Penguin Baywatch


Welcome to the Crozet archipelago, a unique penguin paradise!
Penguins are charismatic and funny characters. They always look as though they are ready to go out to a fancy dinner. They are clumsy on the ground yet extremely graceful in the water.

Their neighbors on the beach are often naturally clumsy and grotesque as well: elephant seals look like gigantic bean bags when they leave the ocean to mate, give birth and moult.

Crozet used to host the largest penguin colony in the world. But not anymore. Their population has dramatically shrunk. Another bipedal species, dressed in red raincoats, is investigating…

To delve into the lives of penguins and their invasive neighbors, a new generation of talented film makers and divers is committed to spending extensive periods of time with them in their remote and hostile environment using the most advanced tools in 4K HDR cinematography.

Specific and easily identifiable king penguin characters will emerge and help us to develop in-depth stories. Unusual pigmentation (all-black vs. albino) helps us to pick out penguin
individuals among the thousands of animals standing and raising chicks in their colony. Same-sex couples create awkward situations, notably by trying to incubate stones rather than eggs.
Their neighbors on the beach, elephant seals, are seen from the penguins’ perspective. The two leading male elephant seals, called “Super Big Nose” and “Little Big Nose” seem to constantly fight for their ever-growing harem.

The dangerous killer whales, or orcas, are “The black knives”. The threatening giant petrels are “The vultures”. Other neighbors take on supporting roles, but some will have more involved parts. While albatrosses are generally nicknamed “Fleabags”, since they spend their time cleaning their infested plumage, the one carrying a telemetry camera is known as “Spielberg”.

Despite its humorous approach, the series relies on hard facts and serious science: telemetry data provides fascinating facts and the investigation raises puzzling questions. How deep and how long can a king penguin or an elephant seal actually dive? Why are elephant seal populations increasing while king penguin populations are decreasing? How and why do gigantic orcas eat small fluffy penguins? Can a penguin catch bird flu?

There is a dramatic plot behind this wildlife comedy, a mystery to be solved. Like in an Agatha Christie novel, each episode, each chapter brings clues to light…

A co-production of Saint Thomas productions and Terra Mater Studios and Ushuaia TV