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Dolphins: Spy in the Pod 

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The award-winning team behind Penguins - Spy in the Huddle use hidden cameras to go into the heart of the dolphins' world, offering the chance to encounter dolphins up-close.







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Series cast summary:
David Tennant ...  Narrator 2 episodes, 2014


The award-winning team behind Penguins - Spy in the Huddle use hidden cameras to go into the heart of the dolphins' world, offering the chance to encounter dolphins up-close.

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Release Date:

2 January 2014 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

The heart of the world of dolphins
3 November 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Really like to love all of the 22 BBC 'Wildlife Specials', 18 of which narrated by David Attenborough and the others by David Tennant. Have a preference for Attenborough's contributions, being a big fan of his, but the Wildlife Specials narrated by Tennant have all the qualities that made Attenborough's so great.

While not quite as good as 'Penguins: Spy in the Huddle' in particular, 'Dolphins: Spy in the Pod' is simply wonderful. One of the better ones overall and one of my favourites of those narrated by Tennant.. All of them are very good to outstanding, with my least being 'Swarm: Nature's Incredible Invasions' which still interested and was very good, it just didn't quite connect with me as much as the others did.

Did criticise a few of the Wildlife Specials for being too short and not having enough episodes with so much to cover. Was prepared to say that for 'Dolphins: Spy in the Pod', but actually that it covered so much with so much detail without feeling like there was too much going on is something of a miracle.

'Dolphins: Spy in the Pod' looks wonderful, beautiful underwater scenery and for the quite unique techniques, thirteen altogether, used (done wrong it could have looked really amateurish) the camera work was fluid and natural, cinematic and intimate and clever making us feel like an invisible presence amongst the dolphins. Would go as far as to call the photography exquisite, some of the best underwater photography for any documentary without Attenborough's name on it.

Music score fits very well, not too grandiose or too inappropriately quirky. It is better than a couple of the Attenborough documentaries (though elsewhere all of those are superior) at not being too intrusive and not featuring too much.

From start to finish, 'Dolphin: Spy in the Pod' is interesting and does very well at entertaining and teaching, not everything is new but there is a good balance of the familiar and not so familiar and the information is to the point and not too speculative or overly-subjective. Some very memorable scenes, like the male dolphins and the puffer fish and spinner dolphins chasing lantern fish.

It also excels at not falling into the trap of telling too much of a story approach, this worked with Attenborough because there was still lots that educated and were backed up, but haven't seen it done as successfully elsewhere. The different types of dolphins are diverse and are at points strikingly human, their curiosity, intelligence, adapting and struggles being relatable and great to watch, also remarkably sociable. They are more than just cute, they also have vulnerability and resourcefulness and it shows on screen in all their stages, whether in the playful, intimate or more suspenseful scenes. There are some adorable baby dolphins and there are interesting sightings of the actions of turtles and rays.

There are quite a few dolphin species and their pods explored and a great job is done making them interesting, worth rooting for and the pods are like characters of their own. A great job is done providing a mix of known knowledge and not so familiar facts, with bottlenose dolphins and orcas being familiar territory, yet portrayed in a way that's fresh with all the pods, and a rare (never seen before actually) sighting of a mega pod.

David Tennant's narration is simply splendid once again like it was for all his Wildlife Specials entries. He delivers with enthusiasm and sincerity, making one want to know more while never talking down to the viewer. Neither of the two parts of 'Dolphins: Spy in the Pod' never felt too episodic and there is a real sense of a story being told with all the dolphin species explored with a real honesty and animals worth relating to without going overboard, not getting too humanised or overly-subjective, the information never being sacrificed for dramatization.

In summary, as outstanding and definitive a documentary on dolphins one can find anywhere. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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