The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

Sharks (8 Jan. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Adventure
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Release Date:

8 January 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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The very first....and no Rod Serling!
23 November 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the very first episode of "The Undersea World of Jacques Coustean"--a great 1960s and 70s series that aired sporadically (every few months it was air as a special). Before that, Cousteau made a few other shows as well as his Oscar-winning film. Because it's a first episode, significant time is spent setting the scene-- showing the crew, explaining their purpose and that is a five-year mission (like "Star Trek"!).

The rest of the show is all about sharks and the dialog is NOT among the best in Cousteau history for two big reasons. First, although IMDb says Rod Serling narrates...he doesn't. Some British guy narrated and Serline narrated subsequent episodes. Second, the dialog was often poorly written and was full of scare-tactics and hyperbole--and it makes the show seem less scientific when seen decades later. Some examples include saying that sharks "will occasionally haunt the crew's dreams" as well as "the sea holds more cruel and gory scenes"---all things intended to makes seem much more fearsome and aggressive than they actually are. As a result, it perpetuates the myth and might have actually helped lead to sharks being killed by fisherman!

Despite this serious problem, the show IS interesting with the crew testing out shark repellents, shark cages and other equipment to protect divers from shark bites. But don't believe the show--shark bites are RARE...very rare. Overall, one of the poorest and most unscientific episodes of the series...and not Serling!!

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