Fire in Kakadu.

National Geographic Australia/New Zealand has commissioned a six-part climate change documentary, including the devastating impact of the White Island volcano eruption, from Essential Media.

Now in production, Mutant Nature Down Under will examine how Australasia’s weather is evolving and mutating by reviewing some of the worst natural disasters over the past decade and explaining why events that were previously considered “once in a generation” are now so commonplace.

These events will be told by scientists and experts as well as by survivors and eyewitnesses to the worst impacts of this ‘mutant’ weather.

Crews have roamed across Australia, New Zealand and Asia to obtain first-hand coverage of events including the White Island tragedy, the prolonged Australian drought and the unprecedented bush fires in NSW.

Essential’s Canadian parent Kew Media will distribute the series directed by Max Murch and produced by Simon Heath in the rest of the world.

Heath tells IF: “Giving a personal experience to the scientific explanations and expert commentary with eyewitness testimony will enable viewers to fully comprehend the destructive power of these natural forces.

“Heart-wrenching testimony by those who survived will make this must-watch viewing for anyone interested in the world around us.

“Building out the visual style will be never-before-seen archival footage and, where available, actual events and locations filmed by drones.”

Brendan Dahill, Essential GM for Australasia, said: “We are delighted to be working with National Geographic and Kew Media to create a series that could not be more relevant right now – especially considering the severe drought and catastrophic conditions we are experiencing in Australia and early start to this year’s bush fire season.”

Nicole Keeffe, Nat Geo Australia/NZ content and program manager, added: “This series showcasing how amazing yet devastating the Australian environment can be is something that all viewers of National Geographic can relate to.”

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