Beneath the Surface

Series 1 - Episode 3 Beneath the Surface

Wednesday 2pm - 3pm Eden
See Repeats
Wednesday, 8pm - 9pm Eden
Thursday, 12am - 1am Eden
Sun 26 Nov, 9pm - 10pm BBC Four
Mon 27 Nov, 1:20am - 2:20am BBC Four


Shark-fin soup has a lot to answer for. We’re told here that a quarter of all shark species is facing extinction, not least thanks to China’s taste in luxury food. The final episode of the series follows researchers who are part of a “new dawn of discovery” for shark science, which could help us understand and perhaps save species.

We watch a man walking the fish markets of Taiwan, who picks through crates of low-value bycatch and finds new species there, often youngsters dredged up by ever-deeper commercial fishing. That part of the programme is depressing, but the segments on the beautiful giant manta ray (biggest brain of any fish) and very crafty oceanic whitetip sharks are fascinating.


A look at how scientists are challenging traditional perceptions of sharks, with breakthroughs regarding the creatures' intelligence and social skills presenting them in a surprising new light. The programme also highlights some researchers' beliefs that studying the predators could help to solve some of the most pressing medical challenges of the 21st century. Narrated by Paul McGann. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Paul McGann
Producer Jennie Hammond
Series Producer Steve Greenwood