Deep-sea documentaries often turn out to be disappointing TV spectacles, a mixture of silt, flashing lights and, occasionally, something slippery finning into the shadows. This, though, is pin-sharp, an expertly shot portrait of the weird twilight habitat found 120m beneath the South African waves. The footage is gorgeous; the science is even more intriguing. A team of extreme divers is searching for an ancient creature called a coelacanth (pronounced “see-low-canth”), said to be the missing link in the chain of evolution that led from the sea to dry land, fish to mammals and, 380 million years later, us. There’s something charmingly benign about this creature that time forgot, with its lips gnarled like a disgruntled sea captain and its stubby fins – the precursor to limbs – rowing aimlessly through the water. The story of the `living fossil' of 1938, when the impossible occurred off the South African coast and a fish believed to have been extinct since the dinosaur age was found.
Eighty five miles south of Kuwait City lies a near-barren landscape of sand and silt baking in some of the hottest temperatures on the planet. Little lives or grows here, and few people have ever chosen to live here. Until now. Sea City showcases the engineering marvel that is transforming the Kuwait coastline. The completed project will house 100,000 people and provide beach side living in harmony with the environment. This documentary follows the team on the ground as they race to beat critical deadlines while the temperature rises to the extremes of mid-summer. There are bridges to finish, water gates to be built and installed, millions of cubic metres of dynamic compaction to be done – literally smashing the ground flat enough to bear the weight of buildings on it - and mangrove plants to nurture at the limit of their possible cultivation. All this before lagoons can be flooded and while the first families are already moving into their new homes. It is not just about the big machines – it is about a passionate team who are struggling to realise a dream, a dream of bringing dead land to life and creating a ‘sea-city’ in the middle of the desert.