“Deep Blue” is a compelling BBC documentary that introduces viewers to some of earth’s most mysterious ocean creatures. Three years in the filming, the breathtaking cinematography of Deep Blue (all of which originally appeared in the BBC series “The Blue Planet – Seas of Life”), combined with an excellent musical score and the sparse narration of Pierce Brosnan, is both awe inspiring and moving.
Intimate and unique footage of sea life includes an innovative under-the-ice view of penguins propelling themselves out of the water as captured by a newly invented pole camera. Cutting-edge submarine technology allows the exploration of the deepest reaches of the sea where alien looking, jelly-like creatures flourish in a world of immense pressure and constant darkness. Perhaps the most peculiar setting is the Mariana Trench where deep mid-ocean ridges regularly erupt and spew hot water and poisonous gasses into the water while sea life inexplicably flourishes on the underwater chimneys. Rare footage of a polar bear hunting beluga whales and orca whales ravaging a sea lion and attacking a gray whale cub is graphic and disturbing, but lends a sense of a eons-old natural hierarchy.
While the scarcity of narration in the main film sometimes leaves the viewer hungry for information, the 50-minute “making of” feature is packed with logistical and technical details. The segment also conveys the entire crew’s firm commitment to creating a complete ocean portrait with the goal of engaging people with the creatures of the ocean.