A herd of African elephants drink at a waterhole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Credit: Niki Rust.

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David Attenborough has been a strong voice for wildlife for decades but the nature documentaries he narrates have been criticised as shying away from stark representations of the devastation humans can cause. One of his latest documentaries, Our Planet, was widely promoted as representing a new direction and putting the threats facing nature front and center to the narrative. We compared the scripts of Our Planet and the three previous high-profile David Attenborough documentary series to show that Our Planet discusses both conservation threats (such as climate change) and successes (such as a recovery in whale populations following a hunting ban) far more often. Visually, however, it feels very similar to his previous offerings, and nature is mostly shown as untouched by human impacts. We consider how viewers may be affected by the impression that nature is still pristine, and the potential ways that watching a nature documentary could lead to people reducing their environmental footprints. Previous studies have shown that documentaries can increase willingness amongst viewers to make personal lifestyle changes, increase support for conservation organisations, and generate positive towards an issue, making policy change more likely. Evaluating these effects however is far from simple, and we need to combine different methods to explore how showing nature on screens affects people in ways which might, ultimately, contribute to saving it.