The Whale That Ate The Great White Review: Free Willy Gobbles Jaws

October 13, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


shark300x200THE WHALE THAT ATE THE GREAT WHITE: Tuesday 13th October, FIVE, 8pm ALERT ME

Now that the greatest debate in their chosen field has been settled, what will all the marine science boffins talk about now?

The great white has traditionally been touted as the most fearsome predator in the ocean, but biologists now realise that the oversized fish will flee at the first sign of a hungry orca.

And as the footage in this documentary shows, their fear is well justified. Killer whales are more partial to a bit of shark than those crazy Scandinavians we hear so much about.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of such an event. A man who rocked up at a Star Trek convention with a video of Captain Kirk knocking out Captain Picard would not be received as warmly as this!

But as the sea-dust of this particular scuffle settles, facts emerge which explain how the cunning orca was able to defeat its awesome opponent with minimal fuss. It’s all to do with serotonin (the same stuff that was flying around the Hacienda during the eighties).

It turns out that killer whales are some of the most innovative predators on the planet, and whether they are sliding beaches for seals or flipping sharks, natural scientists now believe that they have a range of skill sets that go beyond any of their rivals.

Although footage of the event is sketchy at best, the most interesting thing about this programme is watching the academics feverishly seek reasons for the slaughter in the waters just off the Californian coast.

Whether or not there is enough material here for a full hour is open to question, but people interested in the natural world will find it fascinating to see the great white’s veil of superiority removed.

If only someone had told those fools on Amity Island…

Sean Marland

Love the nature shows? You’ll love the BBC’s new series which started this week. Check out what we thought of the first episode…