This stunning satellite nature show, hosted by a purring Chiwetel Ejiofor, may make you paranoid about being surveilled – but what a visual delight
‘From space, the view of our planet is breathtaking,” purrs Chiwetel Ejiofor, who narrates the wonderfully soporific new nature series Earth from Space (BBC One). It is a difficult time for the genre: all the pleasure to be found in viewing our natural splendour is being tainted, somewhat, by an imminent sense of doom and destruction. It’s hard to show beautiful animals without acknowledging that their habitats are at risk of disappearing entirely. Earth from Space does not evade the perils of climate change, and some of its quiet power comes from simply showing the damage being done.
It opens with a family of elephants in Kenya, with a calf in danger of starvation and a herd that has barely eaten because of an extreme dry season. These animals are heartbreakingly emaciated. But the rain comes and they make it through. The approach is more gentle than bombastic. Perhaps there is a hope that, in seeing animals in their glory, we might take more care of what we have.