Saturday, October 16

5 Documentaries & Docuseries to Catch this Year


While we all love a bit of escapism on TV, there’s also something to be said about the beauty of realism that shines through in a great docuseries or documentary. Whether it be including historical footage, photographs, talking heads, or filming animals in their natural habitat, documentaries offer an undeniable feeling that you’re connecting with what you see on screen in a very real way.

Also read: Top 5: Best Streaming Devices for 2020

Documentaries and docuseries are more popular than ever before but that also means they’re so much more to sift through these days to find the truly good stuff. To help you figure out which ones to watch we’ve put together this easy guide to 5 of the best documentaries and docuseries to catch this year:

Being the Queen


This exciting one-hour Documentary, From Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker, Tom Jennings gives viewers a peek behind the royal curtain to highlight the life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Being the Queen takes a sweeping look at Her Majesty The Queen’s near 70-year reign, featuring unreleased audio interviews, never-before-seen footage and home movies, as well as rare photographs. The film also utilises archival sources from around the world, such as British Movietone, Reuters, the BBC, ITN and ITV.

Catch it in South Africa: Premieres 9 November 2020 on National Geographic. 

The Real Black Panther

A black panther

A black panther stands between two trees in a forest. (Image credit: Shaaz Jung)

The hot, dry, deciduous jungles of South India are no place for a melanistic leopard. But Saya is different. He is the only black panther in the entire Kabini Forest, and he has got one thing on his mind: to take over and make this leopard paradise his own. But Scarface, the current ruler, will not give it up easily. With one eye on his prey and the other on the ever-changing skies, Saya must befriend the sun and the clouds to master the shadows so that he can move unnoticed and hunt successfully. Between these trees lies an untold story — one that defies the laws of natural selection. Furthermore, it is a story of astounding adaptability and success. Told in first-person narrative, this one-hour special is the journey of Saya — the real black panther.

Catch it in South Africa: Repeats on Nat Geo WILD on 04 October – 13:20, 01 November – 10:50, and 05 November – 18:00.

Also read: Face Off: Decoder vs Online Streaming – Which is Better?

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma

Directed by Jeff Orlowski, this chilling documentary explores the dangerous human impact of social networking, with former Big Tech employees speaking out against the products they once upon a time helped build. A must-watch for anyone who is curious about the inner workings of large tech companies.

Catch it in South Africa: Now streaming on Netflix South Africa. 

Photo Ark

Photo Ark

Two Amazonian toad frogs, Leptodactylus knudseni, at the Central Florida Zoo. (Image credit: Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark)

This two-part event special lets you tag along with National Geographic photographer, Fellow and founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark Joel Sartore on his quest to use the power of photography to inspire people to save species at risk by photographing every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. He just recently documented the 10,000th species for the Ark, and will go to great lengths to photograph thousands more, even if it means following a giant armadillo into a bathroom!

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, Sartore dives underwater to photograph the largest resident of South America, the Amazonian manatee. Out of his wetsuit and armed with emergency oxygen and his camera, we follow Sartore three and a half kilometres up the Colorado Rockies just so he can photograph the American pika, a tiny relative of the hare.

Catch it in South Africa: Premieres 27 November 2020 on Nat Geo WILD.

Virus Hunters

virus lab

National Geographic and Lincoln Square Productions partner up to bring us a chilling chronicle of the heroic experts working on the front line during the pandemic. With the world gripped by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it is not easy to think about what could be next. But those on the front lines of science know the worst could be still to come. This docu-special will reveal the raw and chilling stories of those heroic experts currently searching to identify the chain of events that could cause the next global pandemic.

Catch it in South Africa: Premiering on 11 November 2020

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