Apple Announces David Attenborough Documentary ‘The Year Earth Changed’

Apple has today announced a new original documentary for Apple TV+ titled “The Year the Earth Changed,” which takes a look at the effect of national lockdowns over the past year on wildlife and the natural world.

The documentary special, narrated by Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, showcases exclusive footage from around the world over the past year, taking “a fresh new approach to the global lockdown and the uplifting stories that have come out of it.”

From hearing birdsong in deserted cities, to witnessing whales communicating in new ways, to encountering capybaras in South American suburbs, people all over the world have had the chance to engage with nature like never before. In the one-hour special, viewers will witness how changes in human behavior — reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist — can have a profound impact on nature.

Described as a “love letter to planet Earth,” the documentary highlights the way in which the recovery of nature over the past year “can give us hope for the future.” Attenborough said:

During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it. But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.

The Year the Earth Changed will premiere globally alongside the second seasons of “Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Color” on April 16 to celebrate Earth Day 2021, which is the world’s largest annual environmental movement.

Season two of Tiny World grants viewers a unique perspective into the scale of the natural world, “illuminating the ingenuity and resilience of the planet’s smallest creatures” using 3,160 hours of footage of over 200 species, while Earth At Night In Color reveals the “never-before-seen behaviors of animals after dark, captured using low-light cameras and light from a full moon.”

Tiny World and Earth At Night In Color will also be featured in a special “Earth Day room” on ‌Apple TV+‌, showcasing a curated collection of content that promotes the theme of preserving the planet. Also included are “The Elephant Queen” and “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” which debuted last year for the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day.