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Night on Earth – Netflix

Scorpions Night On Earth

Netflix’s fascinating new six-part documentary series Night on Earth reveals what animals really get up to once the sun goes down

Fans of wildlife documentaries will love Netflix’s new six-part series Night on Earth, capturing rare footage of animal activity once darkness falls.

In the light of a full moon and using the latest camera technology (not just the familiar thermal-imaging kind), a pride of cheetahs attempt a hunt, a lioness is seen chasing a cheetah (who would think?) and even a porcupine is picked on as potential prey…

Elsewhere, Mexican long-tongued bats feed on night-flowering cacti and two glowing scorpions in the desert perform a dance (all this revealed in vivid colour, pictured above).

Perhaps the most entertaining of all, though, is a troop of cheeky macaques in Thailand out on the town… 

Here, producer Bill Markham – whose previous credits include the BBC’s Natural World series and the BAFTA-winning Big Blue Live – tells TV Times more about the wildlife wonders we can expect…

Monkey in Thailand Night on Earth

A macaque monkey is out on the tiles in Thailand in Netflix’s Night on Earth

What were the challenges of filming Night on Earth? 

The obvious thing is that it’s difficult to see!

There were times when there were crocodiles milling about and snakes you might tread on.

The cameramen could see properly through their cameras, but the rest of us had thermal-imaging scopes, which are like small telescopes with poor resolution.

We used them to look out for blurry moving shapes, which would tell us that something was out there and was alive!

Were there any really hair-raising moments?

On one shoot, the team was filming grizzly bears and wolves on the border of Alaska and Canada, and realised a wolf was following them.

They turned to check they had all their equipment with them and saw a lone wolf watching them curiously.

Thankfully, it didn’t seem interested in eating them.

What are your personal highlights from the series? 

Seeing the elephants and lions in Zimbabwe was amazing.

We went to Hwange National Park to a waterhole where all the animals go at night.

The lions are on the prowl for the elephants and hyenas gather there too.

We saw one little elephant calf chase after a hyena before falling over and face-planting into the ground with its tusks.

It was a truly amazing experience being out there in the dark with those huge creatures all around us, in that atmosphere with all the sounds of the night.

For full listings, see our TV Guide.

TV Times rating: ****