Alien Deep with Bob Ballard
Oceanographer Dr Robert Ballard is like the
intrepid hero of a Jules Verne novel, continuing the tradition of
Jacques Cousteau by exploring the mysteries of the briny deep and
inspiring awe and admiration in us landlubbers in the process.
Amongst his many achievements are locating
the resting place of the Titanic and the sunken German battleship
Bismarck, the precise location of which he kept a secret so as to
avoid the removal of artefacts by fellow divers, a practise he has
repeatedly denounced as ‘grave-robbing.’ Ballard’s explorations
have also uncovered the wreckage of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown
and the torpedo boat captained by JFK during World War II. In more
recent years Ballard has turned his attentions to uncovering some of the
more noteworthy forms of life which dwell in the deepest reaches of the
ocean, and continues to run explorations through his Institute for
Exploration as well as the Centre for Ocean Exploration and
Archaeological Oceanography, both of which he founded.
The superlative five-part series Alien
Deep covers Ballard’s myriad achievements at some depths, which each
40-minute instalment devoted to a particular facet of his work. In
episodes such as Wrecks of the Abyss and Ocean’s Fury
Ballard espouses his views on the creation of our planet, takes us on
riveting journeys to the darkest of depths and reminds viewers that
although over 70% of the earth is covered by water, less than 5% of the
world’s oceans have thus far been explored.
Shipwrecks, underwater volcanos and
creatures never before captured on film - it’s all in a day’s work for
the irrepressible Dr Ballard. Alien Deep is a peerless homage to
the man and his work, and a fascinating glimpse into a world that in
many ways remains as mystery. Stunning stuff.