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Deep Thinkers

Series 1 - Episode 2 Deep Thinkers



“I think we could talk with dolphins within five years,” suggests a scientist near the start of this episode. And you think, really? But by the end you feel she has a point: dolphins – and whales, too – have a degree of creative intelligence we’re only starting to discover.

For instance, we learn that in dolphin groups each individual has a particular whistle by which the others call it – effectively a name. They’re also self-aware: put a mirror in a dolphin tank and they will understand it’s themselves they are looking at – something very few species twig.

But the most remarkable scenes are the ones showing teamwork. The sequence of humpback whales setting a trap for shoals of herring using “bubble nets” is quite something.


The documentary explores the intelligence of marine mammals, discovering just how smart whales and dolphins really are. Scientist Denise Herzing talks about the development of a two-way communication system between dolphins and humans in the Bahamas, while in Western Australia the creatures are filmed using a range of survival skills. In Mexico, grey whales seemingly empathise with humans, while the humpbacks of Alaska pool their talents to increase hunting success. Narrated by Stephen Fry.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Stephen Fry
Editor Mike Gunton
Executive Producer Sara Ford
Producer Anuschka Schofield
Series Producer Phil Chapman
Series Producer Mark Brownlow
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