Blog: Spy in the Wild Premieres Wednesday
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The new Nature miniseries, Spy in the Wild, uses unique, lifelike animals to take a rare peek into the lives of elephants, monkeys and more. A press release from the producing station, WNET, described this new miniseries as “the most innovative production Nature has ever presented” and we’re certainly excited to see it!
This five-part series employs more than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent. Among the featured Spy Creatures are: Spy Orangutan, Spy Croc Hatchling, Spy Meerkat, Spy Egret, Spy Tortoise, Spy Prairie Dog, Spy Macaw, Spy Sloth, Spy Cobra, Spy Bushbaby, Spy Squirrel, Spy Adelie, and Spy Baby Hippo. These robotic, uncanny look-alikes infiltrate the natural world to film surprising behavior among wildlife from around the globe.
Here’s a rundown of the five episodes:
Spy in the Wild: Love
Episode 1 airs Wednesday, February 1 at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET
Spy Creatures explore the rarely seen emotions of animals, revealing if they are as strong and complex as our own. Join the “spycams” as they are accepted into a wild dog pack, witness elephant love, and are mourned by a troop of monkeys.
Spy in the Wild: Intelligence
Episode 2 airs Wednesday, February 8 at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET
Spy Creatures infiltrate the world of animal intelligence, ingenuity, and creativity. Watch our spies disguised as animals observe a gray squirrel stealing Spy Nut, a sea otter cracking open a meal, and an orangutan washing with soap.
Spy in the Wild: Friendship
Episode 3 airs Wednesday, February 15 at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET
Spy Creatures and their new wild friends rely on each other to look out for predators. A Spy Meerkat babysits meerkat pups while a Spy Cobra pretends to attack the mob. Spy Crocs witness a convenient partnership between real crocodiles and birds.
Spy in the Wild: Bad Behavior
Episode 4 airs Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET
Spy Creatures infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime, and retribution. Spy Monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Spy Egret is also a waterhole victim when elephants throw mud everywhere.
Spy in the Wild: Meet the Spies
Episode 5 airs Wednesday, March 1 at 8pm on ThinkTV16 and CET
The final episode explains how the concept of the Spy Creatures evolved at John Downer Productions from the original Bouldercam to the Penguincams that inspired the next-generation “spycams” featured in this series. It shows the painstaking work that goes into building the lifelike models and how the team deploys and operates the robotic cameras on location all over the world. It contains funny and unexpected moments, much of which is experienced from the viewpoint of the “spycams” themselves.
Miniseries producer and director John Downer, whose productions such as Earthflight and Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, said in a press release that this was the first “spycam” series to be shot in ultra-high-definition and is “the most ambitious and biggest Spy series yet.” Downer explained that the series’ aim “was to capture these elusive moments where animals do something so extraordinary that makes us consider our own connection with the natural world. Inevitably those moments are rare, but by deploying a menagerie of lifelike Spy Creatures and other remote cameras over long periods of time and filming thousands of hours of footage, it was possible to capture many never-seen-before moments.”
Check out this series preview and join us for the premiere Wednesday, February 1, at 8pm on CET and ThinkTV16: http://video.thinktv.org/video/2365911320/!