Canadians have a special place in their hearts for CBC’s The Nature of Things. Who
could forget those images of a young and iconic David Suzuki, practicing scientist and TV host, as he was propelled to fame in Canada and beyond?
For those with a fuzzy memory of the early episodes of this wildly popular show, you will soon have access to a choice selection of its best moments on DVD. The 2-disc box set, called The Nature of Things with David Suzuki – Volume 1: Visions of the Future, will be released this April 21st – just before Earth Day of course.
The TV show has been running with assorted guest hosts since 1960, but merged with a similar show called Science Magazine in 1979, at that time hosted by a frizzy-haired geneticist named David Suzuki. It was no coincidence that this new hour-long version of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity, especially as it delved deeper into the major environmental topics that stirred the pot throughout the 80s.
From destructive logging on BC’s Queen Charlotte Islands and in the Amazonian rain forest, to a controversial special on ‘hot debates’ surrounding nuclear power, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki brought awareness and a critical eye to areas where they were previously lacking. In 1985, the show produced an 8-part series called A Planet for the Taking, which explored humanity’s strained relationship with the natural world. The series attracted roughly 2 million viewers, solidifying Dr. Suzuki’s place among the most trusted and influential environmentalists in the world.
The Nature of Things with David Suzuki is now the longest-running documentary series in Canada, still offering viewers rare glimpses of far-off natural places and cutting-edge analysis of pressing environmental issues. In my mind, the show’s claim to fame is Suzuki’s natural ability to break down complex scientific issues, distilling them into compelling narratives for television audiences.
The upcoming DVD release will focus primarily on the environment, featuring classic episodes about ‘future’ issues such as green architecture and building, renewable energy sources and sustainable urban design – all concerns that form the leading edge in the modern struggle to stave off global ecological disaster.