You say you haven’t had enough adventure on the high seas…April 18th, 2009 by cdunagan
I’m beginning to get confused about these high-adventure reality TV shows filmed on the high seas, as television producers escalate the clash of man against the elements.
First, we had “Deadliest Catch,” in which we watched a ship’s crew riding giant waves and trying to stay alive while catching elusive crabs.
Then came “Whale Wars” in which we watched a ship’s crew riding
giant waves and trying to stay alive while hunting another ship’s
crew riding giant waves and trying to stay alive while hunting
elusive minke whales.
The twist: Our heroes sail aboard a dark and brooding vessel that projects the image of a pirate ship and flies a flag that looks remarkably like a traditional skull-and-crossbones.
Now comes a new show called “Pirate Hunters: USN.” If I get the
gist of it, we will watch a ship’s crew riding giant waves and
trying to stay alive while hunting another ship’s crew riding giant
waves and trying to stay alive while hunting another ship’s crew
riding giant waves and trying to stay alive while carrying cargo
along the African Coast.
The ultimate twist: Our heroes sail with the most supreme naval force on Earth while flying the valiant flag of red, white and blue.
How can this show possibly go wrong?
OK, on a more serious track, let me update these three real
reality shows for you.
Photo from the movie “The Perfect Storm”
The fifth season began Tuesday. If you missed the first episode, you can watch it this coming week just before the next one in the series. See schedule.
Each show is an adventure in the Bering Sea of Alaska, where the program explores intimate life aboard ship for crews of the crab boats Northwestern, Cornelia Marie, Wizard and Time Bandit. Joining them this year are the crews of the Lisa Marie and Trailblazer.
Fans who follow the show seem to be especially devoted, and Discovery Channel is taking advantage of that following with the launch of an official fan club called Deadliest Crew. The Web site includes video and audio, a quiz, a game and a toll-free phone number to leave a message for each of the crews.
Next Saturday, alert fans will be able to meet in Seattle with captains Sig Hansen, Keith Colburn, Phil Harris, and Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand as well as crew members and production staff. Unfortunately for many, the event — called CatchCon — is full.
Whale Wars returns June 10 for its second season on Animal Planet.
Capt. Paul Watson and his crew recently returned from the Antarctic, where they claimed victory against the Japanese whaling fleet.
A news story by Reuters quotes a Japanese fishing agency as saying the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society played a role in causing the whale fleet to fall 171 whales short of its goal of 850 minke whales. One fin whale was taken, compared to the target of 50.
“A Fisheries Agency official said ships could not carry out whaling for a total of 16 days because of bad weather and skirmishes with the activists,” the story says.
“We continue to speak the one language these whale pirates understand,” said Capt. Paul Watson said in a news release from Sea Shepherd. “Profit and loss: we need to keep their losses up and their profits down. We will eventually beat these killers with aggressively applied economics.”
Some of Sea Shepherd’s tactics are controversial, but it is a
serious environmental organization with several campaigns going on
at the same time. It also has a well-oiled public relations arm,
pumping out frequent news releases. See Sea
Pirate Hunters: USN
“Pirate Hunters: USN” is the working title of a new series filmed with the cooperation of the U.S. Navy, according to a news release from Spike TV, the network that will air the program.
“The US Navy is allowing Spike and 44 Blue Productions in-depth access as they embark on their mission from the military base in the seaside nation of Djibouti (bordering Somalia and Ethiopia) and on the open water,” the news release says. “Cameras will capture every element of life aboard two US warships, the USS San Antonio and USS Boxer, as they patrol 1.1 million square miles of ocean for the pirates who call this region home.”
Negotiations with the Navy reportedly took months, and an agreement was announced about the time Navy snipers from the USS Bainbridge killed three pirates to end a stand-off and free container ship captain Richard Phillips.
Neither a production schedule nor an air date for the program has been announced, and I can find no official confirmation by the Navy.
44 Blue Productions produced the award-winning documentary “The True Story of Blackhawk Down” for The History Channel. (Watch the 90-minute video on Google Video.)