Secrets of the Ocean Realm, Venom/Creatures of Darkness

This was shown on Channel 13 (WNYE, NY) here in the NJ area on February 4,1998. It is the second part of a 5-part series by Howard and Michele Hall.

The episode did not have anything on mantis shrimps, although the title sequence did have a brief shot of one as it climbed out of its mud burrow and confronted the camera man with a full display of its outspread legs and antennal scales. As mentioned before, the segments on Hemisquilla are in the first episode, Cathedrals in the Sea, which was aired last December, and which I was not able to see.

Other than that, however, it did not disappoint at all, with wonderful underwater photography being complemented by the slightly rasping voice of Linda Hunt. Unlike some documentaries about the sea which focus on the transcendental aspects of the place and bombard us with mood music and not much else, this series throws information around like there's no tomorrow.

Some of the highlights of the episode include:

If all the other upcoming episodes of this series are as masterfully narrated, informative, and beautifully-photographed as this episode, then we are in for a wonderful treat indeed.

Alan San Juan (February 6,1998).