View Full Version : The Blue Planet... Is it for real?

21st Oct 2001, 16:57
Tonight I watched the second instalment (The Deep)of the BBC series The Blue Planet, having unfortunately missed the first episode. I post this here because it would get thrown off D&G having no aviation content whatsoever, but apparently the series has taken the UK by storm, so perhaps I can get a response here.

I have been a fan of Attenborough’s nature series since Life on Earth (I think) back in 1980 or so, then the amazing “In-Flight Movie” (hey, it does have an aviation connection!). From the first series onwards my wife has never failed to comment on my exclamations during the show, yet tonight’s show topped everything I’ve ever seen.

Halfway through it, I stopped being amazed and reconciled myself to the fact that these were computer generated images I was watching; they had to be. After all, Attenborough himself at one stage said “this is the first one of these anybody has ever seen”. Then how the hell do they know what it is, let alone what it does to survive, mate, etc?

We are talking of visiting the ocean floor here, where no light penetrates AT ALL from the sun, so luminescence becomes the sole source of light for illumination, attraction and distraction of predators. Creatures down here have huge bulbous eyes designed to capture the most insignificant light source, yet here is a deep sea vehicle with attached floodlights rated at thousands of candle/watty/ampy things taking photos of these creatures who conveniently wander past serenely posing for the cameras. ??????????? Que?

But hang on, get this one! The male version of another fishy thingy, one eighth the size of the female, locks on to the female with his teeth, attaching himself and over a period of weeks fusing completely with her. She provides him with a constant source of food, a la the placenta, he in turn provides her with a ready supply of sperm! WHAT???? HOW DO WE KNOW THIS??? Did they have a microphone down there as well?……
“Excuse me, I’m David Attenborough, now, about your mating...."

"Well, David, see this thing with it's teeth latched into my stomach?.....”

AerBabe! Somebody! Tell me it’s all done with computers, please, so I can get back to my computer on a Sunday night! If it’s not, this is the most astonishing thing I have ever seen.

Charlie Foxtrot India
21st Oct 2001, 17:09
Ah David Attenbrough.
It's no good, I can never watch his shows without remembering the "Gerald the Gorilla" sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News... "Your mother never liked me!" "well, she got on fine with David Attenborough" "You're always going on about David Bloody Attenborough!" etc etc
Seriously tho Binos hun, I don't think even computer nerds could think up images of those blobby things, and the ones with the big teeth etc, but he did say that one of those species inspired the movie "Alien"...

Charlie Foxtrot India
21st Oct 2001, 17:14
BTW the first episode was quite sad, that poor little baby whale..... :(

tony draper
21st Oct 2001, 17:24
Always loved a good documentry, haven't managed to catch this one yet.
Having had the discovery channels for a few years I have been spoilt for choice.
What I have noticed that as the visuals ie,computer graphics camera techniques have improved the
science behind the subjects is being dealt with in a pretty offhand manner.
Look no further than Walking with Dinosaurs, absolutly brilliant computer graphics but very bad science.
The commentaries on a lot of the Discovery channel stuff seems to be aimed at a audience of eight year olds. :rolleyes:

21st Oct 2001, 19:11
Don't know about the computers, but apparently some of the lobster shots last week were done in an aquarium because they couldn't get the wild ones to 'perform' :eek:

Also seems to me that these deep sea creatures do nothing with their time except either eat or [email protected] each other - apart from the dolphins who also muck about quite a lot.

Hmmmm. Maybe not such a bad life after all :cool:

21st Oct 2001, 19:16
Yeh drapes you're right about the intelligence content of the commentary these days - did you catch Horizon - The Death Star ? :rolleyes:

Lots of swirly graphics and explosions and way over the top music. But science content? Don't make me laugh !

tony draper
21st Oct 2001, 20:19
Eating each other and sh*gging does seem to be what nature is all about.
Don't like these cameramen that seem to take a delight in filming cute fury critter number one disembowling poor furry critter number two, endlessly, there's a whole documentry series called critters with big claws and teeth eating each other , or something just as unlikely on Discovery,strikes me as catering for people who are slightly sick. ;)

21st Oct 2001, 22:23

Not having cable myself, I'm a little disturbed to hear there's an entire channel devoted to creatures eating and disembowelling each other...

Next thing they'll think of is an entire channel with nothing but [email protected] :eek:

21st Oct 2001, 22:53
Well Binos, I can guarantee that some of what you watched WAS computer generated, the most obvious being a sequence in the most recent episode. Can't remember what the subject was, but I did laugh at how blatant it was! Plus, did anyone else notice that while Davey was blabbing on about lobsters in one episode, the creatures in the background quite obviously had no claws?!

To answer one of your specific questions, the deep sea creatures are likely to have eyes that can only see the longer wavelengths of light. They will be unable to see the light being used for filming.

Most of the footage IS genuine, although the production time has been very lengthy, so many of the amazing novel facts I've heard before.

I've still been very impressed by the camera work, and have really enjoyed watching the series. I'm just hoping there'll be one dedicated to algae soon.

Oh, and thanks for thinking of me! :)

[ 21 October 2001: Message edited by: AerBabe ]

22nd Oct 2001, 02:42
I like to watch the odd nature doc. but the best by absolute miles was on a couple of months ago about some hippos(I've always liked them, ever since I almost got chomped by one) in some pools in Kenya. They were the basis(or rather their **** was) for a whole eco-system. ie the hippos dump, the fish eat the **** , and the crocs eat the fish etc. If you get the chance- best nature programme ever ;)

22nd Oct 2001, 04:23
AB hon, quite a few lobsters don't have claws, the same as crayfish (which are, of course, fresh water denizens only). Caribbean lobsters, for example, are clawless... Doesn't affect the taste, of course! :D

22nd Oct 2001, 05:07
Have you seen those deep sea denizens?
Ugly or what?
Poor souls don't have the benefit of paper bags which is probably why they do it in the dark.

22nd Oct 2001, 05:45
Aww, shucks, AB, you know I'm always thinking of you!

Thanks for that answer about the light; solves one problem, difficult though it is to assimilate it; I assume that means when the vessel turns all it's ligts out it suddenly becomes visible to the denizens of the deep. Amazing.

You're right about the algae series; I can hardly control my excitement at the thought of that one. :D :D

Draper my good man, pleased to see you are still with us with your 1000th post well behind you. :)

[ 22 October 2001: Message edited by: Binoculars ]

Travelling Toolbox
22nd Oct 2001, 08:35
Grainger says: "Next thing they'll think of is an entire channel with nothing but [email protected]"

Channel 46 on cable (or so I've heard) ;) :D :D

22nd Oct 2001, 09:26
Huggy, those of us who have enjoyed the Omani crayfish for several decades will no doubt be wondering where the fresh-water breeding grounds may be in that mostly desert country. Masirah Island, believed to be a lump that fell off the moon, used to be a rich source of those tasty crustaceans - as older ATCers at Bahrain could testify.

I have always thought that, according to specie, crayfish exist in both salt and fresh water.

22nd Oct 2001, 10:47
And now I find that The Fat Controller deepens my doubts even further, here (http://www.pprune.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=4&t=005254). Is Bin Liner behind all this?

Twin 1
22nd Oct 2001, 15:35
Binoculars the rare fish you were talking about, (I forget its name) was found by the dive team and carefully brought to the surface. Unfortunately the little creature died so to complete the program the fish was re-animated from this brief study period (very clever computer nerds used) and brought back to life for your viewing pleasure. ;)

I remember reading an article in the Daily Mail.

Hope this helps.

22nd Oct 2001, 17:18
Thank you Twin. I know enough of the British press to state categorically that if the Daily Mail says it's so, that's good enough for me!

Charlie Foxtrot India
22nd Oct 2001, 17:19
Poor little ****** probably got the bends!

Did they open up their submarine and catch it in a net? :confused:

25th Oct 2001, 01:42
The newly discovered fish was the Hairy Angler Fish, but most of the piccies (and lifestyle) were of the well researched Angler Fish.
The BBC show each episode twice (weds repeated sun), but the weds showing includes a 10 minute doc (making waves) about the prog

25th Oct 2001, 21:14
There are currently two TV programmes I look forward to seeing each week. One is The Blue Planet...last nights shots of the dolphins team mullet catching were great.

The other one? Band of Brothers.

They might not have much in common, except they both cost a fortune to make. You get what you pay for, perhaps.

26th Oct 2001, 00:36
Hey... did you see the last episode, with the sand-bubbler crab? What a fascinating creature!