Our home planet is one of spectacular beauty. Just in case you need convincing, several filmmakers have captured some of the most stunning views imaginable, from jammed city skylines to peaceful rice paddies, intricate river systems to vast mountain ranges, not forgetting the people who call these places home.
Starting in Asia, we’re taken up and over Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. We then head north to Morocco, cross east to China, then back over to North Africa for a rare look at Algeria.
Next, the Mediterranean beckons before we finish in the tropics, viewing the astounding lushness of the centre of the world, the Equator...
Aerial Asia takes us flying over four different countries – Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia – over four episodes. Shot in 4K, the views offer a rare perspective of this diverse and rich continent.
We start in Singapore where the scenes contrast mind-blowing feats of architecture with bursting colours of the rainbow as locals celebrate Deepavali.
Over to Malaysia, we fly over the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur, across its lush mountain ranges, and visit the trading port of Malacca and plantations of tin and rubber. India is an explosion of colour and vibrancy. We soar high above this patchwork of varied landscapes as well as natural and man-made monuments. Evidence of the four major religions birthed here abounds, its vast population proud of their ancient civilisation.
Aerial Asia winds up in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago made up of more than 17,500 islands. View eager participants in ancient ceremonies and marvel at the impenetrable jungles and rumbling volcanoes of this wild land.
Aerial Asia airs on Saturday, 2 February at 7:30 pm on SBS, starting with Singapore, with the other episodes to follow on Saturday nights.
Morocco From Above
Shot entirely from the sky by French filmmaker, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, this two-part documentary takes us soaring above the main sites of Morocco, from the packed cities to the remote villages. Over the country’s assortment of landscapes we fly, taking in the stunning beauty of Africa’s west coast and inland to the fields of industry and beyond to the valleys, mountains, plains and wheat plantations. More than just the bazaars of Marrakech, Morocco boasts staggering natural beauty and thriving culture.
Morocco from Above starts on Saturdays, 2 and 9 March at 7:30 pm on SBS.
China From Above
China is enormous – ideal for taking a bird’s-eye view. Featuring innovative aerial photography, we zoom out to take it all in over this two-part documentary. From countless city skyscrapers and heavy industry on a grand scale, we drift over the quieter ranges and plains of the marvellous and varied topography.
Getting closer for a more intimate perspective, we also hear stories from the people who make this massive country run and the year-round weather extremes they endure.
China From Above airs on Saturdays, 16 and 23 March at 7:30 pm on SBS.
Algeria From Above
We’re back under the eagle eye of filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand (Morocco From Above) to view the lesser known yet rich, undulating landscape of Algeria, bordering Morocco’s east. We follow the daily lives of people in all its disparate corners – the coastal capital of Algiers, the Atlas Mountains, desert oases and the hills of the Sahel, a biogeographic zone where the Sahara to the north meets the Sudanian savannah to the south. This is a territory of ancient civilisations and contrasting ecosystems. Algeria’s bold palette of colours and welcoming people will stimulate and delight.
Algeria From Above airs on Saturday, 30 March at 7:30 pm on SBS.
Mediterranean From Above
The Mediterranean is abundant in so many ways – ethnically, religiously, culturally. Three major religions were born here. It’s also the world’s most densely populated region and the scene of countless battles in its wartorn history.
But this aerial journey directs its focus on the role the natural world plays in this paradise for curious explorers. The Mediterranean is home to mountain ranges that tower over plains and estuaries, as well as deserts and the sea. Warning: you may want to book your next holiday after viewing this two-part series.
Mediterranean From Above airs on Saturdays, 6 and 13 April at 7:30 pm on SBS.
Equator From The Air
Habitats between the tropics boast a remarkable range of ecosystems and are home to cash crops grown on an immense scale. All this brings into sharp relief the environmental and economic dilemmas of our time. Increasingly, scientists and conservationists use aerial views for everything from catching poachers to monitoring the populations of otherwise inaccessible animals including dolphins and apes.
Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan takes us along for his epic 25,000-mile journey over four episodes. He’s flying high to give such varied natural features as snow-covered volcanoes and lush tropical islands a much-needed check-up.
Equator From The Air airs on Saturdays, 20 and 27 April and 4 and 11 May at 7:30 pm on SBS.