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Natural World: Killer Whales – Beneath the Surface

Fri Oct 25, 9-10pm, BBC2

Back in the day, Roman philosopher Pliny rather rudely called killer whales ‘loathsome, pig-eyed assassins’. But even if we’ve moved on a little since then, there’s no doubt that these voracious beasts can still be hard to love. There’s plenty of evidence of their brilliantly well-adapted hunting abilities in this film but in the main, it explores the ways in which, since one was captured for study in 1964, we’ve grown to understand them better.

And investigation shows them to be rather remarkable critters: often friendly, always resourceful and even, occasionally, genuinely selfless. There are still moments in the film when we wish the whale students were in possession of a bigger boat, but this is mostly enlightening and enjoyable stuff.