Wild Deep



Oceanic nature series spotlights curious creatures.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show captures images of elusive oceanic species and lets viewers see them firsthand, giving them a better understanding of the life balance under the sea. The narrator draws viewers' attention to symbiotic relationships that help maintain that balance and discusses the outside forces that threaten its continuation.

Positive messages

The series gives viewers a close-up glimpse into subterranean habitats teeming with life that's rarely seen. Viewers get to see ocean residents in their natural surroundings, and the narration references conservation issues and global warming, describing how climate change threatens some species' survival.

Positive role models

The series is filmed with great respect for the animals' habitats.

Violence & scariness

Ocean creatures stalk and eat their prey, often employing trickery and disguise in an effort to secure a meal. The process is rarely bloody, but it can be tense and upsetting to watch.

Sexy stuff

In one segment, the narrator explains how hermaphrodite clown fish undergo a sex change from male to female as they develop into adulthood.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wild Deep is a collection of underwater footage of some of the ocean's most unusual creatures, all of whom demonstrate unique abilities to survive in a place that's teeming with danger. You will see many scenes of predators stalking and eating smaller species, which might upset younger viewers. The series ties in references to issues like climate change and conservation as they relate to the particular areas in which it's set. Because the show tailors its content toward the strange ocean inhabitants, it's more lighthearted than traditional nature series and caters to the shorter attention spans of younger kids.

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What's the story?

WILD DEEP is a six-part nature series that explores the ocean in search of its most unusual inhabitants and fascinating stories. Sweeping landscapes of the Coral Triangle, surprising adaptations that give the ocean's tiny residents a fighting chance, rare footage of a slumbering whale pod -- these moments and more comprise this remarkable glimpse into a world that's churning with activity and, in many cases, is still waiting to be discovered.

Is it any good?


The goal of Wild Deep is obvious: Scan the ocean for the wacky and weird, and capture footage of them in action. In this way, it's more like Ripley's Believe It or Not! than it is like a more serious series like Planet Earth, and the show's brisk pace and 30-minute format (short for the standard nature documentary) reflect this style. At times it's unsettling, ushering you so quickly from one oceanic oddity to the next that you get little more than a three-sentence explanation of what you're watching. The upside is that you're introduced to a range of species and examples of animal specialization in a short amount of time, but this comes at the price of thorough reporting on the subjects themselves.

That's not to say that Wild Deep has nothing to offer viewers. It does what it can with what it's given: a truncated time frame on one hand and the planet's most expansive animal habitat on the other. What you get are amazing images of life forms large and small, each of which is specifically adapted to eat, reproduce, and evade predators. It's a fascinating tour of some of the ocean's hot spots, and ultimately it does its difficult job well enough that you're left wanting more of what it has to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the educational value of series like this one. Is there anything to be learned from a documentary that you can't find in another form of media? Does information seem more interesting if you get it from TV?

  • Take a trip to a nearby aquarium, zoo, or even your own backyard and learn about your local ecology. How are animals specifically adapted to thrive in certain environments?

  • Choose a species or two featured on the show and do your own research about it. What contributes to this animal's ability to survive? What outside factors could threaten it or its habitat?

TV details

Cast:Dave Fennoy
Network:Animal Planet
Topics:Ocean creatures, Science and nature
TV rating:TV-PG

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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