Blue beauty Documentary’s coral scenes are a sure-fire bet
THEY’RE sending in the clowns on tonight’s Blue Planet II – and the show’s boss is sure that you’ll love it.
Last week the spellbinding series attracted 14 million viewers – the year’s biggest audience – when it explored the weird world of the deep oceans.
This evening the cameras are nearer the surface to reveal the vibrant but equally bizarre life of the coral reef.
And the star of the show, according to Blue Planet II producer Jonathan Smith, is an incredible clownfish.
We will see it muster enough energy to push a coconut shell ten times its own body weight into its anemone, so the female can lay eggs on it.
Jonathan said: “Across this series there’s been so many mindblowing moments. We take the alien and take you into their world.
“My favourite was the clownfish, when we saw it do so much more then we ever realised it could. I now look at the clownfish in such a different way.”
For painstaking cameraman Roger Munns the best moments came from the cuttlefish, which hypnotises its crab prey by constantly changing colour.
He said: “It’s such an amazing animal and was made for high definition. It looks so alien and other worldly.”
Almost as staggering as the scenes beneath the waves is the amount of time and effort that went into making this seven-part visual treat.
Roger spent five days filming just to capture the clownfish sequence.
He said: “We researched the stories very well beforehand – patience is definitely key. Every successful cameraman has a massive store of patience. We spent 120 hours on the sand, patiently waiting for the tide to bring something. You sit, wait and hope it’s going to happen.”
He added: “There are days when it doesn’t, and it’s hard, then they’re days when it all comes together.
“Being able to show an audience who won’t be able to go diving, snorkelling, see beneath the ocean, so they can appreciate and learn about the animals down there, that’s why we do what we do. It’s great that people enjoy it.”
Jonathan and his family, like millions of us, are transfixed by the series narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Jonathan said: “What we’ve captured still manages to blow my mind. I’m constantly taken aback.
“I just want to watch the scenes over and over again.
“Such extraordinary viewing figures have really humbled us with the thought that people share our sense of excitement about the ocean.
“And it’s great seeing my children’s eyes light up and how excited they get when they see these incredible creatures and behaviours.
“That’s one of the best bits about this show – the impact it has on children.”
Fans will have to wait and see whether there will be a Blue Planet III.
Jonathan added: “I haven’t heard about a third series. I’m just really looking forward to sitting down with my family and watching the other episodes with my three little girls in front of the fire on a Sunday evening.
“I want to watch the wonders of the ocean realm through their eyes.”
Blue Planet II, BBC1, 8pm tonight.
HYPNOTIC: Broadback cuttlefish FUNNY: Clownfish and coconut shell SUPER GROUP: Coral grouper gets help in its hunt
PAINSTAKING: Filming Blue Planet II and cameraman Roger