Whether you are looking to plan for future trips or want to simply escape to a faraway place and travel vicariously, here are some of our favourite on-demand watches.
From the classics to some more recent additions, watch the trailers and see if it’s a show you feel will transport you, if only for a while, to another world. We have split them into three sections: firstly, the shows that have helped us learn and therefore want to do more to protect our planet; secondly, the films and shows that we feel will inspire you; and lastly – for those that love to savour the local dishes when travelling – here are the shows that get those taste buds excited.
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To learn about and protect our planet
1. Our Planet
The series is narrated by David Attenborough and produced by Silverback Films, led by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, who also created BBC documentary series Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and The Blue Planet, in collaboration with the conservation charity World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The theme in each episode, whilst exploring the planet’s natural beauty, is examining and showing how climate change impacts all living creatures and what we can do to help.
Alastair Fothergill has filmed a very special message for all our Steppes Travel clients with an announcement on the new David Attenborough film.
“What we do in the next twenty years will determine the future of not just the natural world but humanity itself.”
A powerful call to arms.
Have you been inspired by the Our Planet series? It’s time to get outdoors with the whole family and explore the natural world all around you with the new nature ID app, Seek which Alastair mentioned in his video. You can also buy the Our Planet companion here.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
In this unique feature documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, the celebrated naturalist reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime and the devastating changes he has seen. Coming to Netflix October 4 2020, the film addresses some of the biggest challenges facing life on our planet, providing a snapshot of global nature loss in a single lifetime. With it comes a powerful message of hope for future generations as Attenborough reveals the solutions to help save our planet from disaster.
2. Jago – A Life Underwater
With only a harpoon and a single breath, a master octogenarian diver upholds an astonishing tradition of Indonesia’s Bajau people: deep-sea hunting.
3. Night on Earth
When the sun goes down, a new world awakes. New technology reveals wonders of the planet in a completely new light. Discover hidden landscapes across the globe to unearth some of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences – from lions on the hunt to bats on the wing. Exclusive to Netflix.
4. Tales By Light
Watch three seasons of photographers and filmmakers travelling the world capturing indelible images of people, places, creatures and cultures from new, previously unseen angles. Featured photographers include Richard l’Anson attempting to photograph the elusive snow leopard, Darren Drew capturing mating humpback whales in Tonga and Art Wolfe documenting the world’s cultures from the Surma in Ethiopia and the masked mud men of Papua New Guinea.
5. Moving Art
Three seasons of stunning footage of the world. Experience nature’s art as filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg highlights the beauty that lurks in oceans, forests, deserts and flowers. Press play, sit back and stare in awe.
6. Dancing With The Birds
Another one from the Silverback Films team and narrated by Emmy Award-winner Stephen Fry, Dancing With The Birds visits everyone’s favourite birds-of-paradise and their spectacularly captivating mating rituals from flash dancing to shape-shifting.
7. My Octopus Teacher
Documentary Emmy nominee Craig Foster forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world. He did the underwater photography and filming himself and the visuals are stunning. This is a documentary that will truly change the way you think about life underwater. It is also a reminder about the beauty of revisiting places to witness how the inhabitants and environments evolve.
The film is collaboration with Sea Change Project. To learn more about their work – ‘a community of scientists, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers who are dedicated to the ocean’ – visit stories.seachangeproject.com/my-octopus-teacher
If you want to be inspired
Featuring breathtaking imagery and thought-provoking narration, this film, from the director of Sherpa, takes viewers to the summits of some of the world’s most amazing mountains. This visually stunning film features the voice of the enigmatic Willem Dafoe as he reads excerpts from “Mountains of the Mind”, written by one of our favourite authors Robert Macfarlane.
2. Losing Sight of Shore
“(Wo)man cannot discover new oceans unless (s)he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” This documentary recounts the feats of the Coxless Crew, a team of four incredibly brave women who rowed from San Francisco to Australia in support of two charities.
3. The Kindness Diaries
Leon Logothetis travels the world with only a vintage motorbike, depending only on the kindness of strangers, which he pays back in unexpected, inspiring ways.
4. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Against all the odds, a thirteen-year-old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and village from famine. Based on the best selling book and true story of William Kamkwamba.
If you haven’t watched a Bollywood film before, perhaps now is the time. Based on the true story of an amateur wrestler who trained his daughters to become India’s first world-class female champions in the sport, competing to win the gold that he couldn’t win in the Commonwealth Games.
An epicurean journey around the world
1. The Chef’s Table
A new take on a food-inspired documentary series exploring some of the world’s most renowned chefs and their kitchens. Dive into a culinary journey of different stories, cultures and experiences around the globe through the medium of food. Throughout the six seasons of the show you can travel to the Amazon with Brazilian chef Alex Atala, Mexico with Enrique Olvera, Barcelona with, former innovator at El Bulli, Albert Adria, Thailand with Bo Songvisava and India (via her London restaurant) with Asma Khan.
Want to travel your way around the world’s best restaurants? Use this map to see where your journey could take you.
2. Streetfood: Asia
Explore street food in nine vibrant cities in Asia and hear the stories of the people who make them. From Bangkok to Cebu and Osaka to Delhi discover the traditional recipes reimagined and served to locals and travellers alike.
3. The Final Table
What is the national cuisine of Brazil? Teams of elite chefs vie to impress the world’s toughest palates as they whip up iconic dishes from their native countries.
Explored through the lenses of the four natural elements – fire, water, air and earth – Cooked is an enlightening and compelling look at the evolution of what food means to us through the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us. Highlighting our primal human need to cook, the series urges a return to the kitchen to reclaim our lost traditions and to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection to the ingredients and cooking techniques that we use to nourish ourselves.
“A barbecue brings people together”.
This show demonstrates that a barbecue is about more than just grilling a piece of meat. It’s a ritual performed religiously across the world. For some, it’s a path to salvation. It is the pride of nations. And the stories told around the fires become a way to bring the world together.
6. Ugly Delicious
David Chang travels the world with writers and chefs, activists and artists, who use food as a vehicle to break down cultural barriers, tackle misconceptions and uncover shared experiences. Ugly Delicious ventures out of polished kitchens into the wider world to explore Viet-Cajun cuisine in Houston, Neapolitan Pizza in Tokyo, home cooking in Copenhagen, and much more.