Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild is a 2012 BBC documentary produced to celebrate the 60th year of David Attenborough’s career making wildlife programmes, it is presented by Attenborough himself who reflects on his life and career and the huge changes he has witnessed in the natural world over the period.
In the first episode Attenborough looks back on some of the iconic animal encounters that have helped to shape his career, and how advances in technology have changed the nature of his productions after some of his earliest films required him to describe the colours of the animals he encountered to an audience consisting mostly of owners of black and white television sets. He also talks about how the development of jet travel enabled him to visit 30 countries in just 3 years to film his first landmark television series (Life on Earth).
In the second episode Attenborough discusses the numerous scientific breakthroughs over the sixty years which have helped us to develop a greater understanding of how the world functions, and the behavior of the animals which inhabit it. He also talks in great depth about the various series he presented which helped to introduce key scientific theories, including groundbreaking new ones, to a mass audience. Also explored were advances in DNA fingerprinting and molecular genetics and how they have applied to expanding our knowledge and understanding of evolution and nature.
In the third and final episode he talks about changes to the environment over his career and the changing public attitudes towards nature, he also provides an insight into the conservationists who influenced him in his early career and helped him on his own path to conservationism. He shares success stories where conservation has helped to restore populations of once endangered species whilst also highlighting the plights of various animal species that are now under threat, finishing by questioning whether our greater knowledge of climate change and general environmental issues will be enough for us to preserve the planet for future generations.