I’m not even going to pretend to impartiality here, hunting and killing whales is one of the most barbaric practices carried out in today’s world.
One aspect of the fight against whaling is chronicled in Whale Wars, a new Discovery series following the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a self-proclaimed group of eco-pirates who enforce anti-hunting laws from their ship, the newly commissioned Steve Irwin.
The opening episode sets the scene, introducing us to the activists, led by Paul Watson, their ‘mission’ and their motives. Some of their practices are extreme and maybe difficult to agree with, but it’s hard not to at least admire the group’s dedication to their cause.
The stakes are put into sharp relief as the largely inexperienced ship’s crew are given a no-gloss safety talk, in which the outcome of any accident they have seems to be: “you’ll die”. The warnings are timely, the cameras are on hand to witness a group of the activists finding themselves atop an upturned boat in the middle of the Antarctic waters.
The warnings are timely, with a group of the activists finding themselves atop an upturned boat in the middle of the Antarctic waters, an incident which highlights the inexperience of shipmates.
Thanks to the wonders of preview discs, I can tell you the second episode captures what happens when the Sea Shepherd’s catch up with one Japanese whaling boat and it’s hard not to think that both sides fail to cover themselves in much glory with the tactics they employ.
Probably unlike any fly-on-the-wall documentary you’ve seen before, this is definitely worth setting the timer for.
The series starts tonight (27th April) and continues every Monday at 7pm on Discovery.
For more information and behind-the-scenes footage visit discoverychannel.co.uk/web/whale-wars/