Wild West: America's Great Frontier

Restless Shores

Series 1 - Episode 3 Restless Shores



The third and final part of an awestruck journey leaves us at the Pacific coast, although the most memorable scenes take place where water and land are more entwined. The Sea of Cortez, sheltered behind a thin promontory, offers the prickling oddness of spawning grunion, writhing on the shore in their thousands while brown pelicans wait to swoop, and barren islands colonised by lizards that feast on marine isopods, then sneeze out the excess salt. Further north in California, the rapidly evaporating Salton Sea has evolved from lakeside resort to dusty ghost town in less than 50 years. The episode hovers elegantly between filthy desert hell and fecund ocean beauty.


The series concludes with a journey along America's West coast. The programme examines how the landscape is shaped by the Pacific Ocean as well as powerful forces beneath ground, particularly along the San Andreas Fault. The programme also visits the warm and sheltered waters of the Sea of Cortez, where animals including blue whales gather, and discovers how a small community in America's westernmost point have a unique relationship with grey whales. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Narrator James Norton
Producer Felicity Lanchester
Series Producer Patrick Morris