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The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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'Whale Wars': Danger at Sea

July 10, 2008 11:06 AM

Whale Wars

DRAMA: Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew try to protect whales by intervening with whaling boats on the high seas.

At its TCA presentation, Animal Planet executives talked about “Whale Wars,” a new series that follows the adventures of the Sea Shepherd, a ship that tries to protect whales by intervening with whaling boats on the high seas.

A production crew from RIVR Media was essentially embedded with the Sea Shepherd crew.

“You woke up and there’s a camera in your face,” said Ben Potts, chief cook on the vessel.

Second mate Peter Hammarstedt noted that after months at sea in tight quarters, the crew wondered, “Would the series be called ‘Whale Wars’ or ‘The Love Boat'?”

In addition to shipboard romance and routine chores, cameras captured the danger created by the ship’s combative mission to stop whales from being killed.

On one mission, someone on a Japanese whaling boat took a shot at the Sea Shepherd, hitting Captain Paul Watson in the chest. Fortunately the captain was wearing a protective vest at the time.

Another time, a grenade was fired near the Sea Shepherd. The cameraman focused on the flight of the grenade until it exploded. The force of the blast blew the cameraman backward onto his backside, Captain Watson said.

Animal Planet President and General Manager Marjorie Kaplan said the channel doesn’t endorse the organization’s activities.

“This is really a character study," she said.

—Jon Lafayette

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Comments (2)

Christian Webb:

Great show! Finally someone doing something about whaling. Even though Animal Planet doesnt endorse this I am glad they are showing it on there station.

Thanks to all

Paul:

I do commend the group on trying to stop whaling but in my opinion they are going about it all wrong. I only saw two episodes about where they had two crew members captured by a Japanese whaling ship. They boarded the whaling ship without permission and then were held by the Japanese as if they were criminals trespassing on their ship, like any reasonable person would. The Capetian of the Irwin says they are being held hostage & were almost thrown overboard by the Japanese which in the video I saw was an out and out lie. If you board another person's ship you are a criminal despite why you are there. Second they throw acid at the whalers which is nuts. Doesn't the acid pollute the water & maybe eventually contaminate the whales food source??

Then when they go on their night mission they looked like a bunch of armatures that have no concept of safety. They will eventually get some one killed or seriously hurt.

If as they claim the whaling is illegal why is there not a law enforcement type agency chasing down the whaling ships? If they say no funds, why can't these volunteers get proper training and maybe they can legally go after the whalers & get them in court or jail instead of using terrorist type tactics & damaging a ship & maybe hurting or killing a whaler on the ship or one of their own crew members ? This is what happens when radicals believe in something they try & take the law into their own hands & then blame the person they are harassing for a negative response. I hope the media sees how these groups manipulate them to promote their cause & twist the facts to make a provoked response by the whalers sound like an attack instead of self-defense. I am by no means pro-whaler but believe in doing things within the law and properly.

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