed.
The mountains of Japan are the snowiest place on Earth, providing hostile conditions for a lone male macaque cast away from his troop. His only chance of survival comes with finding another male whose embrace will provide him with life-saving warmth. But in the frozen peaks, the deadliest force is an avalanche whose full destructive power is captured for the first time using high-speed camera racer drones.
The roof of the world is home to an array of unexpected cold-loving creatures. In the remote Southern Alps of New Zealand, a species of parrot - the kea - uses its famed intelligence to feed on the dead. And in the Andes in South America, flamingos thrive in high-altitude volcanic lakes, but their chicks must race to escape the winter freeze or risk becoming trapped in the ice.
Today, due to climate change, our frozen peaks are undergoing rapid change. Using groundbreaking time-lapse photography, we reveal mountain glaciers vanishing before our very eyes and discover what a warming world may mean for our most famous mountain resident of all, the giant panda.
Series: Frozen Planet II

McLaren

   2017    History
The inspirational documentary account of one man’s pioneering spirit, unswerving tenacity and endless passion, McLaren is the untold story of a motor racing icon. Born in New Zealand in 1937, Bruce McLaren’s determination to make it to the summit of global motor racing circles saw his name become synonymous with the sport; displaying an incomparable will to succeed and desire to better both himself and his burgeoning super brand.
In following a singular dream, McLaren elicited the loyalty, determination and love of family, friends and colleagues to create a dynasty that lives on to this day. Revealing the challenges and adversities faced along the way, including a childhood illness which threatened to alter the path of his life, McLaren is the story of one man’s unfaltering commitment to his vision which will inspire generations of sporting fans.

Maidentrip

   2013    Culture
14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out-camera in hand-on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. In the wake of a year-long battle with Dutch authorities that sparked a global storm of media scrutiny, Laura now finds herself far from land, family and unwanted attention, exploring the world in search of freedom, adventure, and distant dreams of her early youth at sea. Jillian Schlesinger's debut feature amplifies Laura's brave, defiant voice through a mix of Laura's own video and voice recordings at sea and intimate vérité footage from locations including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.

Monster we met: The End of Eden

   2006    Science
New Zealand - 850 years ago New Zealand was the last major land mass to be discovered and colonised by humans. A mere 850 years ago, Polynesian seafarers arrived in a land with no terrestrial mammals. New Zealand was a land of birds, and its avian rulers were giants: huge herbivorous moas were hunted by Haast's eagle - the largest eagle the world has ever seen. But within the space of only 100-400 years, the eagle, all the moas and over 20 other species of birds were gone. Had mankind become the monster?

The Silk Spinners

   2005    Nature
Silk is the invertebrates' great invention, used in a range of ways from from the protective stalks of lacewing eggs to the amazing hanging threads of New Zealand's 'glow worms'. Spiders, though, have taken silk-spinning to extremes. The common wolf spider has no web, but the female is a gentle parent, encasing her eggs in silk and carrying the precious bundle wherever she goes. The bolas spider uses a ball of sticky silk soaked in a copy of moth pheromone to lure its prey. Millions of communal spiders live and feed together in a vast, towering web - an arachnophobe's nightmare.
Series: Life in the Undergrowth

To Fly or Not to Fly

   1998    Nature
The first episode looks at how birds first took to the skies in the wake of the insects. It begins in Mexico, where Sir Attenborough observes bats being outmanoeuvred by a red-tailed hawk. Pterosaurs were the birds' forerunners, some 150 million years after dragonflies developed the means of flight, but eventually went extinct together with the dinosaurs. Birds had by then already evolved from early forms like archaeopteryx, the first creature to possess feathers. Its ancestry can be traced through reptiles, and some current species, such as the flying lizard, possibly show paths this evolution may have taken." One of the biggest birds to have ever existed was the terror bird, which proliferated after dinosaurs vanished and stood up to 2.5 metres tall. By comparison, the ostrich, while not closely related, is the largest and heaviest living bird. It was probably the evasion of predators that drove most birds into the air, so their flightless cousins evolved because they had few enemies. Accordingly, such species are more likely to be found on islands, and Sir Attenborough visits New Zealand to observe its great variety, most especially the kiwi. Also depicted is the moa, another huge creature that is now gone. The takahē is extremely rare, and high in the mountains of New Zealand, Sir Attenborough discovers one from a population of only 40 pairs. Finally, another example on the brink of extinction is the kakapo, which at one point numbered only 61 individuals. A male is heard calling — an immensely amplified deep note that can be heard at great distances from its nest.
Series: The Life of Birds
The Mind Explained

The Mind Explained

2019  Medicine
The Human Body

The Human Body

1998  Medicine
Shine a Light

Shine a Light

2008  Art
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science
The Hunt

The Hunt

2015  Nature
Bronze Age

Bronze Age

2016  History
Meet the Romans

Meet the Romans

2012  History
Minimalism

Minimalism

2015  Culture