How to watch Earth — stream the new Chris Packham nature series now

Sphere of water
(Image credit: BBC)

From a 50 million-year deep freeze to the two million-year volcanic eruption that wiped out 90 percent of life, and the equally prolonged downpour that made the planet hospitable again, Earth (Ancient Earth in the U.S.) chronicles a selection of major milestones in the four and a half billion-year story of our planet.

Narrated by Chris Packham and brought to life by mesmerising visual effects, the five-part BBC nature series takes us back to a time when the sky and the seas were sepia-tinted, and giant fungi dominated the landscape.

All five episodes of the series have been released on BBC iPlayer, which is free to watch, and Earth will also air on live TV at 9pm BST today, Monday 17th July with episodes airing on BBC Two each Monday. Away from the UK? Use a VPN to watch the BBC from overseas.

Watch Earth with Chris Packham

BBC iPlayer logo 2023 on black

(Image credit: BBC)

Premiere date: 9pm BST, 17th July 2023 (all episodes)

FREE stream: BBC iPlayer (UK)

Watch BBC iPlayer from abroad with ExpressVPN

Narrator: Chris Packham

Cycles of violent extinction, dramatic upheaval and miraculous renewal, often spanning millions of years, eventually led to the emergence of a new kind of being and what we now call the Neolithic age, a period of human history that changed everything. 

Agriculture enabled people to thrive at the expense of all else, with the development of trade, language, technology and culture eventually leading to an industrial revolution, since which humankind has had a greater overall impact on the health of the planet than natural events.

Whether Earth proves to be the story of our collective demise or a call to action depends on how many of our leaders are paying attention. Full TV and streaming info below, including how to to watch Earth from anywhere with a VPN.

Earth episode air dates

All episodes of Earth are now available to watch on BBC iPlayer free and on-demand. This is the episode guide and dates for those wishing to watch on TV on BBC2 and 9pm.

  • Ep 1 – Inferno | 9pm BST, Monday 17th July 2023
  • Ep 2 – Snowball | 9pm BST, Monday 24th July 2023
  • Ep 3 – Green | 9pm BST, Monday 31th July 2023
  • Ep 4 – Atmosphere | 9pm BST, Monday 7th August 2023
  • Ep 5 – Human | 9pm BST, Monday 14th August 2023

Watch Earth with Chris Packham for free online

In the UK, BBC iPlayer will stream every episode of Earth free – both live and on-demand.  Simply sign up for a BBC account with an email address and a UK postcode (e.g. W1A 1AA). Done? You're good to go!

Of course, BBC iPlayer is only available within the UK (and with a valid TV licence). Away from home?

Use a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer from overseas.

We recommend ExpressVPN, as it's easy to use and offers a quibble-free 30-day money-back guarantee. Full details below.

How to watch Earth from anywhere

You won't be able to watch a BBC iPlayer live stream when traveling abroad. The streaming service will spot that you're in a foreign country and block you. You can use a VPN (virtual private network) to get around this, though.

It's a straightforward piece of software which sets your device to appear as if it's in the right country, allowing you to watch BBC iPlayer – and an Earth live stream – from anywhere in the world.

We rate ExpressVPN as the best VPN. It offers a 30-day guarantee for all your money back if you're not happy with the service. It really is invaluable.


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ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee with its VPN service. You can use it to watch Earth streamed on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV, games console and more. There's 24/7 customer support and three months free when you sign-up. Try it – it's easier than you think.

For the best value, try the 12-month subscription.

Use a VPN to watch Earth from abroad

Using a VPN to watch Earth from abroad is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. ExpressVPN is the one we recommend.

2. Open up the VPN app and choose the location of the service you wish to access. For Earth, you may wish to choose 'UK' for BBC iPlayer.

3. Then head over to BBC iPlayer on your browser or device and enjoy the free Earth stream.

If you can't get it working, do remember that you have the comfort of a 30-day money-back guarantee with ExpressVPN. You could also try NordVPN, which also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and Surfshark, which offers 24-hour assistance.

Earth official trailer

Watch Earth in the USA

Earth will join The Green Planet and Frozen Planet II on PBS in America, starting Wednesday, 4th October. Just bear in mind that it will be rebranded Ancient Earth in the US.

Remember: UK nationals travelling overseas can use a use a VPN watch Earth free of charge on BBC iPlayer.

Can you watch Earth in Australia?

It isn't yet clear where you'll be able to watch Earth in Australia, but as Channel Nine bought the rights to air Earth, it's possible that it will eventually stream on 9Now

Remember: UK nationals who are outside the UK can use a VPN to watch Earth free of charge on BBC iPlayer. Details above.

Can I watch Earth on Netflix?

No. Earth will premiere exclusively on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Monday, 17th July 2023.

Aatif Sulleyman

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. An avid armchair sports fan, he devours everything from football and Formula 1 to tennis, rugby and cricket. If you need to know where to watch the big game this weekend, Aatif can tell you what TV channel it's on and the exact start time (in eight different time zones). Elsewhere, Aatif has written about technology, science and politics for publications such as the The Independent, Trusted Reviews and Newsweek, but he focuses on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: sport and penny-pinching.