Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
S38 Ep18

The Poles | Spy in The Wild 2

Premiere: 5/20/2020 | 00:00:35 | Closed Captioning Icon

From penguin chicks to elephant seals and wolf cubs to polar bears, the spy creatures meet and observe the hardiest and most charismatic animals in the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

About the Episode

From penguin chicks to elephant seals and wolf cubs to polar bears, the spy creatures meet and observe the hardiest and most charismatic animals in the Arctic and Antarctic circles.


About the Series

Nature’s spies are back undercover. Their mission? To go deeper into the animal world than ever thought possible. From the hot and humid tropics to the freezing poles, the sequel to 2017’s popular Nature: Spy in the Wild miniseries places even more spy creatures in the middle of some of nature’s greatest events.

John Downer Productions created more than 50 realistic animatronic spy creatures for the new miniseries, including a gorilla, Komodo dragon, hummingbird, King penguin, Pygmy elephant, koala, quokka, seal and polar bear. Each spy creature looks like the animals they film and behaves like them too. Accepted by animal families, these robotic lookalikes can not only film from an intimate perspective but also interact with the animals, gaining revelatory insights into their worlds as they feed, breed and fight. The spy cams even go beyond the animal kingdom, using innovative camera technology that allows a spy turtle to lay robot eggs, a spy squirrel to gather robot nuts, monkeys to play with a spy snowball and more.

Spy in the Wild 2 has more incredible animal behavior moments and firsts, while escalating the spy cam technology to a whole new level,” said Fred Kaufman, executive producer for Nature. “John Downer and his ambitious team built a vast army of incredibly realistic spy creatures. The spies were able to infiltrate all kinds of territory, from under the Pacific Ocean to the harsh Arctic cold. What they captured is unforgettable.”

One first captured on film includes the phenomenon of Mobula rays “vortex feeding” in the seas of Baja California. Another groundbreaking first is Uganda’s chorus of wild mountain gorillas singing on-screen.

In the jungles of Brazil, a spy jaguar cub stumbles upon a rare intimate moment between a jaguar couple. In the mountains of Mexico, a spy hummingbird ventures into the heart of a breathtaking monarch butterfly swarm. A spy koala films the action-packed breeding behavior of these normally slow-moving animals in Australia, filmed prior to the recent wildfires. In South Georgia, a spy King penguin watches on as penguin parents, home from hunting, must push their way through a barrier of 6,000 elephant seals in order to feed their chicks.

Episode One “The Tropics” – premiered Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The spy creatures investigate the wildlife that thrives in the tropics. They infiltrate a hippo pod, a nursery of red flying foxes, a gorilla sanctuary and the secret world of pygmy forest elephants.

Episode Two “The North” – premiered Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Travel to the Northern Hemisphere, where the spy creatures learn how animals move, feed and fight. A spy hummingbird films millions of butterflies, and a spy squirrel winds up in a battle. A spy beaver observes other beavers building dams.

Episode Three “The Islands” – premiered Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Explore the islands of the South Pacific with creatures like the spy koala, who captures breeding behavior in Australia, or the spy crab, who joins an army of red crabs on their march to the sea to deposit their eggs.

Episode Four “The Poles” – premiered Wednesday, May 20, 2020

From penguin chicks to elephant seals and wolf cubs to polar bears, the spy creatures meet and observe the hardiest and most charismatic animals in the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

SHARE

NARRATED BY
JAYCE BARTOK

PHOTOGRAPHY
PHILIP DALTON
STEPHEN J. DOWNER
MATTHEW GOODMAN
RICHARD JONES
FREDERIQUE OLIVIER
MICHAEL W RICHARDS

CAMERA ASSISTANTS
RONAN DONOVAN
HUW WILLIAMS

EDITORS
ROBIN LEWIS
STUART NAPIER
IMOGEN POLLARD

MUSIC
WILL GREGORY

PERFORMED BY
BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA

CONDUCTED BY
BEN FOSTER

DUBBING EDITOR
PAUL COWGILL

DUBBING MIXER
PETER DAVIES

COLORIST
BLAIR WALLACE

CONFORM EDITOR
MARTYN WATKIN

ONLINE EDITOR
JO CURTIS

POST PRODUCER
CAT JARDINE

POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
JAMES LENNOX-GORDON

POST PRODUCTION MANAGER
JAMES JEFFERIES

DIGITAL MANAGER
PAUL APPLEBY

SPY CREATURE DESIGNERS/OPERATORS
JOHN NOLAN STUDIOS
MALCOLM BEARD
GEOFFREY BELL
MASAHIRO ISHIDA
GERALDINE O’REILLY
MARTIN TURNER
MANGOSTONE
MEGAFLATABLES

LOCATION ASSISTANCE
JASON ROBERTS
DAN MACNULTY
GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH GEORGIA & THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
POLAR CONTINENTAL SHELF PROGRAM

SPECIAL THANKS
KIRA CASSIDY
GARD CHRISTOPHERSON
CHRISTIAN GROTHMANN
DANIEL HOLLEIS
KARL PAPENFUSS
KIERAN TONKIN

FINANCE MANAGER
LUCY TODD

PRODUCTION SECRETARIES
ELLY NOVICK
SOPHIE JONES

PRODUCTION MANAGERS
EMMA BALLINGER
HELEN DREW

HEAD OF PRODUCTION
ANNA THOMAS

COMMISSIONING EDITOR
JACK BOOTLE

ASSISTANT PRODUCER
HUW WILLIAMS

SERIES PRODUCERS
MATTHEW GORDON
ROBERT PILLEY

PRODUCED BY
PHILIP DALTON

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
JOHN DOWNER

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAMES F. BURKE

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

DIGITAL LEAD
DANIELLE STEINBERG

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER – DIGITAL
AMANDA SCHMIDT

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
KAREN HO

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
CHELSEY SAATKAMP

BUDGET CONTROLLER
JAYNE LISI

ONLINE EDITOR
CHRIS GUIDO

RE-RECORDING MIXERS
ED CAMPBELL
JON BERMAN

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION FUNDING PROVIDED FOR
SPY IN THE WILD 2: THE POLES
ANNE RAY FOUNDATION

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION FUNDING PROVIDED FOR NATURE
THE ARNHOLD FAMILY
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III
THE FAIRWEATHER FOUNDATION
KATE W. CASSIDY FOUNDATION
KATHY CHIAO AND KEN HAO
LILLIAN GOLDMAN CHARITABLE TRUST
CHARLES ROSENBLUM
FILOMEN M. D’AGOSTINO FOUNDATION
ROSALIND P. WALTER
SANDRA ATLAS BASS
DORIS R. AND ROBERT J. THOMAS
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A JOHN DOWNER PRODUCTION FOR BBC, PBS AND THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC

THIS PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT

© 2020 JOHN DOWNER PRODUCTIONS LTD
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL © 2020 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© 2021 WNET. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.