Tony and I loved the first season of Deadliest Catch – watching men pit themselves against the might of the ocean and the wiliness of its creatures was kind of thrilling.
Season two dishes up more of the same – the boats and captains are largely the same as in the first season, and it also covers the Alaskan king crab and opilio crab seasons. As a bonus, we get to see one of the captains (Sig and the Northwestern) fishing for cod at the start of the season, because the weather was too violent to go far out to sea in search of crab.
In this season we see the effects of rogue waves and ice on a ship (both very scary!). Some of the captains fished uncomfortably close to the Bering Sea ice pack, and while it looks very beautiful, it’s incredibly dangerous. The build up of ice on the boats is also quite awe-inspiring… I really enjoy chipping ice out of my freezer at home, but this is in another league entirely! There is also a bit of humour as two of the captains (Sig and Phil) mess with each other’s gear.
The cameramen do an incredible job – it’s easy to forget that they have to stand on an icy deck that is heaving and tipping, periodically swamped by waves, with the crewmen, in order to capture the action. We both felt, however, that we’d like to see a little more of the action underwater. What does the bottom of the Bering Sea look like? How do the crabs move about – in packs? Singly? What other things live down there? There was a computer animation depicting the fishing strategy of one of the captains, who favours soft, muddy sandbanks for opilio crab and met with roaring success, and a couple of brief shots of the crab pot as it was lifted up through the water against the side of the boat, but there’s scope for a lot more here.
I adore this show – the power of the sea and the character of the individuals who work it are fascinating to me. There’s a lot more that future seasons can deliver, and I hope Discovery Channel keeps developing the show.