The 4 best 4K nature shows to watch now Prehistoric Planet has ended

T-Rex CGI from Prehistoric Planet on Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

To say that Apple's Prehistoric Planet was spectacular would be an understatement. Presented in 4K Dolby Vision and Atmos, and with a budget that would embarrass even Rishi Sunak, it brought dinosaurs to life like never before.

As the parent of a dino-obsessed toddler, I've absolutely loved it, with the whole family sitting down to watch the new episode each evening. Unfortunately, the end of the five-part series leaves a hole in our family viewing, and it's a hole that I intend to fill with more educational nature programming.

Of course, the content is what matters most when picking a nature doc, but I also want to wow my son with an AV spectacle that he can't take his eyes off. So, with no further ado, here are the four best 4K nature docs to watch (with or without children) now that Prehistoric Planet has ended.

Tiny World (Apple TV+)

From gigantic dinosaurs to dinky creatures, Tiny World is the perfect nature series to watch after Prehistoric Planet – particularly if you don't plan to keep your Apple+ subscription long-term.

This series explores the lives of the planet's smallest denizens in greater detail than ever before. Thanks to incredible technology and sky-high production values, we're transported to a miniature world populated by – let's face it – some of the most adorable animals you'll ever see (plus plenty of creepy-crawlies).

There's drama, there's action, there are pygmy marmosets, all presented in 4K Dolby Vision with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack and narration by the effortlessly charming Paul Rudd.

Our Great National Parks (Netflix)

David Attenborough is the best nature doc narrator of all time. Of that there's no doubt. But if you had to choose an alternative narrator, you could do a lot worse than Barack '44th President of the USA and all-round Great Guy' Obama.

In this superb Netflix Original series, ex-Pres Obama narrates a tour of the world's most spectacular and ecologically important national parks, from Kenya's Tsavo to Chile's Patagonia, taking a close look to the wildlife in each.

It's perhaps not the most groundbreaking series on this list, but it's still a very entertaining and educational watch, and it looks and sounds spectacular in 4K Dolby Vision and Atmos.

Penguins (Disney+)

Now here's one aimed squarely at the kids. Disneynature's Penguins tells the story of 'Steve', an adolescent Adélie penguin taking his first waddles into adulthood.

The direction and narration intentionally anthropomorphises the subjects of the feature-length documentary, turning them into characters with whom you form a real bond, but there's plenty of educational value to the entertainment. There's peril, of course, so you may need to skip past certain sections if you've got very young kids (killer whales make a predictable appearance), but this is easy, breezy, funny family fun overall.

Blue Planet II (BBC iPlayer)

All right, so this is a bit of an obvious one, but Blue Planet II is one of the BBC's best, David Attenborough-fronted nature docs, and arguably the best that's available in 4K HDR from the iPlayer app.

As the name suggests, it's the sequel to the oceans-focused Blue Planet, featuring some of the most fascinating denizens of the Earth's deep seas. The picture quality is superb (the BBC uses HLG for its HDR streams), but the story-telling is even better – the tuskfish, which uses hard coral to smash open clams in order to access the soft meat inside, will never not be impressive.

Want more? Check out our round-up of the best music-related documentaries, films and TV shows on Netflix.

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.