When the BBC get a new nature show on, it’s reasonable to get all excited. I was very excited about the prospect of new show Oceans (BBC Two, Wednesday, 12 November, 8pm). A fresh look at the deep sea, a new team of experts to befriend… new, wild facts… and… and… there’s no point dragging this out with pointless padding. This show was rubbish and I’m going to tell you all exactly what’s wrong with it…
Related: Oceans’ Trailer
Before I kick off, I know that Oceans had it’s work cut out. I mean, it’s competing, historically speaking, with the company that makes the best nature shows ever. That said, I offer no quarter. If I have an in-built quality control, then so should the Beeb, and the fact is, they’ve unleashed a turkey on the listings.
In the past, BBC nature shows have been really high-class. Attenborough has had a huge budget to play with, to make the collective eye melt in admiration and, lower down the rungs, nature shows have managed to make a lot out of smaller cinematography. Sadly, Oceans makes Meerkat Manor look like Planet Earth. Worse still, the camera work isn’t the main problem with the show.
Basically, this show isn’t really about nature. Instead of taking a step back, the assembled experts hog the camera and slap each other on the back and blurt trustafarian chortles out into the sea, constantly talking and constant whooping. They wonder, midway through, why there are no Hammerhead Sharks knocking about. They’d probably been scared off by the constant chattering of the team. Even when one bloke goes underwater, he’s still rabbiting on.
When they’re not being pally-pally, they’re telling you about how dangerous everything is. The narrator jumps in too, just in case you’d missed them talking about sudden deaths and the like. From the weird bubbleless underwater gear, to the marauding squid, they’re knocking on the reaper’s door all the time! Note to programme makers: You don’t see Attenborough programmes whining about that, because, the animals are supposed to be the star, not the crappy humans… and we all see humans all the time and they’re not that interesting!
When we do get to focus on the animals in this dumb-as-shit show, it’s pretty amazing. The Humboldt Squid is probably the most evil creature I’ve ever seen… and one of the coolest. Great big writhing things with huge beaky things and huge disgusting eyeballs and loads of barbs on their… get this… golden suckers! Of course, the team, ever so caring about the environment, prove a point by… getting out a fishing rod.
Yep, these bozos start catching squid and lobbing them on the side of their boat. Can you imagine watching Attenborough or Simon King fishing during a nature show? “Oh dear, I’ve taken a Kingfisher’s eye out… never mind… let’s take a look at that beautiful eye…”.
In short, this show was absolute garbage and I don’t advise watching next week, despite the fact it seems to have some really cool seahorses on. I’d get on Amazon and buy the Blue Planet boxset instead.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip